April 17, 2009

"Susan Boyle: What's the big deal?"

"Not to be a grump, but am I the only one who finds this a little over-the-top and, frankly, a little condescending? Plenty of big-voiced PYTs sing their hearts out every week on American Idol (not to mention onstage in Broadway shows) without getting this kind of reaction. But Susan, because of her looks, because of the fact that people were snickering at her before she opened her mouth, becomes a sensation simply by being able to carry a tune. She has a decent voice, sure. But let's not get carried away. She's no LuPone, and her talent is only really shocking if you've already counted her out as a squawker on account of her granny hairdo and pre-fame Julia Roberts eyebrows. Once the element of surprise is gone, we're all going to be stuck with the fact that she's a capable, but by no means extraordinary singer. And is that really worth all the fuss?"

Thank you, Adam Markovitz. You are not the only one.

129 comments:

rhhardin said...

She sounded well above average to me but not so much I'd listen to an entire song.

It's just that the average is so low.

Joseph Hovsep said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joseph Hovsep said...

I thought she had a certain charm about her and her voice was quite good. What struck me were the incredibly patronizing judges' reactions. They all said--with a straight face--something along the lines of "Wow. I never would have expected someone as ugly, old, and working class as you could possibly have that nice a voice. Well, I've learned my lesson here.

traditionalguy said...

Come on guys. Don't you feel that the cinderella moment for a 47 tear old frumpie, over the hill ugly girl, is worth a little more than sour grapes from the intelligentsia? She needs to go on to do a complete make over show. Quick, before Peggy Noonan and George Will feel extra-threatened with the violation of class boundaries here.

ricpic said...

Okay, I just listened to her for the first time and she's very, very good. I just wish the crowd had kept quiet while she was singing.

TMink said...

I think she has a gifted voice. As she learns to use it better, she will grace us with some wonderful music. Her triumph is one of substance over style. That is why the judges were slack jawed.

Trey

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I have watched it several times and was bowled over. Her voice is very good. Listen to it with your eyes closed.

I agree with Joesph H. The patronizing and condescention from the judges and the outright ridicule in the beginning was striking. It was like "Wow. Who would have thought that God would put such beautiful vocal chords in such an ugly box"

The comparison with Cinderella is apt and is spiritually uplifting.

You go girl!!

peter hoh said...

Having seen some other clips of Britain's Got Talent, it seems that rowdy audience response is par for the course.

MadisonMan said...

I don't think she'll beat Flawless. But I appreciated her singing voice, and also her down-to-Earth-iness.

peter hoh said...

Turns out that Simon has a nice smile.

Kensington said...

Yeah, I tend to agree, and the fact that the audience leapt to their conclusions on fairly facile information twice (both when they immediately rejected her and then moments later when they immediately embraced her) showed me that Miss Boyle didn't have to necessarily do much to engender either response. It is patronizing.

That said, I did cry when I saw the video, but that song always makes me cry. She didn't kill it or anything, but she didn't bring much to it to justify the sensational response, either.

Martin said...

I'm completely with Althouse on this one. I thought OK, but she was no Paul Potts.

SteveR said...

Let's make yet another clarification in the American Idol tradition. Its not about the singing, its about entertainment and that clip is entertaining.

Just to be clear, its not about the singing.

Cedarford said...

Once the element of surprise is gone, we're all going to be stuck with the fact that she's a capable, but by no means extraordinary singer. And is that really worth all the fuss?""Thank you, Adam Markovitz. You are not the only one."

I think the reason 30 million people have clicked on U-Tube to see it and the tape is being carried in all global news markets - is people have had so many unpleasant surprises in recent months they were all primed for a Good Surprise - a hidden gem.

Boyle, who stayed at home in her small village caring for her ailing elderly parents (her mum died 2 years ago at 91) who didn't have much of life in the eyes of others - "never been kissed"? She strode into initial mockery as a frumpy Everywoman. And showed them all!

The hidden gem was revealed.

And the people responded with captivation and adoration and tears. (My wife got it through her network with a warning that she would cry before the clip was over. She did.)

This really resonated.

And for Boyle, this is life-changing. Even if she doesn't have a "world class" voice, even if she loses the competition, she WILL get a music contract. And make enough money from any album she does to allow her (at the least) to do many things she couldn't do when she put her life on hold to care for aged parents. Fan mail and supposedly offers from men who would be delighted to date her are coming in to her village in droves.

Good on her!

Kensington said...

She was definitely no Pol Pot, either.

peter hoh said...

I suppose Althouse needs to be pissy about Boyle because Sullivan loved her so.

nina said...

Patti LuPone thought she was outstanding and told her as much. I've heard LuPone sing numerous times and of course, she has the training and professional qualities that make her over the top a stage presence. But Susan's raw talent is astonishing.

I think taking pleasure in someone's success and talent is a good thing. And maybe Adam (others?) is being a bit patronizing. He saw her frumpiness. I saw the tough life face lines and her radiant smile when she achieved this level of success. It made me smile and smile.

Big Mike said...

Yes, the surprise is a large part of it. But!!! She's had no voice training, no makeover (obviously!) and no hair styling, not even any particular advice on how to walk out onto the stage. We're watching sheer, raw talent. The fakes on American Idol should just quit.

peter hoh said...

It is, as Steve R said, about the entertainment. Boyle showed some spunk in her back-and-forth with the judges before she sang.

The Brits turned an obscure American singer, Eva Cassidy, into a posthumous pop sensation. Does Cassidy have the greatest voice? Perhaps not, but the singer's story adds a patina of sentimentality to her songs, and such is the case with Boyle.

I'm guessing that Althouse (you, a law professor!) has an internal warning system that alerts her (and averts her) whenever she senses sentimentality coming into play.

Beta Conservative said...

I agree that she was no Paul Potts. He is an opera want to be who couldn't compete with the big voiced tenors, so he made a pop opera album. Even on his first Nessun Dorma go round, he missed the pitch a few times.

I think Susan is the real deal. I love her voice. With a little training she will be a beautiful singer.

She also has the good sense to avoid opera. It is just too hard and those who can really sing it are rare indeed.

peter hoh said...

And one more thing, to pick up on Big Mike's comment about the posers on AI. Can you imagine any of them being asked, as Boyle was on the CBS Early Show, to just sing with no back up and no electronic enhancement? They'd be exposed in a heartbeat.

Joseph Hovsep said...

