Sunday, March 24, 2013

Vocal Range and Profile: Celine Dion

Vocal Range: Bb2 - C6 - E6 
Longest Note: 15 Seconds
Vocal Type: Lyric Soprano (3 octaves 3 Notes)
Vocal Rating: A-
Recommended Listenings: All By Myself, I Surrender (Live in Las Vegas), My Heart Will Go On

Vocal Positives: Resonant belts. They can be held for long periods of time, without the slightest wavering in pitch. The sharpness in this register allows for her voice to pierce through the heaviest instrumentation. Celine projects her voice in all registers, and maintains vocal agility throughout each octave.

Her lower notes are generally well supported down to D3. The mid-range sometimes carries a rasp with it, but it is soft and makes lyrical lines with ease. The mid-range transitions into the belting register with ease. The head voice carries an operatic ring to it.

Vocal Negatives: The nasally quality to Celine's voice is an acquired taste, though this quality isn't one of bad technique however, as singers in Quebec place their voices in the nasal cavity. Though Celine manages a neutral larynx in the lower part of her range, belts around Eb5 and higher are hit by raising the larynx, which gives the voice a throaty and coarse quality. Her mixing is also uneven from about A5-C6, making the belts thin and heady (though it is remarkable at all that she can mix at all that high). Notes below D3 become very breathy, while intonation and register transitions as a whole are inconsistent. 

B2-E6 (Though the E6 is credited as an exclamation here, the E6 is a head voice exclamation, and is not a scream, so it's being counted)


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Vocal Range and Profile: Christina Aguilera

Vocal Range: Bb2 - G#5 - C#7 (D7)
Longest Note: 20 Seconds
Vocal Type: Lyric Mezzo-Soprano (4 octaves, 2 notes)
Vocal Rating: B-
Recommended Listenings: Your Body, Beautiful, Hurt, You Lost Me

Vocal Positives:
A nimble voice that is capable of singing complex melisma. She has the ability to hold notes for extended periods of time, live and in studio. Her voice can transcend through multiple genres, such as Jazz, Blues, Rock, R&B, Pop, Hip-Hop, and Gospel. The lower register is smooth and velvety down to C#3, and is reached with ease. The mid-range can be soft or weighty, and is where the voice is it's sturdiest. Notes sung with a more open throat (mainly those in a studio setting) are more powerful and resonant. The head voice can be bright and piercing or thick and airy.

Vocal Negatives:
Criticisms have been leveled at Christina's technique, thus giving her name "The Noise." Notes as "low" as A4, and consistently around C5, become very forced, throaty, and coarse; which indicates bad placement of the larynx (though some fans find this edge to be a positive feature). Her unsteady movement of the larynx also causes her to have a deeper tone that what she would naturally have if she held a neutral larynx. Her whistle notes are actually rarely whistles, and are most often a bright falsetto. This could be an artistic decision, though it might also be one of poor technique.

Her longer notes are usually warbled; the notes are re-articulated dozens of times, which shows that she is not comfortable holding the note. Higher notes are not hit head on when they're not mixed, rather they are glissed until the note is reached. Her vocal runs occasionally sound labored, and have been criticized for lacking musicality. The lowest notes occasionally lose clarity.

Bb2 - C#7

Single Review: Beyonce - Bow Down

Beyonce has made a massive regression to places unseen before. 4 was easily her best effort to date, it was her first album that combined rich vocals, with rich music. But Bow Down does not continue down that lane.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Single Review: Paramore - Still Into You

Oh Paramore, how I love you so. With Hayley's rocking vocals (without the unhealthy screeching), thought provoking lyrics, and sonic diversity, Paramore is a machine of its own. But after the crushing disappointment of Now, I had almost given up on my favorite band. Then, Paramore did what it does best, simple yet genius love songs.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Vocal Range and Profile: Bridgit Mendler

Range: C#3 - F5 - E6 (A6)
Longest Note: 5 Seconds
Vocal Type: Light-Lyric Soprano (3 octaves, 1 note and a semi-tone)
Vocal Rating: C
Recommended Listenings: Postcard, Hurricane, Forgot to Laugh

Elastic belting voice, allowed by her neutral larynx and even mixing. The belts are achieved with ease, and can be fired rapidly (See Postcard, where she sings 9 Eb5's and Hurricane, where she sings 3 F5's). Her vibrato isn't forced and used with ease, and is pleasant to the ear. Her low notes are also achieved with a neutral larynx, and are sung with great support, making them full and weighty.

Her belts get thinner as she ascends into the upper belting register, around Eb5. Mixed belts are also very thin even earlier on, around C5. Bridgit also lacks the stamina and range in live settings, compared to that of her studio performances.


Vocal Range and Profile: Mariah Carey

Range: Eb2 - A5 (Bb5) - B7 (C8)
Exclamation: C8 (Background of 'Your Girl')
Longest Note: 20 Seconds (Lead the Way)
Vocal Type: Whatever her mood for the day is. Okay, Coloratura Light Lyric Soprano. (5 Octaves, 4 Notes)
Vocal Rating: Star
Recommended Listenings: Without You, We Belong Together, Emotions

Vocal Positives: 
Able to go from a high octave belt to an airy whisper within the space of a word. Has incredible low and high notes that are complimented by an ability to pitch an exact note without the need of vocal runs. When vocal runs are utilised by Mariah Carey they are incredibly accurate and always sympathetic to the song's key signature, tempo and style, thus giving her the moniker the "Queen of melisma."She can do melismas in Jazz, Minor and Major scales. It's a skill that can be utilised in each of the registers, as well as travelling through them. Technically a brilliant singer.

Mariah Carey's low range is dark and heavy, though the weakest part of her range. The midrange can either be thick and slightly nasal- See the Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel album- or airy and light, almost as if whispering. The belting voice is elastic and bright, with the lower half being more resonant- see Without you to compare the low and higer part of the belting register. As Mariah Carey's voice ascends the belting range, up into the fifth octave, its timbre begins to thin, as it's mixed with the head voice, but it remains bright and clear throughout, as well as having a bell-like ring. She is able to use voice cracks with control, in situations where she uses it to be emotive.

The head voice and whistle register are easily accessible and can both have their timbre modified depending on what is artistically called for; being either fuller and piercing or softer and airier. As well as being able to pitch notes with incredible accuracy in the whistle register, Mariah Carey is capable of articulating words- see Bliss- and singing within the register for long periods of time without vocal fatigue-see Angels Cry Interlude.

Carey also has unparalleled register transitions, switching from chest to head, head to whistle, and even chest to whistle without as much of a pause.

Vocal Negatives:
Low notes, in early recordings Eb3 but most often around a C3, are hit by dropping the larynx, an unhealthy technique. This results in some notes being missed in live performances. As she has aged, the voice is often coarse and she also seems to be less comfortable in the whistle register.

(This profile is heavily modified from DivaDevotee, some lines were added and some parts were removed.)