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  1. #1
    New Carrie Fan DaveCarrieFan's Avatar
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    Carrie Underwood VS. Most Modern Singers - by Dave Smith

    I just saw Carrie Underwood for the second time last night at Chicago's Ravinia, (Pavilion seat 9-4-11) which is actually in Highland Park, IL. There is something about a great female singer that just grabs my heart and holds it nice and snug. She has a four octave, range, and a sense of pitch that is close to perfect, along with a flawless vibrato, which is becoming a lost art with many modern singers. I was raised on the Beach Boys, and in the studio, with it’s tricks, they were always PERFECT. I think because of that, I am extremely sensitive to pitch variation. I can detect if a singer is off key in one single 1/16 note. The vibrato is that kind of quivery sound, where the singer actually varies the amplitude, just by a smidgen, which makes it sound so perfectly in tune, and gives it the TONE. A lot of singers don’t bother with it anymore, and without it, the lesser ones sound dry, and off key. A classic singer like Carrie, holds the note for a couple seconds, THEN kicks the vibrato in, and when I hear somebody do it as well as she does, it would be the perfect time for me to pass on in to the afterlife. There is something else about her singing which may sound subjective on my part, but I don’t think it is: She sings right from her guts. Country Music has a high percentage of great singers, and everybody has a story to tell. In Carrie’s case, when she sings, "Jesus Take The Wheel" or "Change," I get embarrassingly misty eyed. On, "American Idol: Idol Gives Back," She sang, "Change" and when I first saw her do it, I TOTALLY lost it. She is a true believer in the lyrics of those songs, and backs it all up with her religion, actions, and her actual philanthropy. She is TRUE A-list. She starts the concert on time, with no extra entourage, drama, or embarrassing press.

    She has no bad vocal habits......NONE. She avoids the number one, muddy, modern pitfall of singers altogether: There is this thing that so many of them do, and while many of them such as Christina Aguilera (other than her recent bomb of the National Anthem) are very good at it, the ones who are not very good at it WRECK every song that they sing. It is called, "melisma." It is when the singer tries to take one syllable, of one word and make 16 different notes out of it. An example would be the, "National Anthem" and the phrase, "...rockets red glare." Imagine the singer holding out the word, "glare" and with that one word, trying to hit from 6 to 16 notes on the scale. That is EXTREMELY hard to do while remaining on key. This is because when one takes one note and divides it all up, there is very little time to get any one of the divided notes right in the first place. That is the point where their song becomes a train wreck. Many modern singers go right in to that when they start singing, and do not get the fundamentals down first. It is driven by pure ego, as if the singer is saying, "Listen to what I can do!" It is like a guitar player trying to outplay George Benson with a very fast lead, without making sure that their fingertips hold every note down on the fret board without muting them. I LOVE American Idol, but so many times I wish the judges would tell the lesser singers to knock it off, and get the song down FIRST. I’ve heard a LOT of singers on that show who have a great, natural tone but they get caught up in to that, because many of the others do. The highway of wannabe singers and their broken dreams is littered with the people who wanted to, "show off" their vocal talents. They needed a vocal instructor to tell them to learn how to sing first, before trying melisma, which is what Christina Aguilera, Beyoncé, and Joss Stone are so good at.
    So......on the Men’s side......who would be her equivalent? LOL Can you pronounce, Bublé?
    Last edited by DaveCarrieFan; 12-25-2015 at 12:52 AM. Reason: Re-Write

  • #2
    Ultimate Carrie Fan Smokyiiis's Avatar
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    Wow, I haven't read anything better in ages! Thanks and I hope you've posted this all over the internet!

  • #3
    Carrie Fans Maniac robinannhunt's Avatar
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    That was well written.

  • #4
    Carrie Guru rainbow1's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for your excellent post! I learned something! Please post more!!

  • #5
    Carrie Guru pklongbeach's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for posting.
    Only thing I would add is that melisma is also often used by singers (and I use that term loosely) that have a hard time actually staying on pitch and the constant movement misleads the listener away from the fact that they are not "on pitch" in the first place.
    That is one main reason it is used so often by novice singers.
    The other reason is that it hides the fact that there are many singers who don't have a particularly attractive sounding tone to their voice. And as long as the voice keeps moving from note to note you don't have time to notice that the tone is not that appealing.
    In Carries case, it is actually that tone while holding a note steady that "is" so appealing.
    And the writer is right to say, there are not many singers anymore where that is true.

