Monday, August 23, 2010

Christina vs Beyoncé Vocal Arguments.

I am back with another blog entry. This is the first time, I am going to touch on a topic like this. I see this topic and have debated on it 500-11 times. People are going to prefer who they will and that's life. I have learned that you can give facts all day long but people are going to use their opinions to trump fact all the time. That's on them. But yet...I have to vent because some of the things I hear when it comes to discussions like this are unbelievable.

1. Christina fans using the Rolling Stone argument to support their position: It's the #1 pet peeve I have. For one, it's a subjective list made by journalists and people who work with Rolling Stone that used artists to praise their choices. Also, any list that don't have Barbra Streisand on it, and this is supposed to be the "Bible" of the music industry, isn't credible at all. Think about it: Mariah and Whitney are on the list[BTW, C-Tina is rated over Mariah on their list, that alone is pathetic.] and Babs influenced both of them. Yet, she's not on that list. There wouldn't be artists singing "power pop ballads" without Babs blazing that trail. Not to mention, she's one of the greatest technical female singers of all time. Her belts are free without any tension, her tone is one of the most resonant tones in all of modern mainstream music and her musicianship and interpreting of the music that she does is impeccible. She may not do all the adlibbing, melismatic phrasing, howling and wailing but her sincerity to her craft is undeniable. I would say the same thing if Bey was on the list and not C-Tina if Babs was omitted from it. For example, on a youtube video, though many Bey stans disagreed with me, I said that Bey is the bottom half of the top 50 to the top 75 range of female vocalists of modern mainstream music history(any genre, excluding opera/non-secular music). I would put Babs over Bey without hesitation. My fandom doesn't cloud my objectivity. Nor I am one who believe that contemporary artists are always inferior to old school artists. Fair is fair. C-Tina does not have the impact on artists or on the industry as a whole as Babs. To exclude Babs from that list, but have C-Tina on it is a criminal act and every objective music fan would agree with me.

2. "She's a White Girl with A black Girl voice": This argument in itself is pathetic on the whole. It's a sad day in music history that it has to be addressed. My 2nd fave female artists of all time is Teena Marie. She's one of the great soul singers of her time and she's white. Then there are other great white soul singers like, Michael McDonald, Janis Joplin(who was influenced by Bessie Smith, the Empress of Blues), Darryl Hall(Hall & Oates) and many others. I give cred to Adele in terms of contemporary soul artists. I don't feel that an artist has to growl and wail to have soul credibility, yet since C-Tina does these things, it adds to her soul credibility. Not to mention her skin-color. The Blue Eyed Soul dynamic is a long discussion in of itself and C-Tina gets those kind of comments. Here is one small problem: She's Latina not White. There are many soulful Latino/Latina artists and performers. Great in their lanes and have contributed to music and entertainment. Also, C-Tina is as pop as Bey is, in fact more so. When she tries to tackle "soul music", she fails. Why? Because she makes her voice and her ego bigger than the music. Take the James Brown cover at the Grammys. That whole performances was about how many runs she could do, and trying to prove that she's indeed a soul singer. She failed!!!! That high pitched howl that she did? Double Fail!!! James didn't even do that for the original composition and even when he did those things, they were within the frame work of the music. C-Tina seemed not to understand that. She just tried to mimic him instead, and even though the performance as a whole wasn't boring, her doing that took away from what the performance was about: Him. And don't use, "Well, Bey growls and wails too" argument. That fails also. Bey does it for interpretative purposes, and she don't always approach her belts that way. Also, Bey has done authentic and sincere compositions of funk inspired music. Bey and Funk(James Brown's genre) is a match made in heaven. Everyone knows this. C-Tina could never ever do what Bey did at the beginning of CIL on the I AM DVD, and Bey's voice was tired so her tone wasn't even as on point as it normally is. No matter how much wailing and growling she does. One last thing, C-Tina makes her tone sound bigger than what it really is. Her tone thins when she belts, for various reasons, and she makes her mid voice tone bigger to compensate for that so that she have that burly, gospelesqe tone but having that tone alone don't make a soul singer. Tammi Terrell has a light tone, but she had more understanding of soul music and executed way better than C-Tina would ever think to be able to.

3. It's accepted that C-Tina is "The Voice of This Generation in this industry: To me, this is one of the worst arguments of all. For one, about a decade ago when she was competing with the Britneys, the Jessicas, Mandy Moores, her label along with the media push this and so it's the perception that she is indeed, the Voice of this Generation. And yes, C-Tina does get praise for her voice. So does others in the industry, including Beyoncé. I saw on a site that C-Tina gets respect from her peers with her vocals that Beyoncé does not. I did this *blank stare* and *SMH*. Not that I need her peers opinion, Bey gets love across the board in the industry for what she does vocally. From Prince, Patti, Aretha, Smokie, Toni Braxton, Charlie Watts (from Rolling Stones, the group) to name a few from many artists, from numerous producers, critics, and etc, her vocals get numerous love. Not everyone in the industry thinks that C-Tina is the best vocalist of her age group, that's a subjective thing and something that's not stable because one minute you get praised and the next, that same artist might fall off. Both of them have gotten their props as singers/vocalists.

Okay, I know this is a long entry, but I had a lot to get off my chest today. I am a Bey fan and I love her vocals, but I am very objective toward certain things. I know that not everyone is going to like her and that's fine. I also understand her place in music history. Instead of C-Tina fans holding on to titles given a decade ago, they need to hold C-Tina to a higher standard than the music and vocal skills that she has produced especially in the last 5 years. She is squandering her potential, and hopefully her newest album not living up to expectation will allow her to see this. If she wants to truly prove her gift as a vocalist, she needs to go back to the drawing board and do whatever necessary apart from Auto-Tune to fulfill that potential.


  1. this wasn't a long read and enjoyed every word.

    and not to mention Christina's wrong techniques that fails miserably and destroys her vocals.

  2. This article is sooo true. I don't like the thing Xtina does with her voice either, she's just ruining it. I also disagree with her being a better vocalist than Bey.