Kurt's Singing Voice

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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Lottie2303 on 11/4/2013, 6:58 am

Thank you, Marie, for all the great work bisou 
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REVIEW: Christmas Don't Be Late

Post  Glorfindel on 12/29/2013, 9:59 pm

REVIEW: Christmas Don’t Be Late - The Chipmunk Song (CDBL).

Even though the canon time in season 5 of Glee seems to have come to a screeching halt and put the show in a its own Groundhog Day time-bubble Fox/RIB still wanted a Christmas episode this season to sell Christmas songs on iTunes. Therefore they came up with the ‘brilliant’ idea of a ‘Previously Unaired Christmas’ episode (PUC), which supposedly took place at Christmas last year, so 2012 in Glee canon.
Whether or not this episode is real canon is debatable (I’m in the “it’s canon” corner myself) but what’s not is the existence of 3 new Christmas songs that has Kurt on them. That’s a lot to be thanking Santa Claus for! ‘Here Comes Santa Claus’ and ‘Away In a Manger’ will get their own reviews of course, but in this review I’ll try to give a little insight in ‘Christmas Don’t Be Late’ (CDBL).
 
When the Glee version of CDBL first was released I read many comments that it was exactly the same as the original chipmunk song. Indeed: some people believed it was not even a cover at all but thought that Glee simply used the original song. And it does seem pointless, doesn’t it, to speed up and tweek perfectly fine voices (which we don’t get to hear that often as it is anyway) in a way that they’re completely unrecognizable and resemble chipmunk voices! To be honest: at first I agreed, as us Kurtsies have had to do with scraps from the table for our beloved character for too long and we are hungry for Kurt’s singing. ‘Wasting’ his voice on a chipmunk song is like watching good food being burned and charred into uneatable black crisps right in front of us.
But then the scene of the song was released and it left me in stitches from laughter.  ptdr
Seldom have I seen such an OTT funny, hilarious scene on Glee lately, and I can’t even recall when was the last time I laughed so hard because of Glee (and the same goes for the use of ‘Love Child’ in this episode, btw). So it was all worth it in the end, I guess, and I fully admit that placating my still rumbling tummy for Kurt songs with another HummelPezBerry trio song and a nice group number in the same episode played a huge part in this quick acceptance and embracing of this rodent song.
And after reading this review you may find out, just like I did, that ‘wasting’ some of Glee’s best voices on a chipmunk song was not such a bad idea after all.  fanny2 

 
Youtube :

Alvin and the Chipmunks version:




Glee version:


(if the video is taken down by Fox, as they do after a few months: here's the link to the video on my tumblr: link.)

 
The lyrics:
 
Cody:
Alright you chipmunks, ready to sing your song?
Kurt:
I say we are!
Santana:
Yeah, let's sing it now!
Cody:
Okay Rachel?
Rachel:
Okay.
Cody:
Okay Santana?
Santana:
Okay.
Cody:
Okay Kurt?...Kurt?...KURT!
Kurt:
OKAY!

Kurt, Rachel and Santana:
Christmas, Christmas time is near,
Time for toys and time for cheer.
We've been good, but we can't last,
Hurry Christmas, hurry fast.
Want a plane that loops the loop,

Kurt:
Me, I want a hula hoop.

Kurt, Rachel and Santana:
We can hardly stand the wait,
Please Christmas, don't be late.

Cody:
Ok Fellas, Get ready.
That was very good, Rachel.
Rachel:
Naturally!
Cody:
Very Good Santana.
Santana:
He He He He.
Cody:
Uh Kurt, You were a little flat.
Watch it, Kurt...Kurt?...KURT!
Kurt:
OKAY!

Kurt, Rachel and Santana:
Want a plane that loops the loop,


Kurt:
I still want a hula hoop.

Kurt, Rachel and Santana:
We can hardly stand the wait,
Please Christmas, don't be late.
We can hardly stand the wait,
Please Christmas, don't be late.

 
 
x
 
How to turn a Christmas elf into a chipmunk :
 
The rumors that the version of ‘Chistmas Don’t Be Late’ used on Glee was actually the original Chipmunks song can be easily disproven. When the Glee version was released I changed the pitch and slowed it down a bit (song on my tumblr), and even though the voices of Lea and Naya are still too chipmunkish to get a complete picture of who is singing what you can still recognize them in some lines. But better ‘evidence’ than them is the voice of Chris, which can be clearly heard and recognized in the (re-)tweeked slowed down version.
 
There are several ways to turn a human into a chipmunk.
- The best way would be to use the Animagus spell, but as that is a dangerous and quite difficult spell to execute, and I doubt that the Glee producers are at N.E.W.T. level when it comes to their wizarding skills (plus I suspect most of them to be Squibs anyway), the safety protocols and insurance policies of the show probably didn’t allow that spell to be used on 3 of their most beloved cast members. Lingering whiskers or a cute striped tail are harder to hide in make-up than tattoos after all.  tonguue 
 
- Another way to change a voice to chipmunk pitch is to inhale helium, as Kurt, Rachel and Santana did on the show by deflating helium filled balloons into their mouths, but that only gives a very temporarily effect that lasts only seconds, so never for the duration of a 2 minute long song.
When helium is being inhaled the very light density of the gas changes the resonance of the voice (as in how a sound eventually sounds to the receiving ear due to the environment it is released in, like an echo/reverb in a church or muffled sound in a steamed sauna). In a helium filled environment (like the mouth and throat of a human being) a sound travels up to about 2.5 to 3 times its speed compared to the usual N2/O2/Co2 Earth atmosphere, influencing the overall sound of the voice, its timbre, to a seemingly higher pitch.