  • #6
    Carrie Guru
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveCarrieFan View Post
    IIn Carrie’s case, when she sings, "Jesus Take The Wheel" or "Change," I get embarrassingly misty eyed. On, "American Idol: Idol Gives Back," She sang, "Change" and when I first saw her do it, I TOTALLY lost it. She is a true believer in the lyrics of those songs, and backs it all up with actions, and her actual philanthropy.
    Have you seen her performance from CNN Heroes?


  • #7
    Insane Carrie Fan Gator's Avatar
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    That is one of my favorite Carrie performances (but, again, there are many!)!!

  • #8
    Obsessed Carrie Fan dreamer11's Avatar
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    Wow! Nice post

  • #9
    Obsessed Carrie Fan Cathie Wynkoop's Avatar
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    Excellent post!!! Thanks for sharing!

    I am no expert on music, but I know a great vocalist when I hear one, and Carrie is a GREAT vocalist!

  • #10
    Carrie Guru Carrie_Rocks_The_House's Avatar
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    That's a really good review

  • #11
    Obsessed Carrie Fan conorlovescarrie:)'s Avatar
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    That was a really great post

  • #12
    Obsessed Carrie Fan carrieismy1idol's Avatar
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    Great Review Very Well Written

  • #13
    Carrie Guru pklongbeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by opry051008 View Post
    Have you seen her performance from CNN Heroes?

    OF course, one of my all time faves.

  • #14
    Insane Carrie Fan utlovescarrie's Avatar
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    That was a well thought out, factually solid review. LOVED IT!

    Can't wait to see what Carrie does with her NEW songs!

  • #15
    Obsessed Carrie Fan mlawlor's Avatar
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    Good review!

    I actually hadn't watched the CNN Change video in a while, but when I did, I noticed how in the video, Carrie gets really emotional here, much like the Foxwoods Temporary Home performance. This type of emotion while performing sets Carrie apart from many other artists.

  • #16
    Obsessed Carrie Fan 12russ79's Avatar
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    Thanks Dave that was greatBut heres the bad news.... You make way to much sence to be hired as a crtic im afraid

  • #17
    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    Really good - I especially liked the technical details (which some reviewers seldom give her credit for).

    I'd like to know if this is part of an article, or a personal post by Dave (if the latter, I hope he lets us know if he'd be kind enough to allow those details to be quoted - they could help to win support in a few arguments!)

  • #18
    Insane Carrie Fan
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    Quote Originally Posted by pklongbeach View Post
    OF course, one of my all time faves.
    Thats one of my favorite performances of Change also - she is so great that I get emotional just watching her - no one else reaches me like she can. Is that an entertainer or is that an entertainer!!! She is one of the best!!!

  • #19
    New Carrie Fan DaveCarrieFan's Avatar
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    Smile My YT chan, and Carrie recordings

    Here are my Carrie videos from my YT site. Thank you so much everybody! I can’t find the reply notification, so I didn’t think anybody even answered it. I just started thinking about the concert, and told myself I have to write something on her behalf. I call it my Carrie op-ed piece. LOL If anybody wants to quote me, that’s fine, and that was a true compliment.

    ANYWAY...... here are links to my YouTube site. If they don’t work, go to YT and type in, one word, “Davethreshold” In it you’ll find 6 performances that I recorded, and THIS, which is Carrie’s, “Change.” It is absolutely AMAZING, done by Fox’s “Idol Gives Back.” It is the one that I referred to, which made a WRECK out of me. LOL On that note, Fox, through American Idol, really DOES give back! I wish I was rich, because I would give her a check starting with 36 and a whole bunch of zeros!
    Take your time, and click around on the vids. There are about ten Carrie ones on it. You have to make sure that you don’t get derailed to other people’s Carrie stuff, which you can check out later. Many of their concert recordings are much better than mine anyway

    Once again, thank you for such a nice response!


  • #20
    Huge Carrie Follower quincyeyes's Avatar
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    Very, very interesting. I love melisma although I really think it should either not be used at all or used very sparingly in the National Anthem. Jmho. Christina is amazing although she overdoes it with the melisma. If she held back a little when she does use it it would have so much more of an impact. I also love Mariah Carey. I think that Beyonce employed it a lot more often when she was in Destiny's Child than in her solo career. You stumped me with Jennifer Lopez. I like her songs and am a fan but don't think she has a great voice. I'm trying to think when I have heard her use melisma.

    I know that people think that some singers are showing off when they do these things but seriously if you had a vocal instrument like Carrie like Christina like Mariah wouldn't you want to do all you could. To me it is like owning a race car and having to drive 55 miles an hour. That is where vocal restraint comes in and contrary to some of Carrie's critics I think Carrie does very well with vocal restraint.

    Thank you for your write up. Very nice food for thought.
    Last edited by quincyeyes; 09-09-2011 at 10:32 PM.


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