Is it actually cooler to be a bad singer???

AAT65

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You are praising the tools instead of the result. Why should I care how much ability someone has, if they use their ability to make music I don't like? I shouldn't, and I don't. Someone else can like it, but I don't like music just because someone scored a lot of points while they made it. It's not a sport.
I think that is spot on. It’s the choice of material & style of arrangement that make Celine Dion, Michael Bolton, Christina Aguillera etc etc uninteresting to me, even if I can appreciate the technical accomplishment.
For the rock music I do enjoy, I don’t want to hear an inaccurate “pitchy” singer, but given a choice between an interesting delivery and spot-on accuracy I will tend to favour interest.
 

ClashCityTele

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Yes, of course. Some of the most famous singers were never technically great singers (and would be the first to admit it) -
Ozzy Osbourne, Shane MacGowan, John Lydon, Jim Morrison, Joe Strummer, Leonard Cohen, Joey Ramone, Kurt Cobain, Iggy Pop, Lemmy etc.
 

somebodyelseuk

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I think, there's more to being a great singer than being a great singer.

A lot of the so-so singers listed are also good frontmen and/or good at delivering 'the story'.

Top of my list would be Nat King Cole, Sinatra, Sammy Davis Junior, Dean Martin, Tom Jones.

All great singers. All cool as Iceland.
 

Telekarster

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Some voices just have charisma and charm all their own. The level of singing "talent" varies in each, but they speak to humanity. Sometimes people listen with their hearts and not their ears.

Yep. This is pretty much what I was going to say. It's really not about the vocals as much as how they're projected, and if it's a catchy song with catchy music behind it that people can dig. I mean there are some artists out there that can actually sing quite beautifully, Sinatra-ish even, but they choose not to sing that way because the music they're known for wouldn't fit that style of singing. Others really couldn't carry a note if it had handles, but their music is unique and catchy so it sells. I love Neil Young's music but when I compare his vocals to Bolton, for example, well.... BUT! His music is unique and it speaks to me and millions of others i.e. catchy and cool in its own merits e.g. Old Man, Heart of Gold, etc. So... there we have it I guess ;)
 

Kandinskyesque

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One of the greatest vocal performances I've ever heard recorded was Sam Cooke "Live at the Harlem Square Club", the album was considered too loud and raucous when it was recorded in 1963. It wasn't released until 1985.
In terms of soul, charisma, yearning I've never heard a more stirring performance.

Despite having been classically trained in my teens and 20s, I'm not a fan of technicians. Those voices leave me cold. They seem to lack something in communicating the song. Technique over communication.

Albeit the choruses in the OP sound good to me, the verses just sound too 'top gear', not enough contrast. Like he's driving an automatic vs a stick shift.
I'd rather listen to Phil Lynott or Ian Dury.

Or this for raw emotion...
 

catdaddy

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When I was a teenager I became involved in singing with a barbershop quartet. That training and experience taught me how to sing: breathing properly, staying on pitch, blending with other voices, etc. As it turned out I also learned that my voice was pretty much perfect for that genre and I was good at singing. Although I enjoyed the challenges and performances associated with BSQ singing, I loved rock and blues, and wanted to perform in a "cool" band. It was extremely disappointing to realize that my pitch perfect voice and technique was also the blandest form of vanilla, and poorly suited for the type of singing that I really wanted to do. For the past fifty-plus years of my life I've been envious of those singers that had less than perfect voices with character, guys like John Hiatt, Tom Waits, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Robbie Robertson, Mick Jagger, Howlin' Wolf, Lowell George, Dr. John, Leon Russell etc. So, IMO it may not be cooler to be a bad singer, but it's much cooler to be a singer that isn't a perfect singer but has a distinctive voice.
 

mindlobster

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We want to hear the conviction, not the technique. Perfect singers can probably make more money doing sessions or touring backups, nothing wrong with that. I have one friend who is very trained, and can read music, and does voices for commercials etc, but has the rare ability to turn it off when they sing their own songs, so all you hear is the rock/pop voice, with the technique more subtly backing it up. That is the ideal to me!
 

drmordo

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This might make the government take away my Canadian citizenship and deport me back to the other side of the Atlantic but…

I can’t stand Celine Dion’s singing. She can sing, yes there’s no doubt about that. Technically gifted. But how she sings - it hurts my ears and the brain between them. Give me Neil Young any day.

tumblr_p2d00hWTrx1qzlp91o3_500.jpg
 

buster poser

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There's this other little thing about music apart from the notes called rhythm. For singers and other soloists, there's another called phrasing. Billie Holiday's range was reportedly just over an octave. I think Billie was an incredible singer.

Unassailable:



 

Papanate

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If people like a singer then they are a good singer - singing isn't about skill levels or talent - it's how you shape your voice and how it works with the material.
 

codamedia

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Bryan Adams is a way better singer than George Throrogood but can't admit you like any Bryan Adams songs.

I love both... but admittedly I am not a fan of Bryan Adams "ballads" that made him an international hit.

His 2nd (You Want it, You Got It), 3rd (Cuts Like a Knife) and 4th (Reckless) albums in the early 80's had way more edge to them. Even the 2 ballads on each album had raw energy and emotion over production. Most people outside of Canada don't even know those albums exist.
 

Flaneur

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I've been watching highlights, of this summer's outdoor festivals, in the UK. Lots of bands and artists, that I'd never heard- or never heard of.
I was astonished by the number of singers who, without the benefits of recording software 'enhancement', couldn't sing very well. Often really basic stuff, like breathing.
I'm not suggesting that good technique, equates to good music- just that you would have thought, that some of these successful artists might want to work on their craft.......?
 

Weazel

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Well....

My take on this is you have several good expressive singers with distinct character in good music, and then you have the musical (Broadway) artists.

To each his own, I will leave you with this:

 
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