I expected a lot more from Dave LaChapelle though. You got him to do your video and you just stand in a room in a black dress? I guess there’s some small genius there. This is the guy who’s spent half of his career making Amanda Lepore look fabulous, so this probably was the best choice for Mariah at this point.
All shade aside though, she looks and sounds fabulous. I’m finally looking forward to a new album. Good job, Mimi. Now don’t fuck it up.
Things you didn’t expect this year: Nelly would go completely pop-country.
Nelly “Hey Porsche”
I don’t recommend reading the Youtube comments on this clip because, as usual, it’s full of 15-year-old idiots saying “this is gay,” but the general consensus is that Nelly must have lost his mind for doing this. Is it really that much of a stretch though? He is from Missouri and if you really listen to his first singles like “Ride With Me” there’s a definite twang hidden under there. Plus, his best song this millennium has Tim McGraw on the hook. If he wants to go headlong into country, I really have no problems with it.
My only problem is this is some hot ass garbage. GARBAGE Y’ALL. Nelly is a 40 year old, grown-ass, rich black man. This song sounds straight outta the White Disney Children pipeline. He must be trolling with this. I refuse to believe he made this with any modicum of actual seriousness. I kept waiting for the boyband moves that never came because this is 100% ridiculous.
Luckily, not everybody in music has taken leave of their senses and some actual good things came out recently. Let’s talk about Mariah Carey, Bobby Valentino & K. Michelle, Coheed and Cambria, Paleface, Lulu James, Emma Hewitt, Grizzly Bear, Big Boi, Miranda Lambert, and my fabulous friend Lea Lorien.
I made this little graphic to help you out. Click it for the fullsize version.
I’ll explain it later, but first the backstory.
I was hanging out with this guy who was trying to argue me up down and sideways that Adele is an amazing singer. I’ma tell you why she’s so popular: she has a great big black lady voice and she’s white. The End. Everything she’s doing is done a million times over every Sunday by the church ladies at New Bethel AME Zion Church of Christ Under an Elm Tree By The River. Still, she has a great tone to her voice that you can’t teach. She’s just born with that and she has a great voice. That doesn’t make her a great singer.
A great singer has great ears. All of the runs and melisma are possible because they have a great sense of pitch. They can hear the chords and sing all around, inside, and through them. Those interesting vocal runs just come out because they have great ears. On top of that, with vocal coaching and/or practice they can really hone their craft and do some amazing things.
A great voice is born, not made. You’re either born with a beautiful sound coming out of your mouth, or you’re not.
So I got bored watching the Walking Dead and made a little graphic. Left to right ranks great singing ability with the best being on the right. Bottom to top ranks great voices with the best being near the top. I graded everyone by Whitney Houston who, hands-down, had the best combination of natural-born-tone and exception singing ability.
I was reliving that woman’s greatness all week, trying to wash “Triumphant” out of my brain and it just isn’t working. I can’t believe she wrote that and said “Yes, this is a great song/lead single.” This is the same woman who wrote “Always Be My Baby” aka Stalker Anthem Of The Century? Can’t be.
(I can’t wait to see her American Idol outfits though…I already know she’s gonna look every kind of bedazzled Strawberry/Citi Trendz/Rainbow.)
I’ve pretty much been listening to Mariah Carey nonstop since that awful “Triumphant” video came out, reliving memories of greatness, mourning the music of the future that could have been.
I mean, look at this. Mariah can pretty much still hit all of these notes, but she’s too busy trynna play the Round The Way Chick to just sing a well-written song. And Michael Walden Narada could write the hell out of a song back then. Lisa Fischer “How Can I Ease the Pain” will always be his masterpiece, but Narada was doing Whitney, Aretha, Tevin Campbell, Regina Belle, and everybody else in the early 90s.
Matter of fact…I’m bout to go make a Michael Walden Narada playlist. Excuse me for a minute…