Saturday, 9 January 2016

A Cappella Covers

There isn't a single piece of music that is improved by removing the original instruments.

It's not that I don't like the human voice, it's that what I like about a vocal performance tends to be destroyed the more voices you have competing with it. You won't find a Leonard Cohen or Michael Gira in a choir. I don't even necessarily mind a cappella music itself. I like the original version of Suzanne Vega's "Tom's Diner", and one of my favourite songs ever is Einstuerzende Neubauten's "Halber Mensch". I like the works of Ligeti. Those are not cover versions. I do hate Meredith Monk, though.

A cappella covers of songs always contain admissions that their artform is inherently dull because some twat will try to studiously imitate the missing instruments by making ridiculous, embarrassing noises. Usually right at the top of their range, too, because the missing instrument is a piccolo or electric guitar. This is incredibly grating.

You have no grounds to respect this crap on its creativity, either. It always sounds exactly like the ridiculous drunken scatting people do in a car on the way home from a club, which has innately humorous intent and is at least participatory. And talent? You're a really talented vocalist, that's why you sing in a choir. Sure.

Not all music needs percussion, dynamics or bass, but songs that do are not improved by removing all of those and replacing them with feeble vocal attempts. Shut the fuck up.

No comments: