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Thread: The Beekeeper

  1. #1996
    Get Out The Dark Adam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy View Post
    Seriously, it sounds like she channelled herself on Under the Pink - the only other tine I feel she did that with any kind of success post The Beekeeper was on Take Me With You and the end of Edge of the Moon. I'm not complaining, I know her voice has changed, but sometimes she just brings that clarity and intensity that she used to and it's like, if you can do this, then why... aren't you?
    While I think I know what you mean, what do you mean by "intensity" of her vocals? There is definitely a point where she got very nasal sounding, like on Parasol and Barons, for instance. MFG DOES have that crystalline voice she used to have. So I know what you mean by "clarity". Any examples of this "intensity" you're speaking of?
    The Landslide Never Brought, Brought Me Down

  2. #1997
    Threat level: Bitch in a wheelchair andy's Avatar
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    Okay, an example. Alanis never sang the same way she did on Jagged Little Pill again. There was something that was missing from her vocals in terms of unabashedness in future records, probably because of being thrust so hard into the spotlight. Tori seemed to get weary over time of being so raw. Even in Choirgirl when she was talking about her trauma in interviews she was palpably there, not so much when she talked about cars and gardens and dolls and didn't speak so openly about her emotional state. Tori is known for singing like she really means it - it's an honestly and intensity that she is known for and she sang every studio track in that way until The Beekeeper when I think a lot of people would agree she started to retreat somewhere in the vocal. That's what I mean by intensity. That honestly throughout an entire song, in a vocal sense, appears here and there but it doesn't come up in the same way it once did. When it does it is all the more loud post-TBK because we don't hear it so often. It's like the difference between her being IN the song and just cutting a studio vocal, like in the conversation about the live cut of Almost Rosey. That track just captures something, an immediacy and an urgency, that doesn't appear on the record.

    I do sort of feel these moments elsewhere, like on Fearlessness and on Weatherman, and hopefully more on the new record. It's like she's more willing to be in her voice and in the song than just trying to get it down sounding okay. I don't know if that makes any sense.
    Last edited by andy; 08-14-2017 at 07:18 AM.

  3. #1998
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    Quote Originally Posted by silver View Post
    Probably not a very popular opinion, but nowadays Not David Bowie gets on my nerves. The instrumentation and the "I cannot forget..." section really don't work for me. Give me Dolphin Song any day!
    Oh I still love it as much as I did when it appeared on A Piano, it's an awesome outbreak of reaaaally pissed off Tori from an era when she was officially all about the flowy dresses and womanly compassion and butterflies and cinnabar juice.

    I've always assumed it was directed at Caton, I think there had been some legal stuff going on between them prior to that era. I found it interesting, the difference between a song written from a sense of personal anger / grievance and all the ones written more to the 'concept' of the album.

  4. #1999
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam View Post
    There is definitely a point where she got very nasal sounding, like on Parasol and Barons, for instance.
    I am clearly in the minority here and I completely understand why, but I love her nasal voice.

  5. #2000
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy View Post
    Okay, an example. Alanis never sang the same way she did on Jagged Little Pill again. There was something that was missing from her vocals in terms of unabashedness in future records, probably because of being thrust so hard into the spotlight. Tori seemed to get weary over time of being so raw. Even in Choirgirl when she was talking about her trauma in interviews she was palpably there, not so much when she talked about cars and gardens and dolls and didn't speak so openly about her emotional state. Tori is known for singing like she really means it - it's an honestly and intensity that she is known for and she sang every studio track in that way until The Beekeeper when I think a lot of people would agree she started to retreat somewhere in the vocal. That's what I mean by intensity. That honestly throughout an entire song, in a vocal sense, appears here and there but it doesn't come up in the same way it once did. When it does it is all the more loud post-TBK because we don't hear it so often. It's like the difference between her being IN the song and just cutting a studio vocal, like in the conversation about the live cut of Almost Rosey. That track just captures something, an immediacy and an urgency, that doesn't appear on the record.

    I do sort of feel these moments elsewhere, like on Fearlessness and on Weatherman, and hopefully more on the new record. It's like she's more willing to be in her voice and in the song than just trying to get it down sounding okay. I don't know if that makes any sense.
    You explained that perfectly. I've totally had that happen. The energy in a room by yourself or in front of a group of people playing live is SO different than that of the studio. I always feel myself thinking "I have to get this exactly right. It has to sound perfect. Omg this is going to be on tape FOREVER". And it sucks all of the emotion out. Instead of just SINGING, you're thinking about your singing SO hard that you lose sight of what the singing is supposed to do: convey emotion...NOT be technically perfect.

    And I think her being in Cornwall has a lot to do with it. During BFP, she was in the middle of a church, swaying and singing. I'm sure the energy there felt more free and laid back than in a proper studio. That's another reason I love to be able to record vocals with no headphones. It just feels so clinical to me. But yeah...in her apartment ( LE), a house in NM ( UTP) and a church in Ireland ( BFP) I think she felt more open and less self-conscious than in her home studio with its booths. She obviously can get past that and has before ( FTCH-SW), but I think there came a time when some insecurity seeped in. During AATS, she said something to the effect that she'd grown to like having her vocals smoothed over and made "pretty". By that's not what you go to an artist like Tori for. You go for the emotion. And I got a piece of advice from a great guy who said "a recording is a snap shot of a certain time. Who cares if you don't hit the note perfectly? It's the emotion that matters. I'd rather hear emotion than a "perfect " vocal any day". I know that Neko Case thinks in those terms as well. And coincidentally, the guy who told me that was who mixed UTP. Lol.
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  6. #2001
    Senior Member grapefruit_is_winning's Avatar
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    Someone mentioned here today that they are annoyed by all the extra vowels she piles into words nowadays, and it struck me that she's doing it more and more as time goes on, and it must be because she can't sustain notes with quality... she has to make some sort of gymnastic stretch to keep it going. Her voice has degraded a lot over the years. Sometimes it's way better than others, but it has absolutely declined. I do not believe it's merely a matter of hard holding back emotionally. You can hear her strain, to be honest.

