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Madonna's voice?


The Grey Pilgrim
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I here a lot of criticism from the average person about Madonna's vocal abilities. I have never understood this opinion, we all know she is not a Whitney Houston but that does not lesson how much I enjoy the sound of her vocals, especially on her slower tracks. What do you think? is she as bad of a singer as some people try to claim, why or why not? and does she need vocal training? I am just baffled by how many people I have talked with who say she cant sing, imperfections add character and uniqueness in my opinion though I am in no way implying she is exceptional.

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in my opinion she is a great studio vocalist and her vocals work great for both the dance tracks and the ballads. The problem are the live vocals, that's why she got the bad reputation. Fans sometimes say she is "average" at worst, but to be perfectly honest, I'm struggling to think of many vocalist with that many vocal missteps. There are hundreds of much better vocalists, and maybe only a few who are worse, or even equal, so this would make M below average.

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I love Madonna's voice, it's beautiful, not always perfect live, but we have to remember that she dance in most of her performance so it's really hard to keep great vocal. She have many great vocal performances thru her career. Most of people who coming for her vocals know nothing about her or are just haters/stans of other singers.

 

 

 

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First of all I think that most of the critics come from people that didn't hear her sing live. I remember even in "The virgin era" people saying "She's cool, but she can't sing". For me the problem was that people didn't like Madonna for the things she represented and the only way to say something bad about hear was to talk about her weakest part. They couldn't say she could not dance, they couldn't say she didn't have an incredible stage presence, she even had good critics as an actress for "Desperately seeking Susan" so... how could they disparage her??? Talking about her voice. They repeated over and over again the "She can't sing" and after hearing it so many times lots of people thought it was the truth. (I feel something similar happened with "Shanghai surprise". The movie had so terrible critics that after that everybody was saying "She can't act", "She can't act" and even before her movies were premiered people was talking about how bad they were).

On the other hand, as you say, we all know Madonna is not a Withney Houston but she do nice things with her voice. I know people who sing and hearing her songs I've heard a lot of times "Wow, look at that change... it's not easy to do that" and I'm like "What??? She's just singing something "easy". As a person who doesn't know much about how to sing, there are lots of things that I don't know that they are so difficult (I don't know if I explain myself). But for a lot of people if you don't a syllabe for more than 10 seconds you can't sing.

Finally I think part of the problem is the audio edition on her tours. They sound so pre-recorded that people say "Why does she do that? Becaus she can't sing". I'm not saying she's a perfect singer but I think most of the times she doesn't need so much post production on her performances. And if she doesn't like how it sounds she could make a voice recording during the rehearsals without dancing instead of use her album vocals.

And just to finish... I think Madonna has a very nice voice and I prefer her when you can hear it clearly. For me songs like "Crazy for you" from "The virgin tour" or "The look of love" from "The Who's that girl tour" and lots of her performances on "The blond" and "Girlie Show" are incredible. She didn't have all the knowledges she has now, but she have.... instinct? to sing and was much better and much emotional... But it's just my personal taste. I respect that she uses vocoder and things like that now. It's her vission and I accept it but I've said a lot of times to my friends "The worst thing that Madonna has done on her career was to take singing lessons".

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I never understood the criticism. She's not a classically-trained vocal powerhouse but I don't think you need vocal acrobatics to deliver a great recording, especially in popular music. Madonna's voice is feminine, sexy, energetic and full of personality - a match made in pop heaven. Not to mention she had perfect diction (before the grills).

Also, she's an incredibly versatile performer. Just listen to "Material Girl", "Papa Don't Preach", "Justify My Love" and "Don't Cry For Me Argentina". They are all so radically different from one another musically and thematically, that it's crazy to think they're from the same artist but Madonna sells those songs with such conviction that you believe in the characters she's portraying. Now imagine a technically superior singer like Patti LuPone trying to pull off "Erotica" or "Like A Virgin" convincingly...Madonna's chameleon-like ability to successfully adapt her voice to almost any music genre proves that in fact, she does have the range, lol.

