Addicted to novelty since 2001

On Middle-of-the-Road Divas

Why is so much praise heaped on the likes of Norah Jones and Nelly Furtado? Particularly in the case of Ms. Jones, she’s received a ridiculous amount of critical and popular approval for middling accomplishments. Yes, she’s got a warm, distinctive tone and tea-in-the-window-seat lyrics, but people talk about her as if she’s the second coming of Ella Fitzgerald! I know I’m sounding like a music snob here, but there are so many other jazz vocalists that have more subtance and a more original style (not to mention a bigger range). My current favourite among these is Cassandra Wilson, an extraordinarily-gifted singer and musician.

Jones enjoys Diana Krall syndrome. This syndrome occurs when people follow the path of least resistance, finding the easiest-to-listen-to musical possible.

As for Ms. Furtado, ‘I’m Like a Bird’ was a great pop song. Since then, I’ve heard nothing that stirs me. And have you ever heard her sing live? Let’s just say she’s still got some developing to do on that front.

3 Responses to “On Middle-of-the-Road Divas”

  1. Sue

    Actually, I don’t even like “I’m Like a Bird” – I think Ms. Furtado is one of the most over-rated artists in a long, long time. Whiny and over-trendy are two words that come to mind.

  2. alan

    I don’t mind Nelly Furtado. Actually, I quite liked her debut album, thought it was pretty original. Her latest offering is a bit lackluster, however. And have u ever heard her speak? Oyyy…now THAT made me wince.

  3. el kabong

    “Tea-in-the-window-seat lyrics.”

    Ha! That is a perfect description! As for the two singers, I agree totally. They are adorable to look at, which is 50% of their success.

    Cassandra Wilson is beyond genius. Have you checked her out on the early Steve Coleman albums? That is where I first heard of her. Amazing. If you haven’t checked out Coleman and you like jazz, then do so immediately.

    Actually, I’ll plug both Coleman and my blog by linking you to this effusive description of Coleman. Scroll down and enjoy!

    http://girth.blogspot.com/2003_12_01_girth_archive.html#107229432597854222

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