I have to say I immediately reacted negatively to the clip even though I thought Boyle was charming and talented and clearly happy about her experience there. The whole thing seemed so contrived in a subtly mean-spririted way. The producers seemed to have set her up to be ridiculed (I don't know the show but wouldn't most people be advised to fix their hair and wear nice clothes if they're going to sing in front of a huge national audience, especially that kind of music?). But the point of making her look so frumpy was to achieve maximum surprise when it became clear she was talented. At the end of the day, I suppose she makes out well from it so no-harm-no-foul, but the judges' shocked reactions seemed to say "Its perfectly normal to prejudge someone's worth based on their looks, age, class. Indeed, we professional talent-seekers clearly prejudged this woman. But on rare occassion, you may be wrong. This was that rare occassion. Now you can go back to treating these lowly people the way they usually deserve to be treated" I'm probably overreading it, but I was instinctively offended while I was watching it.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Perhaps much of the reaction to Susan Boyle and Paul Potts in Britain is that those folks are about all they have left by way of Horatio Alger stories. Two generations of socialism, over-regulation, and cultural decay have completely sand-bagged entrepreneurial opportunity, but have not yet quashed ordinary Britons' desire to see the everyday person succeed outrageously against the odds.

Bissage said...

When you get down to brass tacks, Babe wasn’t really all that outstanding a sheepdog, either.

Freeman Hunt said...

I agree that the setup and framing were condescending and stupid.

However, to write that that voice wasn't extraordinary? Are you kidding? That voice out of an amateur?

Perhaps appearance is affecting opinion here... but in the other direction.

Esther12 said...

I think she sang more than just capably. Her voice was lovely and she sang with her heart and with a lot of power. Keep in mind that she hasn't had extensive vocal training; she's sung in choirs, done some karaoke, and maybe some local competitions. She's got a lot of potential, and it's great that she's getting the opportunity to develop it now if she wants; it took guts to go up in front of that kind of audience and sing, especially given that the audience and judges weren't intially favorable towards her.

I do find the condescension towards her to be pretty nauseating though. It doesn't help that Britain's Got Talent tried to not-so-subtly turn this into a "teaching moment" about "not judging a book by its cover". So that in the clip where Susan is singing, we get to see close-ups of the judges looking rapturous and clasping their hands to their chests as they rediscover their hearts. Give me a break.

Susan Boyle seems to be a decent, level-headed person, which is why all this cooing, "aren't you adorable" attitude seems jarring when it comes to her. Anyway, basic respect or at the very least courtesy are owed to someone based on character traits, not on how well they sing or whether their eyebrows are tweezed. If she'd sung worse than she did, the currently sanctimonious judges, T.V. producers, media, audience, etc. would've all enjoyed her humiliation.

tim maguire said...

her talent is only really shocking if you've already counted her out as a squawker on account of her granny hairdo and pre-fame Julia Roberts eyebrows. It always amuses me when someone elucidates the point wonderfully and at the same time completely misses the point.

Her performance is meaningful in a way those teenyboppers can't hope to be precisely because her appearance leads us to expect something so very much different. She breaks us out of our expectation bubbles.

ricpic said...

Bissage, brilliant as usual.

Speaking of singing: I've got this cardinal, a big male, that has been chirping like crazy and flying into my windows (the kitchen window on one side of the house and the living room window on the other side) persistently for three days. Anyone have experience with this kind of behavior? Is it just normal aggressiveness? Or could a parasite have gotten into the bird's brain? The bird really seems to have gone crazy. There's a clock on the kitchen wall with pictures of birds on it. But from outside it's barely discernible. And there's nothing but a landscape painting on the living room wall that the bird might be able to see.

rdtjr05 said...

ricpic:

He sees his reflection in the window and thinks there is another male cardinal in his territory.

ricpic said...

That makes sense, rdtjr05.

Bob said...

Ricpic: The cardinal probably sees a reflection of himself in the window and is challenging it, it being nesting season for cardinals. If you tape a piece of paper of some sort to the window you'll probably not see him fly into it or otherwise attack it. Birds are often confused by reflections and/or too transparent glass.

Bissage said...

Thanks, ricpic, and you might also try putting out a safflower feeder. That should attract many other birds to keep him occupied.

Birds, especially cardinals, welcome safflower seed nearly as much as sunflower seed, yet the squirrels aren't all that crazy for it.

Good luck!

ricpic said...

Thanks for the suggestions, Bob and Bissage.

mcg said...

Susan Boyle is a far more authentic "diamond in the rough" story than Paul Potts ever was. I mean, certainly, it was a lot of fun to watch Paul surprise everyone with his first performance, and I'm happy for him that he won. But he was classically trained, and even had an audience with Pavarotti.

Susan Boyle, on the other hand, has had some training but nothing even remotely comparable to Paul Potts. Most of her recent practice was conducted in a karaoke bar. And frankly she is more of a misfit than Paul Potts by a mile.

Overall her BGT appearance was great entertainment and I do think she's genuinely talented. Is she a pro? Certainly not! Could she be? Yeah, maybe. Will she win? I wouldn't put money on it this early in the game.

John said...

I think you have to consider a couple of things. first, studios and rehersal and backing insturments make singers sound better. It is really difficult to just stand up and sing something with no back up. Second, you can't underestimate the benefit of training. Singing is an art and a craft. Yeah, you have to have the natural talent but to sing opera or broadway someone has to teach you how to do it.

Given that, that this woman with no formal training can get up in front of a national audience and on que belt out something that good, is pretty remarkable, especially at her age. I would like to see LuPone at age 47 with no formal training sound like that under those circumstances.

To put this in sports terms, it is like a 36 year old bar tender coming down from the stands, getting under center and throwing for 300 yards in an NFL game. Yeah, you can say it was only one game and it was pre-season and it is not like he is Joe Montana or Peyton Manning. But if you do, you are willfully missing the point.

Bart DePalma said...

What a grump. Boyle's story is fun because she appears to be an ordinary person rather than the usual diva wannabe. Its like seeing your mum make good.

Zeb Quinn said...

Thank you, Adam Markovitz. You are not the only one.In that case you'd both be wrong. This woman's voice is astounding.

What's more, in 1999 another performance of hers was recorded, Cry Me a River, which was arguably even better than the I Dream a Dream she performed on BGT, and which can be listened to without the distracting visuals and hoots from the audience.

John said...

Eva Cassidy was an ordinary bar singer in the WAshington DC area. She made a couple of homemade CDs and sadly died of cancer in her early 30s before many people had heard of her. She is wonderful.