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24 minutes ago, Karma said:

Now imagine a technically superior singer like Patti LuPone trying to pull off "Erotica" or "Like A Virgin" convincingly...Madonna's chameleon-like ability to successfully adapt her voice to almost any music genre proves that in fact, she does have the range, lol.

That's a big true. When I watched the Like a virgin/Hollywood from MTV and Christina started to sing I was like "Yeah, a great voice but it doesn't fit for the song"

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I think it is just an easy 'put down' to diminish her talent.

To quote Madonna herself "I'm not the greatest singer...." but I think that is only if you go into technicalities.

I love Madonna's voice because she is not a 'screechy acrobatic warbler'. Madonna's tones are perfection and I find there is more emotion in that than just hitting high notes or whatever.

Clearly in the studio she is an amazing vocalist, as a lot of her hits come from a one-take vocal, so yes, she CAN sing.

My take on her live performances is that she is projecting her energy and voice and of course nerves get to her sometimes. It's all about performance and not voice.

But I also think she sounds great live when she is having a great time because she relaxes......and also notice that when she covers other peoples songs live she sounds great.

No one says Bob Dylan or Tom Petty can't sing and honestly their voices are quite dreadful aside from liking some of their songs. I do think men get away with more in the music industry, whereas women weirdly have to be perfect.

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She is not Whitney, Mariah, Celine but...all her talents together put up on a great show others can't. She can't sing? Sure she can, she does it. There are songs that her voice sounds really sweet. PAtti Lupone is not the one who said that M's work on Evita was bad? I know it was some Broadaway actress who said it. Anyway, I always read That M's version of Argentina was the best...and to me it is. Not even Sarah Brightman does it better Or Sinead Oconnor.

Live...well, sometimes...but I rather hear real vocals than lip sync (for her life). Orthe heavy production on her tours...Madame X realy sounds like the album...There are others that dance and put up on great shows like she does. There is one that surprised me the first time I saw her live, and what I thought: she sings better than Madonna. Not Celine, Mariah, Whitney... I didnt thought Madonna was bad, I just thought this one sung better than her. ANd i Thought that because I was: madonna, madonna, madonna...

 

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I can go in depth about Madonna's vocals, the nuances, the variations, the subtle changes, the registers, the timbres, the tones, but - only one thing I can conclude that many around the world will agree with:

MADONNA IS A GREAT TALENTED VOCALIST and a DECENT SINGER. She has a unique range. It's all about the emotions. Period.

 

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MMMmmmm well let´s see: On the one hand, I love her voice, and prefer her vocals 1000 thousands more than Mariah´s  vocals, for example. She sounds great in the studio, she can communicate a lyric, and has a very femenine, clear voice, perfect diction, and for pop music it is very right. And she is very emotional. And when she trained, it showed, so Evita or ROL or You´ll see are great vocal performances that I love. And she has preserved quite well her instrument, despite not being training her voice as she used to do.

 

On the other hand, sometimes live she has been quite off, and even with songs she was not dancing: The powert of goodbye..I think she has very little voice and short and she struggles when she has to be heard on big places. But suddenly she sings rol on oprah or Soomer or later on the oscars or acoustic things in the American life era and she is amazing. Lately, ok, she has not been doing amazing, but on the last years there has been very beautiful life vocals on Tears of a clown or that 2013 song she did when she premiered her short film adfter MDNA tour. If you pay atention, when she sings a capella short peaces of her songs she still sounds amazing with no tricks, that´s why I think without the grillzs and doing vocal training she can still sounds amazing. Also I must say I love her voice on I rise on the last album, so for me she still has it if she cares.

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its very clear madonna knows she is not the greatest live singer  - what happened to the harlem performance im guessing she did not like how she sounded or how she looked so we will not be getting it ...she would be the first to admit she sounded like shit on the occasion too i think ..the odd thing is why does she not care very much when she is such a hard worker 

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59 minutes ago, ITG said:

No one says Bob Dylan or Tom Petty can't sing and honestly their voices are quite dreadful aside from liking some of their songs. I do think men get away with more in the music industry, whereas women weirdly have to be perfect.

but to be honest, their vocals on the records are never polished and pleasant like Madonna's... the difference between the records and the live vocals is never so obvious with singers like Bob Dylan or Tom Petty.  The music genre is altogether completely different. We can't blame misogyny for things like vocals.

