first off, i would like to thank each and every grobanite who took the time to read my blog and then comment on it (read post below). i respect all of your opinions, and respecting my opinion means i should respect yours.
having said that, you are all out of your minds.
i never said that josh groban had a bad voice. reread my post. in fact, he's got a fantastic voice. he's a great vocalist. but instead of singing the song, he decided instead to show off his voice. and whenever a vocalist makes that decision, it results in them crapping the bed.
the best version of the star-spangled banner that i ever heard was whitney houston's version, right before super bowl xxv in 1991, mainly because she sang that song exactly how it was meant to be sang. you see, that's the beauty of it. it's arranged in a certain way for words to be accentuated, for emotions to be felt and, most importantly, for the whole song to be sold as genuine. and by singing it the way it was meant to be sung, she blew everyone away.
which is ironic, because she has made a career of showing off her voice rather than singing a song.
you see, there are vocalists and there are singers. you might not think there's a difference, but there is. the best way to explain it is with the song "i will always love you", sung by both dolly parton (who wrote it) and, again, by whitney houston.
when you hear dolly's version, you hear the desperation and the loneliness and the hurt of the words. the lyrics dictate how dolly sang it. there's genuine pain in the words and thoughts and in how dolly used her voice to sell that. granted, she wrote the song, but the template was made for future singers. she sang the shit out of it. you completely feel every nuance.
whitney's version, however, is completely devoid of pain or any sort of emotions. her voice does give you goosebumps, i agree, but that's not the point: she used the lyrics to show off her voice to the extreme where the emphasis of the song was completely lost. but that's okay for whitney; the song wasn't what she wanted to show off anyways. you see, using the musical arrangement of that song behind her, she could have read the words to the declaration of independence or the back of a cereal box and her vocalization wouldn't have changed. the lyrics were incidental. she used the song to vocalize. she used the song to show-off. the song was irrelevant.
huge difference between the two versions. listen to them both and tell me that i'm wrong. you can't.
and that's exactly what i felt about josh groban's performance, or anyone's performance when they change the singing of the star spangled banner for the mere purpose of showing off their voice. it cheapens the song, and it's never ever better.
and, most importantly, it always ends up with the vocalist crapping the bed in front of an entire nation and with a crowd full of people rolling their eyes and saying "what is this asshole doing?" but that's okay. they've all got loyal fans who will continue to buy their brand of vocalizations. and that's their right. more power to them.
kudos to all you out there for supporting him. that's admirable.
but a bed has been crapped upon.
he crapped the bed.
now with his crap on it.
so that's my point: a singer is able to adapt their voice to the song. a vocalist just does their thing, no matter what is warranted. he vocalized the song, and an injustice was done to it. and that's a shame.
if you think that he sang the best performance of that version of the national anthem, then go for it. i agree with you, and i would rather not hear that version ever again.
but let's be real here: it's safe to say that you also believe that if josh groban pitched for the astros, he would have pitched a no-hitter. or that if josh groban did the play-by-play, he would have predicted everything right before it happened.
so everything i've read has been taken with a mountain of salt.
i'm sure that i've now pissed you all off more. so be it. can't say i've been trembling much. then again, i've also now probably pissed off the "friends of whitney houston" group. that actually scares me more. she's craaaazy.
so, to recap and to respond to your thoughtful comments:
- yes, i would have done a better job at singing the national anthem, mostly because i would have sung the national anthem. and this is coming from someone with a horrible voice.
- i have a huge appreciation in music, mostly because it's part of my job to work with music and work with composers in coming up with original songs or adaptions of old songs. yeah, i know what i'm talking about. and i understand why some things should be left alone. i understand updating things to make them better. but there has to be a reason for it, other than showing off.
- he crapped the bed.
- you all obviously like the way that smells.