The existence of people like Susan Boyle and Eva Cassidy living in obscurity and mediocrities like Madona being so famous for so long, makes me wonder if perhaps our entire entertainment industry isn't completely broken.

Dark Eden said...

I think besides her obvious talent in singing the thing about Susan Boyle is that she's very happy with herself and quite spunky about it. Other people see frumpy ugly old woman who should go away and never be seen.

Chris Rock did a bit about fat black women going out on the town and enjoying themselves even though society says they should be ashamed. There's a bit of that at work here.

John said...

"Chris Rock did a bit about fat black women going out on the town and enjoying themselves even though society says they should be ashamed. There's a bit of that at work here."

No question if she were 20 years old and thin and hot, she would be the next opera diva. Ultimately, old, ugly fat people are supposed to know their place and stay out of the public eye.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

Totally turned off by the "wow, what a surprise because, let's face it, you're ugly" thing. Nothing against Susan here, she's not a turnoff.

"Her performance is meaningful in a way those teenyboppers can't hope to be precisely because her appearance leads us to expect something so very much different. She breaks us out of our expectation bubbles." Only if you expect quality of singing to correlate with visual appearance. Or just plain quality. I think a lot of people do.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Dark Eden: I think besides her obvious talent in singing the thing about Susan Boyle is that she's very happy with herself and quite spunky about it. Other people see frumpy ugly old woman who should go away and never be seen.

I agree. I think that might be the best takeaway from the clip.

William said...

There is something patently kind and decent about Susan Boyle. She is the kind of person who goes through life being overlooked and marginalized and still retains enough goodness to project an affirming presence. I am glad that she had this unexpected, hidden talent and that the world now celebrates her. Her lack of beauty only augments the authenticity of her decency and talent..... Like Susan, like most people, I feel like flotsam pushed out to oblivion by the endless waves. It is very gratifying to see someone like Susan capture the moment and surf the wave. I suppose part of this has been contrived--happy endings ususally are--but, for all that, it was a fine, touching moment. I hope Susan floats on the bubble for the rest of her life.

mcg said...

Only if you expect quality of singing to correlate with visual appearance. Or just plain quality. I think a lot of people do.That's probably because they should. Look, we're not talking about raw physical attractiveness here. If that were the standard then yes there are plenty of singers that buck that trend, and plenty of frat boys that underperform at the karaoke bar.

But physical appearance and presentation, however, go beyond this "raw" characteristic, and include factors that reflect personal discipline and aesthetic taste. It's not just a matter of Susan Boyle appearing to be unattractive, but that she appeared awkward, disheveled, and sloppy. I don't think it's credible to suggest that those factors would have no correlation with talent.

While it would be wrong to dismiss her in such a venue without giving her the chance, I don't think the audience's expectations were entirely unjustified, either. We shouldn't overinterpret this "lesson" to say that we shouldn't have any preconceptions in this situation.

bagoh20 said...

It's as much about us as her and about our culture's overabundance of talent free beautiful people.

John said...

"It's not just a matter of Susan Boyle appearing to be unattractive, but that she appeared awkward, disheveled, and sloppy. I don't think it's credible to suggest that those factors would have no correlation with talent."

What are you talking about? Geniuses and prodegies tend to be awkward or disheveled. Ever watched an old interview with Glenn Gould?

Laura(southernxyl) said...

"It's not just a matter of Susan Boyle appearing to be unattractive, but that she appeared awkward, disheveled, and sloppy. I don't think it's credible to suggest that those factors would have no correlation with talent."

Oh yes it is.

And I take issue with "awkward, disheveled, and sloppy". She looks like a regular person to me. Such disapproval of a woman who dares to consume oxygen and isn't a beauty queen.

Joe said...

From the clip I saw, she was in key, something American Idol contestants are loathe to do.

Dark Eden said...

"And I take issue with "awkward, disheveled, and sloppy". She looks like a regular person to me. Such disapproval of a woman who dares to consume oxygen and isn't a beauty queen."

Hint to our betters in beautiful people land. Susan Boyle is what actual regular people look like. I know its scary, yes you can go back to the salon and get some botox now.

SteveR said...

Joe: With the advent of the unexplainable popularity of singers like Mariah Carey, there is no key. Warbling all over the place is normal.

At 47, Susan Boyle can actually sing in a proper fashion.

John said...

"Joe: With the advent of the unexplainable popularity of singers like Mariah Carey, there is no key. Warbling all over the place is normal."

Don't forget the original version Whitney Houston. Somehow having a high pitched voice and really loud volume counts as being a great singer.

Chris Althouse Cohen said...

She is an excellent singer, not just someone with a passable voice, like the EW article suggests. But the hype is definitely based on the whole setup leading up to her singing and the surprise factor. If she were trying to make it as an opera singer, she wouldn't get very far. But she might be as good as Sarah Brightman, who is extremely popular without being at the level of a real opera singer. The general public connects more with those kinds of singers.

madawaskan said...

Shorter Althouse:

She's No Britney Spears Bitches!

Tibore said...

I'm no expert regarding music. The closest I've come is working in an opera/musical theater venue in college, and that was as a lighting guy. So outside of the criteria "It Sounds Good To Me", I'm unable to truly judge a vocal performer's abilities against any professional standard.

Which is why I was surprised at the following comment regarding Boyle on another forum I frequent. The poster is not a full-time professional either, but she does perform locally in her country, and I've considered said poster to be an expert regarding stage music, even if she's not an out-and-out professional. At any rate:

"I was disappointed by the singing, but that's just because it's not my genre I suppose. Why anyone should be praised for having to hide behind a microphone the size of a giant lollipop I really don't know. Being able to fill a theatre that size unamplified - now that would be worth boasting about. She was OK, but I'm still at a loss to understand the acclaim.

...I suppose it's just back to my elitism, and not understanding this whole definition of "singing" where voice production isn't important and a huge microphone does all the work..."
Here's a link - Boyle critique - but unfortunately, that's a members-only section of this forum, so unless you register, you won't be able to see it. On the other hand, registration doesn't involve much, so there's no risk. But I digress....

My point in highlighting this was to show that I may think she's incredible, but that there are nuances that professionals/experts have noticed that may be more important than what we bystanders realize. From working in an opera/musical house, I know that amplification, while possible, is better avoided if possible, but I don't know much more than that. However, if a person cannot "fill a house" with their singing, it's a red flag.

