Saturday, March 26, 2016

Vocal Range and Profile: Aretha Franklin

Vocal Range: E2 - D6 - E6
Vocal Fach: Falcon Soprano (4 octaves)
Vocal Rating: Star

Positives: A rich, heavy and dark voice. Legendary interpretive wit, thanks to incredible knowledge of musical phrasing and vocal pedagogy. Franklin crafted incredible phrases by utilizing rhythmic variations and motifs, dynamics, articulation, vocal colors and drives to create original and brilliant phrases. 

Her melismatic prowess brought the melisma into popular music, with her incredible pearl-like clarity, fluidity and agility. Great articulation and diction that allowed for scatting and color experimentation. A flawlessly balanced voice within every part of the scale.

An incredible lower register that was rich and warm, hit with a neutral larynx, and was reached with incredible ease and accuracy, shown by Franklin's ability to sing melisma in this area with startling intonation accuracy. Projecting down to G2 and robust down to C#3, this explosive lower register contributes to Franklin's fach as a Falcon soprano.

As she ascends, Franklin's vocal colors continue to blossom, showing off a slightly nasal but thunderous middle register. The belting register displays incredible freedom, resonance, elasticity and fluidity, soaring into a perfect mixed voice.  This register is full and projected throughout, relying fully on breath support. Franklin's technique can attest to her ability to sustain each note in this area up to D6. This area also gains a slight, airy rasp before becoming grittier around G5, and a wide rolling vibrato.

Though her tessitura lies in the mezzo-belting range, her belting range and weight soars into that of a Spinto Soprano (also making her a Falcon).

Her head voice is seamlessly connected to the rest of her range, showing incredible control of her passagio. It's bright and full, with the rich rolling vibrato seen in the chest voice.

Negatives: As she has aged, her voice has lost its power and rich color. Her belting can also become overbearing to some. The rasp of the chest voice somewhat hinders the clarity of the belts.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Vocal Range and Profile: Liam Payne (One Direction)

Vocal Range: C#2 - C5 - Bb5 (B5)
Vocal Type: Lyric Baritone (3 octaves, 4 notes and a semi-tone)
Vocal Rating: B+

Positives: Robust, clear lower register that is projected well, often being the bass of harmonies in his group. This area is achieved with great technique and support down to F#2. A highlight of the voice.

Slightly brightening as he ascends, the middle register still maintains ease and displays a warm, masculine tone. Though he gains a slight (pushed) rasp above E4, his voice remains open, projecting well. Unlike the rest of One Direction, Payne has a well-developed mixed voice, allowing him to access a clean, head-dominant C5 belt. 

A light, warm falsetto that Payne has no issues staying in for extended periods. This area possesses a soft vibrato and is reached with ease until around Eb5 when Payne needs more volume to phonate.

Solid understanding of musical phrasing, being considerate to the music by changing vocal colors, texture, and dynamics.

Negatives: The upper extremes of the falsetto are unstable and undeveloped, and the chest register thins considerably as he ascends. Though he mixes at the extremes of his chest voice, the rest of the belting range could use a more even mix.

C#2 - G4 (C#5) - G5

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Vocal Range and Profile: JoJo

Vocal Range: A2 - G5 - C#7
Vocal Type: Lyric Mezzo-Soprano (4 octaves and 2 notes)
Vocal Rating: B+
Recommended Listenings: Too Little Too Late, Limbo, All I Want Is Everything, Save My Soul

Positives: Incredible clarity throughout her range. Her melismas maintain a pearl-like clarity, fluidity, and even-ness throughout her chest voice and head voice. This agility has continued to improve over time. Soild stamina and breath support.

The lower register is strong and supported, and maintains the aforementioned clarity down to C3, while being able to consistently reach B2. These notes are achieved with a neutral larynx down to D3 and avoid sounding forced.

Her middle register/belts is/are warm, bright and glimmering, with a healthy placement, mixing and vibrato. This area is projected well (and has been projected better over time), being resonant and rarely strained. This is where her voice truly shines. Her upper-belts though outside of her tessitura, have shown potential to resonate, with an ability to stay in this register for extended periods (Limbo).

Her head-voice is well explored and connected, remaining feminine and agile throughout. The whistle register, though rarely explored, is piercing with a rolling vibrato.

Negatives: Her upper chest voice is where her technique suffers: belts above D5 begin to sound shouty and throaty, with her placement trying to compensate for her carrying too much weight too high into her upper belts. Her mixed voice could use development. Nasality is also an issue at points, notably in her upper chest voice.

B2 - F#5 - C6

A2 - G5 - B5