Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Top 5 Female Vocalists

I'm a bit of an addict when it comes to talking about music. Too many of my friends get stuck driving somewhere with me, a song comes on, the volume goes up, and I start prattling off random facts about the singer, the bassist, the band as a whole, what the song's about, which member wrote it, why they wrote it, when they wrote it, the backlash that came after they wrote it... Anyway. I'm a bit of an addict when it comes to talking about music. I also find it very therapeutic to write, so it is for these reasons that I'm writing my second entry in one day. Within 20 minutes of each other. I find that a little sad, to be honest. So uh, yeah. Top 5 Female Vocalists.

5. Juliette Lewis

It could just be because I am completely infatuated with this woman, but Juliette Lewis has a voice to fall in love with. Well, if you like girl punk, anyway. It's dry, it's soft, it's flexible, and she does whatever she wants with it. In fact, I'm going to post two songs so you can compare.

"Death of a Whore" has the pop punk element of J.a.t.L that we all know and love, with her brash and pretty much off-key verses, slipping into an innocent-sounding and still off-key chorus, ending with screamed expletives before a childlike prayer to god. Aaaaand then there's "Come Rain or Come Shine". Imagine sitting in a jazz bar. You're sipping whiskey, you're wearing a suit. Maybe a fedora. She's wearing a beautiful dress and singing this song. There is no possible way that you could listen to her, and NOT want to take her home afterwards. It's just going to happen.

4. Amy Winehouse

Okay, so she's a bit of a train wreck, she's ugly as sin and I'm pretty sure that if you get within 2 feet of her you'll catch the clap. But this chick can sing.

I had a very judgemental view of Amy Winehouse before I really listened to her stuff, simply from the way she was painted in the media, but I bought an album and listened to it over and over, determined to find out why she was so popular, and I found the reason: because she's talented. Simple truth. Even her live songs are unbelievable; she has a real voice, suited perfectly to the music she sings and even though sometimes her lyrics are ambiguous and don't seem to make sense (what does Roger Moore have to do with being torn down...?) they are, for the most part, sensitive and well written. Alarmingly so for a crack addict.

3. Amanda Palmer (of Dresden Dolls)

My love affair with Dresden Dolls was a whirlwind romance, starting the moment I heard this song.

What I love about Amanda's voice is how well it fits her genre. Caberet punk is severely underrated. Couldn't really imagine Dresden Dolls performing with a voice like Juliette's, and can't imagine Amanda's voice paired with any other type of music. They suit each other. They found each other.

2. Grace Slick (of Jefferson Airplane)

Too many reasons to love Grace Slick. For one, her name is Grace Slick. It just oozes sex appeal. Her lyrics are inspired and witty, her vocals are intense and she's ... she's fucking amazing, alright? She just is. She's GRACE. SLICK.

1. Patti Smith

I have a mega crush on Patti Smith. She's not particularly talented, let's be honest. But she's a poet, she's an artist. She's got a mesmerizing, scintillating personality which shines through her words. Her songs are an adventure. And she's a kick-ass woman.

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