Now, could Boyle do so with training? I'd love to hear from a vocal coach on that; I don't know myself. But ultimately, the fact that she did need that amplification matters to some. And an experienced person - whether an actual pro or simply someone who performs on a regular basis - raising a red flag is not something to be ignored. That red flag may not end up meaning anything, but I still found it significant that the person raised the objection.

madawaskan said...

Boolyah Britain!

madawaskan said...

In your face you tea drinkin' warblers-

We've got Lindsey Lohan, Fergie..

Ya.

rp said...

I'm not one who cries -- so I was startled to be crying. The link had been sent to me by someone whose husband had died not long ago. I looked over at the lyrics, and realized that this was a song about angry depression that was sung triumphantly -- as if to say, "I feel like shit, I'm mad as hell -- but I'm not apologizing. This is life. I'm surviving. Get used to it." When I listened again the next day, much to my surprise I cried again. Ms Boyle chose a perfect song for connecting with a vast number of everyday people -- and she does connect in an uplifting human way.

mariner said...

Cedarford,

Yes. Exactly.

I hope all those things happen for her.

Tibore said...

Just as an addendum to what I wrote up above:

It's worth noting that, despite what experts and professionals would think, Boyle managed to connect with the audience in a very positive way. Even considering the audience condescension others here have referred to, the fact remains that she still won them over. There might still be some worrisome elements to her performance that experts and professionals might notice, but managing to touch the crowd is not something to be ignored. Maybe it is a touch artificial, given that they were so negative to her appearance at first. Maybe it is a bit contrived. But that connection should be every single bit a consideration as the "red flag" I referred to earlier. She may have needed a mic, but with one, she got a crowd cheering for her. If that quality of being able to connect can be developed and is replicable, it's something that should not be dismissed.

k*thy said...

rp, I did to, just a bit. There will always be cynics, what are ya gonna do? It's a sweet story and she's a sweet gal (she reminds of my mother-in-law - not the voice, but EVERYTHING else).

mcg said...

Oh please. Susan Boyle is a "regular person" only in the sense of the world that drains it of nearly all useful meaning---both good and bad. The sense that refuses to acknowledge the spectrum of humanity out fear of being politically incorrect, instead of celebrating the fact that one can rise above that which holds them back. Do you know, for instance, that she suffered a mild form of brain damage? That she lived with and cared for her mother until her death a couple of years ago? (If only we were all that regular!) And I dare say that any of you who claim to be regular like her would not have walked on that stage with the bumper-sticker-sized BGT credential splayed across your chest.

Susan Boyle's story is interesting precisely to the degree she is not regular.

Kurt said...

Regarding Paul Potts, hadn't he studied voice with Pavarotti? I seem to recall reading that he had.

Regarding John's observation that people like Madonna are famous and those like Susan Boyle and Eva Cassidy are often obscure, while I'm inclined to share his sentiment, I don't think it necessarily indicates that our entertainment industry is broken because there's no objective and systematic way to seek out and identify all the talent that's out there. And even if there were, many talented people might not want to be part of the system.

Ruth said...

I was going to post the link to "Cry Me a River" with her singing, but it has been done here. So I will just say it is a much better rendition than I have heard in a long time. She is up there with the finest blues singers in my book, and my book is long in listening to blues singers. She is a natural and exceptional talent.

Buford Gooch said...

She's not a one trick pony. Unless this is fake, she's even better than what you heard.

http://blogs.nypost.com/popwrap/archives/2009/04/susan_boyle_new_song.html

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Yes she is a natural talent and has a very very good voice and with some vocal training she will be great.....unless they train the natural talent out of her and ruin her ability.

The Cry Me a River link was one of the best renditions that I've heard in a long time.

Does anyone else find it interesting that her strong Scottish accent is gone when singing? Remember Mel Tillis? When speaking he had a very severe stuttering problem that completely disappeared when singing.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

If she were hot with a nice rack, would anyone care? Nope.

I don't need producers from a glorified Gong Show to tell me that I have an inherent bias against ugly people and that I should be "surprised" that ugly people can actually have talent. Offensive.

traditionalguy said...

This broad reminds me the most off Julia Child. Who knew Julia had such good cooking/teaching skills until she opened her mouth. Character strength in a real person is still an fascinating addition to the latest version of the Hottie/Sluttie good time girl that usually wins the most male votes.

Robert Cook said...

A blogger over at OpenSalon has a link to a recording Ms. Boyles made a few years back, singing "Cry Me A River." She does a beautiful job on a better song than the one she performed from Les Miserable.

http://open.salon.com/blog/
leeandra_nolting/2009/04/16/and_her_debut

As to whether Ms. Boyles is a "great" singer, or a good one or just so-so, this is subjective to a degree. One can appraise the technical qualities of a voice, but we must consider also the expressive qualities. Many beloved singers whose voices are very expressive have technically imperfect voices and there are technically perfect singers who convey no real feeling. Billie Holiday might seem quite unimpressive to young people today who are used to the oversized belting that exemplifies so many of the American Idol ilk, yet Holiday's voice is rich with human qualities of joy, sorrow, regret, and so on.

Let's hear more of Ms. Boyles before we are so quick to dismiss her.

John said...

"This broad reminds me the most off Julia Child. Who knew Julia had such good cooking/teaching skills until she opened her mouth. Character strength in a real person is still an fascinating addition to the latest version of the Hottie/Sluttie good time girl that usually wins the most male votes."

Julia Child or the Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network. Whenever I see a fat, homely woman on TV, I always listen to what she has to say because I figure she got on TV because she can actually do something besides show the world her boobs.

This is particularly true of cooking shows. Homely fat women like Paula Dean and the Barefoot Contessa can really cook while Sandra Lee, who is thin, blond and hot as all get out, can't cook her way out of a paper bag.

dick said...

Tibore,

Perhaps you might tell us how she can be broadcast without a microphone. She might very well be able to fill that hall but since this was a television program a microphone was used so that the sound could be carried along with the video. Makes a bit of a difference. I doubt that ever Merman could have been broadcast without a microphone. It just happens that the mic they used was that type.

commenter said...

i don't care what she looks like.

but isn't this kinda like "the author of harry potter book's story".

the thought by young, old, men, woman, that a woman who has never done anything by the age of 45... no matter what she looks like just can't be creative, or employable as much as anything but a washroom attendant?

who would have guessed you can be whoever you want to be no matter if anybody else gives their approval in cheers, tears or lires

(okay i could have said dollars, but sometimes i fashion myself a nursery rhyme artist plus that softspot i have for turkish people)

mcg said...