    Hard to imagine how devastating that must be for her... and it makes me realize that she must have really, dearly loved writing for other voices, voices with tons of power and range, with The Light Princess. I sincerely hope she gets to do that again someday.
    Last edited by grapefruit_is_winning; 08-26-2017 at 05:30 AM. Reason: spelling error

  7. #2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam View Post
    And coincidentally, the guy who told me that was who mixed UTP. Lol.
    I am no audiophile, but I consider UTP one of the best produced and mixed albums of all time. I know it's Choirgirl all the way for most of us (and Choirgirl is certainly amazing), but UTP is incredibly well done. I don't think it gets enough credit for that.

    And I want to talk to some of these peeps you work with Adam! So cool.

  8. #2003
    Threat level: Bitch in a wheelchair andy's Avatar
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    I don't really associate the degradation of her voice with the lack of emotion, though I did give examples that are clearly sung. I think something like Reindeer King shows all the flaws of her vocal but it doesn't feel like the emotion is missing for example. I actually feel that way about Cloud Riders too, whereas I have a hard time hearing her emotion come through in something like, say, studio Roosterspur even though it is technically well sung. If anything though, hearing these newer songs is allowing me to hear some of the older ones with fresh ears that can hear past the difficult vocals a little more easily.

  9. #2004
    We're kind of talking as if well-sung and emotionally-sung are mutually exclusive nowadays with her, which isn't really true, but I don't think there's any denying that she has lost a good deal of physical power in her voice. We can't really blame her though - maybe she didn't take care of it (who knows?) but most of it is surely age. Regardless, many of her songs are hard to sing whether you've got the chops or not!

    My boyfriend is a trained vocalist and he thinks Tori is a pretty terrible singer, but he's also programmed to focus in on technicalities. I've tried to explain that it's about more than that sometimes, as in Reindeer King's case. Sometimes I want to pull out recordings from the Strange Little Tour and go, "Listen! Hear that?! Hear how great she sounds?!" I think he appreciates her songwriting though, which is her greatest strength to me anyway. Still, there's something about her performing her own stuff that can be so powerful, even if her vocals aren't the best.

  10. #2005
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    I couldn't care less if she's a good singer technically or not. Her voice (when it's on) has an ethereal quality to it that I've rarely heard anywhere else.

    I think live she is a very good singer compared to many of the lip-synching artists out there.

  11. #2006
    Robbing the muse... Beelust's Avatar
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    ^ recently Tori referred to her vocals as "a fairy on crack" . I forget if it was a magazine or video interview - but I think she is right. lol.
    Robbing the muse...

  12. #2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by zephyrus658 View Post
    I think he appreciates her songwriting though, which is her greatest strength to me anyway.
    Agree!

  13. #2008
    Senior Member datura1452's Avatar
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    When she was in top of her game vocally, she could sing whatever she wanted. She did not take care of her voice and sadly has health issues, but her voice was AMAZING. In monalisa smile her tecnique was perfection and shows how versatile she could be.

  14. #2009
    Quote Originally Posted by zephyrus658 View Post
    We're kind of talking as if well-sung and emotionally-sung are mutually exclusive nowadays with her, which isn't really true, but I don't think there's any denying that she has lost a good deal of physical power in her voice. We can't really blame her though - maybe she didn't take care of it (who knows?) but most of it is surely age. Regardless, many of her songs are hard to sing whether you've got the chops or not!

    My boyfriend is a trained vocalist and he thinks Tori is a pretty terrible singer, but he's also programmed to focus in on technicalities. I've tried to explain that it's about more than that sometimes, as in Reindeer King's case. Sometimes I want to pull out recordings from the Strange Little Tour and go, "Listen! Hear that?! Hear how great she sounds?!" I think he appreciates her songwriting though, which is her greatest strength to me anyway. Still, there's something about her performing her own stuff that can be so powerful, even if her vocals aren't the best.
    What does your boyfriend think of, like, Bob Dylan or Neil Young? People who don't sing technically well (right?) but clearly are creating something artistic and appealing.

  15. #2010
    ancient savageries Andreas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by datura1452 View Post
    When she was in top of her game vocally, she could sing whatever she wanted. She did not take care of her voice and sadly has health issues, but her voice was AMAZING. In monalisa smile her tecnique was perfection and shows how versatile she could be.
    I doubt she could have taken care of it and still have toured the way she has for the last 25 years. Tori Amos the artist was never about technically perfect vocal performances - she has the live reputation that she does because she always focused on emotion and not technicalities. Even trained vocalists who always sing perfectly in order to protect their voice will wear on it if performing as frequently as Tori has.

    That said, there's been periods where the choices she's made in her live performances probably hurt her voice more than necessary, like the DDI Tour.

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