Monday, August 31, 2015

Album Review: Miley Cyrus - Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz

Miley Cyrus more or less surprised millions of international viewers last night at the VMAs, announcing that her new album was available for free on Soundcloud.  This act of going against the norm, and allowing everyone with basic internet access to listen to her work speaks to Cyrus's public persona and the music herself: she truly doesn't give a f**k.

The album is a collection of psychedelic stoner anthems and dedications to her array of deceased pets. These two fields of experience in her life can be related to how Miley uses drugs - particularly pot, a drug she professes her love for in the opener Dooo It! - to cope with the pain of her deceased animals, like her dog Floyd and her pet blowfish Pablow, and her life as a superstar. Across the board are distant vocals, raw and forward lyrics, and generally minimal production.

Cyrus is notorious for being very open about everything: her sex life, her drug use and her personal experiences and relationships. Her act is the act of vulnerability, when she's 90% naked on shows like the VMAs and in daily life, she is exposing her vulnerabilities and allowing her audience to pick her apart. She subjects herself to body shaming, slut shaming, and just plain rudeness in her public appearances, but now she's allowing her music to be picked apart by anyone with this free album. She is putting her humanity out on the table, regardless of how people may respond to it. She is doing everything for herself, and for those who choose to enjoy and embrace it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Vocal Range and Profile: Jessie J

Vocal Range: C#3 - Bb5 - C6 (Eb7)
Vocal Fach: Light-Lyric Soprano (3 octaves)
Vocal Rating: A-List

Positives: A very fluid voice with an underestimated rock edge. Great fluidity, capable of singing incredibly long and complicated melismas with ease. She is able to utilize this ornament in all areas of her voice. She has explored the whistle register with exclamations, occasionally glissing into the 7th octave.

The lower register while the weakest part of the range, can have a slow vibrato applied to it. The mid-range gains healthy resonance, and it where the voice sounds its healthiest, accompanied by Jessie's lightning fast diction and rhythm. The upper chest voice maintains this piercing quality, though it noticeably thins above E5 and Jessie slides into a mixed voice.

Negatives: Notes above E5 can become shrill and thin, and are often squeezed, making them unpleasant to the ear while low notes (below F3) lack resonance and are breathy. Jessie also lacks restraint, struggling not to rely on melismas to impress. Her vibrato and its speed can also be polarizing (often being too fast).

Her 7th octave glissandos aren't being counted because they're not being sung in a key, and there's no accuracy or pitch control for those notes.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Vocal Range and Profile: Brendon Urie (Panic! At The Disco)

Vocal Range: D2 - C5 - C6 [C7]
Vocal Type: Lyric Tenor (4 octaves)
Vocal Rating: A

Wide vocal range. Clean cut voice that pierces through heavy instrumentation. The lower register is solid and dark and is accessed without lowering the larynx, while his middle voice gains a bright quality. A great, incredibly bright mixed voice allows for an extensive and resonant belting range (See This is Gospel). His voice can soar into the sixth octave often with no strain.  Easy, appealing rolling vibrato.

The voice sounds limited rock stylings. The demanding nature of his songs and smoking can sometimes cause his voice to sound tired. The falsetto above G5 is hit or miss, with some notes having resonance and others sounding pinched and tired.

D2 - C7