Wow, honestly I like her "Cry Me A River" recording even better than her BGT performance. Splendid!

mcg said...

Does anyone else find it interesting that her strong Scottish accent is gone when singing? Is it? I watched her CBS interview and I felt her accent was obvious during the singing. That is not a criticism.

commenter said...

plus it's not so much about her size. I don't watch idol but i have seen some videos and this woman is no more plump than some of the younger girls.

And as for young people laughing at her... maybe it was the clothes, but you know maybe it was just their attitude. I have had young people laugh at me on college campus and i am not fat, sometimes i wear frumpy clothes, sometimes i wear a bikini. Lots of times i think they laugh because i try to do things out of my league physically that i probably should just have had a man around for. like these young girls of these young girls who can't dig out their cars out in a snow storm or help push a car that is stuck.

(warning not safe for sensitive ears)
Actually, when i had to lift my moving boxes for the fifth time over the past three years to move, my son came to help. I said to him.

Well, nick, this is the day i get to cuss like a man and take out all my frustration on people with bad words... and if i see one more girl or boy laugh at me that i am carrying my own 40 pound boxes because i am too poor, or cheap or too proud to ask someone else to do my work ... well if i hear that or see that one more time,
do not get made at me when i yell at them that they, fully naked, couldn't even lift their boyfrriend's dick on a friday night.


my son said, mom i didn't need to hear that from you, then we both burst out laughing. he said, you know, mom, I am going to use that joke sometime.. i said of course, why would i have given it to him.

love him.

John said...

Commenter,

You sound like a great broad.

madawaskan said...

commenter-
(warning not safe for sensitive ears)Thanks for the heads up, so to speak.

oy.

mcg said...

OK, OK, I give. Susan Boyle is a regular person. At least, she is compared to some of these folks. (NSFW for language in large type.)

commenter said...

john, there's a word for guys like you, but

I'll keep it to myself.

anyway

there's a phase for you, me, us, and them?

"la pelle se moque du fourgon" Do the french say:
the spade makes fun with or of the poker).

madawaskan said...

mcg-

It's ZPS's "crowd"!!!1!

John said...

"john, there's a word for guys like you, but

I'll keep it to myself."

Pay a woman a compliment and this is the thanks you get.

Quayle said...

Heard this one?

jeff said...

Hmmm. Youtube is blocked at work, but the guys on the radio this morning played the clip. I thought she sounded incredible. Now that Adam Markovitz has set me straight and let me know she can only "carry a tune" I realize I was patronizing her because of her physical appearance on the radio.
Thanks for clearing that up for me.

Tibore said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tibore said...

" dick said...
Tibore,

Perhaps you might tell us how she can be broadcast without a microphone. She might very well be able to fill that hall but since this was a television program a microphone was used so that the sound could be carried along with the video. Makes a bit of a difference. I doubt that ever Merman could have been broadcast without a microphone. It just happens that the mic they used was that type."


All right. I'll accept that I described the criticism incorrectly. Please read the excerpt I reprinted from that other forum I'm in: That person's point was that amplification was used for her voice within the venue itself, not just for broadcast. The critique was not necessarily just the use of the mic in and of itself, but rather that she had amplifier help to sing to the in-house audience.

Operas and other stage performances are miked for broadcast too, but the intent in those cases is not to aid the singer. Rather, it is to get the performance in a form that can be transmitted. As I read that other poster I quoted above, that contrasts with Boyle's performance, where the voice was carried to the audience primarily through the amplification. Her (the critic's) point was that she (Boyle) had electronic assistance to get her voice across the audience, nevermind that she also needed the microphone in order to have it broadcast to TV viewers. That's the basis of the critique. In order to address that critique on the terms it was presented in, you'd have to answer the point of whether her voice projection was an issue or not. This person I'm quoting obviously believes it is. As for me myself, I don't know. Personally, I think it's a non-issue if she is only a recording artist, but I'm no producer, sound engineer, or music industry professional. Someone may take issue. Yes, I realize that many singers don't even try to perform unamplified, and I'm hard pressed to think of any current pop star who even thinks about it. But, my point was that professionals and experts might notice elements of a performance that we in the hoi-polloi do not, and while it may not bug you or me, the fact that amplification was used might bother someone else. As it clearly did for the person I quoted.

Sorry to be so pedantic, but I wanted to make sure I was clear this time. Does that help any?

cassandra lite said...

Ten years ago a 35-year-old high school teacher and coach who'd long ago wanted to be a major-league pitcher suddenly (and briefly) did indeed realize his dream. Was Jim Morris a great pitcher? No. But to compare him to Sandy Koufax completely misses the point, just as pooh-poohing Susan Boyle's talent, vis-a-vis Patti Lupone, for example, misses the point. Ms. Lupone, who until now owned that song, realized her lifelong dream early in life, while Susan Boyle lived a life of quiet desperation, a prisoner of her circumstances (taking care of an elderly parent) and unfortunate looks. Everyone who's not bowled over by this story, regardless of whether we've just witnessed the second coming of Ella Fitzgerald, should check for a pulse. Not for nothing was there a book and movie about Jim Morris. I predict the same for Susan Boyle.

Chip Ahoy said...

Your varied opinions bewilder me.

I found Susan Boyle's voice fantastic the moment she started singing and she just kept getting better. When she ran through the register and hit each note cleanly, clearly, strongly and beautifully and then held her voice at cresendo whith the same strength and clarity she started I was physically affected. Where affected means peed myself and gasped.

What surprises me about so much of the rest of Britain's Got Talent is how much of it is unabashedly derived from American sources. I watched four clips of Suleman and his partner imitate Michael Jackson's videos. They cheered Suleman as if he had invented Jackson's trademarked moves complete with wardrobe. Their excellence lay entirely in how well they imitate with adaption but without elaboration.

A dance group named Flawless performed choreographed NYC and LA street moves developed further in American clubs and picked up by American cable networks shows developed specifically to showcase them. 100% derived. Yet the audience responded as if that grew straight out of British dance studios.

As these videos clips play on YouTube you get glimpses of other act, a guy imitating Buddy Holly, another man is booed off the stage for a poor imitation of Gene Kelly and many other examples of American jazz, soul, rap, rock, Broadway show tunes, US movie inspiration.