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People who think her live vocals are "horrendous" "ugly" or "not good" really are either not longtime fans, fake ass fans, don't know music/vocals/music theory... or just don't have great ears.

MADONNA is a fucking great studio vocalist and also has shown on multiple occasions that she can sing live so powerfully and decently. This is a fact. Concert tours, live performances, acapellas. On top of that, that great versatility and range that she has.

That is why we have the Virgin Tour, the Who's That Girl Tour, the Girlie Show Tour, the Drowned World Tour, and many others to prove this. Madonna is a decent live singer, though she may have had mishaps, yes, but when she does well, she fucking delivers.

Go watch these concert tours again and get your damn ears checked or study music/vocals.

LMAO some "fans" I swear. Fucking hilarious. 

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she has had great moments but when she is flat she is really flat and its just due to not looking after her voice i think and now well she can rely on autotune to fix things in the studio - i bet any money she did not train her voice before her recent recording - i mean she even sings with grills in lol 
did anybody see that interview just following the eurovision where he asked her "what was wrong with the sound " and she said "can you be more specific " and he shut up ...she wanted him to say your voice 

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1 hour ago, cosmicarlo818 said:

People who think her live vocals are "horrendous" "ugly" or "not good" really are either not longtime fans, fake ass fans, don't know music/vocals/music theory... or just don't have great ears.

MADONNA is a fucking great studio vocalist and also has shown on multiple occasions that she can sing live so powerfully and decently. This is a fact. Concert tours, live performances, acapellas. On top of that, that great versatility and range that she has.

That is why we have the Virgin Tour, the Who's That Girl Tour, the Girlie Show Tour, the Drowned World Tour, and many others to prove this. Madonna is a decent live singer, though she may have had mishaps, yes, but when she does well, she fucking delivers.

Go watch these concert tours again and get your damn ears checked or study music/vocals.

LMAO some "fans" I swear. Fucking hilarious. 

Great ears? Lol an example (listen the REAL soundboard recordings, not the edited final product):

Sticky & sweet tour: "My sugar is raAaAaaaAAwwwW" in Candy Shop, Borderline, and all the concert in general.

Rebel heart tour, remember those leaked soundboards? Awful

Tears of a Clown, the WORST vocals of all the time

Madame X (fanmade recordings shown how horrifying auto tune can be)

I love how brainless some fans are when it's time to be objective, being a fan does not mean that you are blind or deaf. Madonna STOPPED caring about her voice, why? Cuz she is surrounded by praisers, such as many fans here.

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Honestly, I don't really mind her voice. I think she has a great voice and what's interesting is that her voice adapts to what her era is. In Erotica, her voice is dirty yet soft-spoken while in Madame X, her voice takes on several forms, both in sonics and language. In True Blue, she sounds like a rock 'n roll star with her strong, raspy voice while in Confessions, she sounds like a disco queen in Studio 54 with those compressed vocals.

It isn't just her art and look that changes.

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I love her pre-fame vocals, her VT, WTG, BA, GS, DWT, RIT and CT vocals, SNL, Oscars 91 and a lot of others. So much energy and colour in those tones. 

When it comes to singers there are voices I like; Stevie Nicks, Marianne Faithful, Siouxsie Sioux, Robert Smith, Ian Curtis, Andrew Eldritch, Morrissey, Alice Cooper, Courtney Love, Kurt Cobain, Billy Corgan, Trent Reznor, Shirley Manson... 

It's all about the tones, expression, the theatre of their vocal artistry. I'd listen to them recite the fucking alphabet because each one would be so unique and not depend on enhancements, pitch correction, retuning or any of that shit. It's their real voice. 

Madonna is best when she's at her most real and RAW!

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