I can’t stop grinding on this bitchfest of mine about the current lack of real badass female vocalists in popular music. I know they’re out there. They’re just not on the popular list as much. If you go back and listen to the 60’s and 70’s great female vocalists—Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Joni Mitchell, Patti Labelle, Dusty Springfield, Janis Joplin, Dionne Warwick, Gladys knight, Mavis Staples—and you compare what we’re listening to now—this auto-tuned compressed whiny vocal bullshit; one has to wonder if our music is becoming extinct like the duck bill platypus.
I know, I know. I bitch and moan like some dog in heat about this subject. It’s just that, as a musician and vocalist, and one who grew up in the 70’s being knocked-down inspired by the badass revelations from these artists (and still am) I can’t help but wonder if our music is becoming extinct like so many animals in the world.
You just don’t hear the knock-down badass, blow-the-top-of-your-head-and-soul off majesty of an Aretha Franklin anymore. She was so badass that when she walked out on stage and sang (or leaped through a record album) you knew here was an artist throwing down the gauntlet. Raising the bar. Popular music would never be the same…
A GOAT. Where are the GOATS of female vocal music now?
There was Etta James as well. Can’t forget Etta.
Sidebar: Go back and listen to Etta James. She will confirm my rant 100%. Listen to Etta and hear and feel where she’s singing from. Then listen to the whiny popular female vocalist crap from today, and tell me if I need to shut up or if I speak some truth.
(Just don’t be mean about it. I’m just ranting. I don’t need 20 million snarky comments. We’re all allowed to be critical of the culture we’re surrounded by…)
These artists (above) were breaking down boundaries and creating whole new vistas of popular music. THEY were the queens on the airwaves. THEY were the ones pumping mojo through the collective ear. THEY were the ones with #1 hits and winning awards.
And now? What do we have now? Who is winning the awards? Who are we swooning over as the next greatest thing since sliced gluten-free bread?
Not anyone on the level of Aretha. Or Chaka. Or Dionne Warwick.
(Unless I’m just old, cranky and completely uninformed. But I don’t think so….:>)
Who is coming along singing from their soul in such a deep, badass way? Are they swinging a 200 lb. hammer or a 2 lb. one?
It’s Badass to the 200th degree. Like “Respect” or “Tell Me Something Good,” or “Tell Mama,” or “Lady Marmalade.”
These singers I mentioned –and I apologize for I forgot a few others and also Etta, can’t forget Etta, she came in the 50’s—these singers nowadays, if you can call many of them “vocalists” or just “auto-tuned whiners,” should shut up and go back to college and become orthodontists. Since the sound they’re making is like a vocal dentist drilling banality into my beautiful hard-earned teeth.
And dental work is expensive.
So is the price we pay when we listen to watered-down mechanical computerized vocalists.
Or just take off all the auto-tune and compression (look it up if you don’t know audio lingo) and give us some real, pure female vocals—and this goes to the producers of this whiny unzipped designer jean crap as well—take off all the bullshit fake artificial vocal production and LET THE SINGERS SING.
Let their real voice come through the song. And their real heart and soul.
And I know they’re out there. There must be a new breed of badass female vocalists who can knock the doors off our soul with pure, unadulterated mojo.
I just want the new ones to be recognized as the GOATS and on the top of the popular music mountain.
Not the whiny pair of designer jeans ones…
Next week I will tear into the whiny male vocalists and performers with a vengeance hitherto unknown to whomever…
Why, because my coffee is strong, and my fingers can fly ‘cross this keyboard faster than you can say,
“Do you believe in life after love?”