Yes, Britain's got talent, a superabundance of it. I'm impressed with how much disproportinate talent arises from that little island, Paul Potts, Andrew Johnston, and Connie Talbot to name but three from that show, but I'm also impressed with how much flow there is from the US to Britain that they're slow or loathe to acknowledge.

PJ said...

I think CAC has it about right concerning Susan's voice -- not opera-quality but plenty good enough to be a top-drawer popular singer. I also agree with him that the popularity of the YouTube video is in large part based on the surprise factor, but I think the surprise factor is hype-worthy. Yes, there was undoubtedly some manipulation going on by the TV producers, but I didn't see any evidence that it extended to holding up "applause" signs right after the singing started. To all appearances, Boyle had a house and a judging panel who were (perhaps due in part to said manipulation) genuinely expecting epic fail and already engaging in preliminary mockery, and she turned them completely around in just a few seconds. That was something to behold, even apart from the fine vocal performance.

Professor, please reconsider.

Alex said...

How dare Ms. Boyle afflict us with her ugly looks and working class background! I'm sure Titus would be offended with his worshipfulness of great looks.

Thomas said...

Yes, it's worth all the fuss. Please, fuss about this woman.

I watched it, more than once. And I found it quite moving. I thought she'd been brought out to be made fun of, and perhaps she was, and the audience was playing along. But she sang very well, and the reaction from the audience was part of what I enjoyed.

It's a really wonderful story. All of us are a little bit of that audience--both too quick too judge by appearances, and too forgiving perhaps when the appearances aren't the whole story. But I hope I can be a bit like Ms Boyle, and follow a dream for a lifetime, despite no one else believing in it, and have it come true. That's what was most moving for me, and inspiring.

rhhardin said...

This broad reminds me the most of Julia Child

Today we'll prepare dewlaps.

Daryl said...

I went in with certain expectations, and was completely surprised. In the end, I learned something, which is to keep and open mind. Just because you expect something to happen doesn't meant that it will happen.

What I'm saying is, I never thought I'd read a post by Cedarford that didn't blame Jewish people for something.

blake said...

I wasn't surprised, but perhaps that's because I'm not cynical enough. Would they really bring out an earnest 47-year-old woman to mock? Maybe they would. So she had to be competent, I figured. (Please, don't disabuse me of this notion.)

I wasn't blown away by the voice, but I did find myself listening to the whole song.

I think it's kind of a weak song, and her voice vanished in the lower registers, maybe because of the production. (I don't think I agree with Tibore's critic about her voice, but then I don't watch these shows. Don't they do that with everyone? If she's singing in pubs, my guess is she can fill a room.)

So I think she has talent. I thinks he was nervous, and a little rough, but she connects emotionally. (And at least in my case, not due to her looks; there were plenty of goofy looking talented people in music school.)

Here's a sample of a 20 year vet singing the same song. You might quibble with the dramatic-ness of the performance, but it's clearly an artistic choice, the talent's well polished.

Anyway, I hope Boyle gets her chance. I'm allowed to be pleased that she will.

Dody Jane said...

It is just a nice uplifting story. What does it hurt to be nice about it? She is sweet - I thought it was very moving. I suppose I am a pushover. My mother was a voice teacher. It's true - she has raw talent. If she had training, she would be even better.

mrs whatsit said...

John said, "Eva Cassidy was an ordinary bar singer in the WAshington DC area. She made a couple of homemade CDs and sadly died of cancer in her early 30s before many people had heard of her. She is wonderful."

John, listening to Susan Boyle, I too thought of Eva Cassidy. If you listen to the "Cry Me a River" link, there's a similarity in their voices -- to some degree, the rich tone, but even more the emotional transparency combined with natural musicality. I hope Susan's story has a happier ending, though.

Interestingly, Britain made both of them famous. Eva Cassidy was from the Washington, D.C. area, but it wasn't until years after she died, when some British TV station played a video of her "Over the Rainbow", that she rocketed to a grass-roots kind of fame comparable to Boyle's.

Beau said...

Awww Althouse and Adam Markovitz. Just go with the British concert hall thing. It's Vera Lynn singing 'We'll Meet Again'. It's a laff, it's your chance to shine, and the audience, even Ms. Mascara Eyes, is there for the fun of it with the hope that a genuine talent will be discovered. The big deal for many of the contestants is if they win they get to perform in front of the HRH. Sometimes, I think it's an small island nation thing as well as a Brit thing. It's a giggle.

Scroll down the Youtube site for the same competition to the Greek Dance. If you've ever since a Michael Flatley/Riverdance performance, this dad and his son just hit it nicely. The fun thing is not only have they pwnd the Riverdance thing, they've put the time and practice in for a decent 'stepping' performance.

...and besides it's Simon's favorite ever dance routine. Simon C is a brilliant entrepreneur when it comes to entertainment. He just knows what appeals to people in a pretty basic way.

Beau said...

Blake: Can you repost the link. The current one doesn't work.

blake said...

That's weird. Clicked through to test it and everything.

Let me try again.

If it doesn't work, you can cut-and-paste. (Testing. Nope doesn't look like it's working. Weird.)

Google. But this works.

OK, cut-and-paste. Susan Egan singing the same song.

http://www.amazon.com/I-Dreamed-a-Dream/dp/B00129ED9M

Beau said...

Thanks Blake- nice rendition.

madawaskan said...

Actually I've never heard the song before and I went on youtube to hear different artists versions.

Susan Boyle does it more authentically , less contrived.

I hope they don't "train" her.

memomachine said...

Hmmm.

@ Tibore

"Sorry to be so pedantic, but I wanted to make sure I was clear this time. Does that help any?"

1. Frankly I'd guess that the microphone was required by the show. This isn't a show setup specifically for her, it's a generalized talent show. Even if you're the best singer in the world when you show up to one of these they hand you a microphone.

Why? It's how the sound is set up.

2. IMO I thought she was great. Perhaps a professional singing coach would develop the voice further, I have no argument with that. But ordinary it wasn't.

3. YouTube.com isn't precisely the greatest method of presenting a singer. It's video, not audio, and with a lot of compression involved to reduce the video size.

4. The "Cry me a river" song is much more representative since it's an audio file and not a video file.

Perhaps the issue for some here is that it was a video file on YouTube and not a CD quality audio recording. In which case I'd suggest holding off on your personal assessment until more recordings are available.

