Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Guilty Pleasures Department

Yes, I've been watching the American Idol auditions. It's equal parts for the goof and for the hope of seeing a good singer in the rough. There have been some pleasant surprises and good laughs and unfortunate people, but nothing particularly outstanding.

First off, it's very difficult to sing anything unaccompanied and make it sound good outside the tiled cloister of the shower. Try listening to the contestants sing while tapping the beat and humming a bass line. Many of the contestants pick songs that are dependent on the arrangement to make them happen; one person's rendition of Disco Inferno just didn't have the context to make it happen.

Second, I have never been a fan of the currently in vogue style of flogging the hell out of every melodic line with grace note and labrynthine runs. A large number of contestants try to emulate this style, with the results being that everybody sounds the same and the melodies are beaten to an unrecognizable pulp.

Finally, just once, I would like somebody to get up there and sing a jazz standard. Out of the tens of thousands who enter, some contestants must do this, but if they have they never make it past the editors. It would make my night to hear somebody attempt "Night and Day" or "All of Me."

UPDATE: They did it. One of the last contestants sang "Fly Me to the Moon" and moved on to the next round. I didn't care for his singing but it was nice to hear a standard.

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