Also I have to point out that not every stage is suitable for an unassisted voice. Some stages are totally dead and not the best singer screaming at the top of her lungs could be heard.

Seneca the Younger said...

Does anyone else find it interesting that her strong Scottish accent is gone when singing? Is it? I watched her CBS interview and I felt her accent was obvious during the singing. That is not a criticism.That's actually not at all unusual. Singing uses a different part of the brain than speaking; people who stutter often are fluent singers as well. And consider Joss Stone: speaks Devonshire, sings Mississippi.

Joe said...

Am I the only who utterly detests Patti LuPone's version of this song?

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Crack Emcee said...

I think I know a thing or two about music (I've argued about it on this blog, made a few recordings myself, and dissed Ann's obsession with American idol's mediocre offerings) and I think Susan Boyle is going to win - she's "the real thing". We knew she was special when she first opened her mouth, not having to wait for her to do something "spectacular" to prove it. She has a big voice, control, and the emotional range to convey a song honestly.

That wannabe Mariah Carey shit on AI is trite, and awful, and it took a Susan Boyle to show the difference.

Something I find fascinating is how Ann conveys a nice veneer, but underneath it all she's a cynic, regularly defending wrong - AKA a typical liberal - and people love her for it. On my blog, I spit venom at such nonsense (defending the good) and people despise me - all the while complaining that shit's going to hell - like constantly defending, and admiring, the wrong things doesn't initiate life's "Garbage In/Garbage Out" rule. I see the same thing with Rush Limbaugh:

We all agree the media sucks. Rush attacks it, getting Rush portrayed as the bad guy - and, thus, the media is allowed to continue doing what we know is wrong.

This trying to appear non-judgmental shit is just that: A bunch of shit. And it's allowed our culture to degrade to the level of the jungle.

I thank goodness real people, like Susan Boyle, exist.

We'll show you yet.

vnjagvet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vnjagvet said...

It is hard enough to sing in front of a large audience, carry a tune, stay on pitch and give proper expression to the words and music. But to do this on an international broadcast in front of an audience predisposed to see you fail, exhibit a pleasant but confident presence, not miss a note, and keep the audience's attention while commanding the stage is even harder.

She reminded me of some of those great vaudeville performers like Sophie Tucker and Fannie Bryce and Ethel Merman. They were physically unattractive but as soon as they opened their mouth to sing, that was forgotten.

Ms. Boyle would do well cast in a Broadway musical l(e.g as Mame, Dolly Levi in Hello Dolly, or the stage mother in Gypsy. I predict the first producer who engages her for such a role will not be sorry.

Mark Daniels said...

Here's the point: Sexism and ageism prevail in show business to such an extent that, quite apart from looks, anybody "of a certain age" who hasn't already made it is deemed worthy of the sort of dismissal to which Susan Boyle was subjected until she started to sing. I was sort of amazed that she was even allowed to compete in 'Britain's Got Talent' because, as I understand it, at least prior to this year, contestants on Cowell's 'American Idol' can't be over age 25.

Susan Boyle shattered two glass floors.

vnjagvet said...

Here's another way to look at it:

On Broadway, or the London musical stage, Susan Boyle can do anything Carol Channing, Angela Lansbury, Lauren Bacall or Rosalyn Russell could do when they were 47 or older.

Mark Daniels said...

I just checked. American Idol rules say you must be aged 16 to 29. That fits the biases of much of show business and I'm happy to have seen a 47 year old woman get a shot.

Zach said...

I liked the voice, but I found the enthusiastic audience response and the note of triumph jarringly out of line with the emotions of the song.

Lyrics:
There was a time when men were kind
When their voices were soft
And their words inviting
There was a time when love was blind
And the world was a song
And the song was exciting
There was a time
Then it all went wrong

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
And they turn your dream to shame

He slept a summer by my side
He filled my days with endless wonder
He took my childhood in his stride
But he was gone when autumn came

And still I dream he'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I'm living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.
That's just not a triumphantly cheerful song.

peter hoh said...

Daryl at 5:27 for the win.

dick said...

Tibore,

Not, doesn't address the point. Your source was complaining that she was miked to get across to the venue. How does she know that it was necessary to mike her. I would imagine that it is just standard procedure with auditions to mike the performer that way. Unless your source can demonstrate that Susan could not fill the hall and had to be miked then I think it is just a "look at me, I'm and expert" statement without a basis and there are a lot of those people around who take pleasure in dissing others. That was what I was talking about.

A woman comes to an audition with a tape just as the others did. They use a one size fits all method of miking the performer. Since most of the performers would require miking to fill the hall that is the default. That was my point.

Beau said...

as I understand it, at least prior to this year, contestants on Cowell's 'American Idol' can't be over age 25.

There are no rules to BGT. Any age, any talent.

kentuckyliz said...

Is the AI age range a new rule?

Wasn't there a grey haired guy who was a winner or contender in recent years? Hicks? IIRC

He had to be at least 30 or 40 something.

Jason said...

The raw talent is extraordinary. I think there's no doubt about that. I was also impressed by the emotional range between Cry Me a River and the song she sang on BGT.

She hasn't yet tapped the talent she has. I suspect she can be much, much better.

The Le Miz song was probably not the right song to showcase her talent. As someone here mentioned, her voice vanishes in the low registers. This song has a lot of riches to be mined in those parts, and as a listener and musician, I'm always more interested in what a singer or musician does in the low registers and quiet moments than in the crescendos.

All singers crescendo alike. Especially on talent shows.

I think she could get a good deal more power out of her lower range, with some training. She uses her 'head voice' a lot, but she's not harnessing her abdominal power to push those notes through.

She tends to sing on the sharp side of the note. That's not a terrible thing in some instances. A lot of singers do it. It can help you stand out from an ensemble. Concert violinists will tune to A = 442 instead of 440 for this reason. It gives you a bit of sparkle.

But she should be aware of what she's doing.

If I were coaching her, I'd work to develop the ear just a bit to rein in her tendency to go sharp, wean her away from relying exclusively on her head voice, in order to give her some gas in the low registers. I'd look for material that better matches her range. (I think she might have some headroom left on the top. We haven't heard her full range on the topside yet.)

I'd also encourage her to depart a bit more from the usual Broadway sound. All those folks use the same vibrato, they use their head voice too much, and they all sound alike these days.

Back before contact mikes, you couldn't get away with the headvoice. You had to reach the floor mic, or no mic at all. The head voice didn't cut it. Singers had to nail it from the diaphram.

Then came the contact mics, and weaker singers could get bigger roles. In Ethel Merman's day, some of these people would still be in the chorus.

In baseball terms, she' a good AA ball, with a good fastball. A coach needs to help her get the ball over the plate, and teach her a big league slider.

Pogo said...

I have never watched AI or BGT. Not one show. Not my thing, I guess.

The negative notes about her are along the line of her merely being a bear that can dance; the surprsie is in dancing at all, not dancing well.

But I found her very sweet. She had a good story, having a bit of the heroic, and people reacted to that

I must be getting old, because she made me teary. It reminded me of the movie Little Voice, with Michael Caine and Ewan McGregor .

rhhardin said...

I favor anomymous talent myself.

Life's goal should be one good line sometime that gets taken up by somebody more famous and changes the nation.

That way you avoid the hassle.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tennessee One-L said...

C'mon Althouse, don't be such a kill joy. Sure, the performance on the show wasn't "perfect," but the woman is obviously talented and has the passion and confidence to go out there and belt out a tune.

Yes, the judges and audience were patronizing and rude at first (which is why I don't watch those talent shows), but I think the global response is more about how inspirational Boyle's story is than it is just about the morbid juxtaposition of watching an "ugly" woman with a pretty voice. I could be wrong, but whatever. I think she's wonderful.

I listened to Boyle's "Cry Me a River" recording yesterday and it was beautiful, sultry and heartbreaking. Just like the blues should be.

I think I'll listen to it again right now....

commenter said...

althouse,

it's kinda like how everyone admires your photography. Isn't it?

Personally photography for me gets boring if it's just photos. There has to be some depth some encompassing width, and some breadth of knowledge, but what sometimes is lacking perceptive depth.

Most important placement and movement.
always remember, and i keep on telling you;

How do you judge your own photography on that scale?

I keep telling you:
pitch / bank / heading or also referred to as roll-pitch- yaw

blogging cockroach said...

sheesh
everyone s a critic
some know more than others
some are completely insane
some write well
some don t
i bet susan boyle is
paying a lot of attention
all the way to the bank

F15C said...

I dated a former Miss Nevada runner-up (yes being a fighter pilot had its upsides...) that could sing like I've never heard before or since.

On our fourth date we went to an out of the way upscale restaurant in Las Vegas. The manager came over to her at the end of our dinner and asked (to my surprise) if she would sing a song with the band. He said he recognized her from the Miss Nevada pageant.

She asked if I minded then got up and performed Patsy Cline's 'Crazy' with no microphone and acoustic guitar, bass and piano backing her.

The entire restaurant was stunned from the first couple of notes. As pretty as she was, no one expected that voice. The richness and tone that filled that room had to be heard to be believed.

I still get goose pimples thinking about her (the singing too...).

The audience kept her up there for several more songs and she then received a very well deserved standing ovation.

Point? Well, no point, but this Susan Boyle thing kinda reminded me of her because there is so much real talent in any given group of day-to-day people than we get to hear from the likes of AI and the so-called entertainment industry.

rhhardin said...

I had a girlfriend who was in a conservatory majoring in voice.

The style of singing set my ears cringing. No love was evident of the melody or the accompaniment. There's no doubt she could be heard in the back rows of any venue, however; and she was on pitch exactly.

Then there are people who like that, I guess.

Give me an untrained singer with a precise ear for pitch and musicality every time.

The voice is just another instrument among the many playing.

Jason said...

Vocal fans,

Here's a friend of mine, and one of my favorite singers anywhere: Alexis Cole.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPCuKMT7dE0

Also, a new addition to the Army family. She's shortly to become the lead vocalist for the West Point jazz ensemble.

Let's see if she can turn Hoo-ah into a scat syllable!

rhhardin said...

If you want a nice Cole song, try Beccy Cole YouTube.

Jason said...

Heh.

I'll see your Susan Boyle, and raise you this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTv9m8c6hnw

Jen said...

You're not alone. It is strange to say I did not feel compelled to think Ms. Boyle's voice was sensational to me after seeing her BGT performance on YouTube and on TV, and then her Larry King, et al performances. They all seemed okay, but I've heard others just as or some more talented vocally than Ms. Boyle, and many of those local talents also did not have any formal training.

I think the whole thing that makes it so incredible is the staging of Ms. Boyle. A simple, backcountry someone who wanted to be more, with a couple of "insurmountable" challenges thrown in. That's all great, but her performance was not earth-shattering in as much as the auditorium's response was. If she were performing to a dead crowd, as many venues tend to be, there would have been little issue with her attire and presence, and even less with her vocal performance, and a polite clap at the end. This was a hyped up crowd. It was all staged.

The producers of BGT knew what they were doing when prepping Ms. Boyle, her musical selection, and enhancing her performance. The song from Les Miz was almost a perfect complement to her past challenges in life, her yearn to live a dream, and her appearance echoed the "poor one" sentiment. Ms. Boyle was playing the perfect role in BGT, complete with downcast looks and earthy colored dress. It's all a role. And, it worked like a charm.

She could have worn a brighter colored or even a darker colored dress, which would have given her a more commanding look on stage. She could have looked more "professional" and put together, but no, that was not the effect she needed. Sometimes it is not just the ability to sing on key, but the ability to tell a story that makes for something to appeal to the masses.

Yet, I am not all that impressed. Maybe because I was expecting more. I was expecting a lot more emotion in her face (especially with those wonderful, expressionful eyebrows), but I didn't see it, even though everyone has touted it. I was expecting more vocal inflection to echo the emotional swings in the song, but I guess I didn't hear them. I guess I was expecting more because everyone said there was more, but I guess I didn't hear it.

BTW, I did hear her rendition of Cry Me A River, and it was better, but still... Is that the best of Britain? Hopefully the best is yet to come...

fav.or.it said...

Adam, you are a jerk. Susan Boyle is sensational. One does not have to be a made-up beauty to have talent and Susan has it in abundance. She taught us all a lesson regarding being judgmental (except, perhaps for you)and she will be a recording success.

sent from: fav.or.it

mrcrabbby said...

I'm a musician. Take it from me, Susan Boyle is one of a million good singers. Nothing great. Nothing special. You are exactly right that she is only a big deal in that (actually) condescending way that is the result of people's first impression (based on her looks).

There are SO MANY more deserving talents that Ms. Boyle -- both pretty and not. People are just behaving like lemmings on this story. Puh-lease. Settle down!