However: the actual pitch/height of the voice does not really change when inhaling helium, as the pitch is created purely physically by the body and inhaling helium does not effect the muscles of the vocal chords (like their vibrating speed) : it just seems that the voice sounds higher pitched due to the faster travelling of the sound through the ‘air’ to the ear or recording device. Here’s an example of a voice effected by helium: wikipedia/helium.ogg.

Whether helium acts like a drug I don’t know. I can’t imagine inhaling helium is very good for the brain as it gets deprived of its proper supply of oxygen. Combined with high amounts of alcohol and hormones (in Kurt’s case, lol) it must have created drunken giggles at least, but getting really high from it seems unlikely, as you’d probably pass out first from lack of oxygen before any interesting tripping could occur. 
 
In theory Chris, Lea and Naya could have sung repeatedly little portions and short lines of ‘Christmas Don’t Be Late’ after inhaling helium multiple times, and then the music producers only had to paste everything together to create their very own version of the Chipmunks’ Christmas song.
But inhaling helium too many times is dangerous and can even cause death by asphyxiation, as you literally replace the much needed oxygen for your body by another, not life sustaining gas. So don’t try this at home, kids. And this the writer of PUC got very right and deliberately put in the show: Santa Cody take out a helium container/tank from his bag, but they made sure to also show that Kurt, Rachel and Santana sucked the helium out of the balloons Cody filled for them instead of directly from the tank, as this wikipedia article (which I read to refresh my helium knowledge, as I’m not a scientist and any school chemistry classes are way in the past) points out that a pressured cilinder like a helium tank could cause ruptured lungs if you try to inhale helium directly from it. So really: don’t try this at home.  Shocked 
 
- The music producers luckily valued their New York cast members too much to use either the difficult Animagus spell or the unhealthy helium gas on them, and resorted to Muggle techniques by using the magic and chemistry of electricity and computers to get the desired result: they simply recorded the song very slowly and in a low key, and then they sped it up and raised the key till Chris, Lea and Naya’s voices reached chipmunk level.
 
 
Pitch:


In order for the lovely, velvety voices of Chris, Lea and Naya to sound like very excited rodents they had to raise the key of  CDBL with about 8 semitones. That’s 2/3 of an octave!  blinkk 
I wrote “about” 8 semitones because that’s the pitch I eventually ended up deciding to give the best ‘natural’ sounding result on Chris’ voice. And I used almost only Chris’ voice as a standard measure to get the right, natural voices’ pitch, because of 3 reasons:
1) Chris has the lowest voice of the 3 singers in CDBL, and therefore his voice would need the most tweeking, so getting his voice back to almost normal would automatically get me the closest results for the girls too.
2) Because Chris has the lowest voice he’s also the most distinguishable among the 3 voices, as the other 2 voices are female and more ‘weaved’ together in the song.
3) Being a Kurt fan I can recognize and recall Chris’ natural voice much better than Lea’s and Naya’s voices, so approaching the sound of his natural voice by trying out different keys was easier to do than focusing on either of the girls.
BTW: just in case you hadn’t figured it out by yourself: they of course added Santa Cody’s normal pitched voice after they raised the key of the song.
 
Speed:


Besides the higher pitch the music producers also sped up the song considerably to get the chipmunk-like voices. Do you remember (at least the dinosaurs amongst us who had a pick-up in the Dark Ages before the mp3 was invented) getting the giggles when playing a 33rpm (revolutions per minute) gramophone record at 45rpm speed? We were so easily entertained back then.  Smile 
Well, that’s basically what Glee (and the producers of the original Chipmunk movies) did too. At first I thought that they only sped up the song about a quarter or a third faster than the original speed, as speeding up a 33 record to 45rpm already gives quite a good result. That’s why I initially sped up CDBL by 1/4 myself.
But even though I knew there must have been additional tweeking in the Glee music studio that my simple audio processing computer-program can’t reverse I was not completely happy with the result of that first attempt at recovering the natural Kurtcheltana voices.
 
There was also a hint of more stuff going on in the song that I didn’t catch at first. I noticed it first with Chris: when he was singing “I still want a hula hoop” in the 2nd verse he inhaled again before “…hoop”. Chris has excellent breathing techniques, and him having to take an extra breath to finish a simple line would normally not be necessary. Once I had heard that extra inhale from Chris I noticed the girls doing the same on several other lines, and neither Lea nor Naya need that either, under normal circumstances, that is.
Something during recording made them take these extra breaths, and that could only be having to sing even slower (and therefore getting out of breath before the end of a line) than I initially thought they did. So, taking my cue from the reported helium effect, I slowed down the song to 2.5 times of the Glee finished chipmunk song’s duration, going from a 2 minutes song to over 5 minutes!  ohmy 
And here’s what I got:  Arrow  link to my tumblr.
(BTW: I edited the Cody talk and the instrumental break out of the slowed down version I posted, hence the ‘only’ 4 minutes length.)
The extra intake of breath of Chris is at 2.20 of the slowed down version.
 
So the Glee music editors needed approximately a raise of  +8 pitch and an acceleration of 2 to 2.5 its normal speed to get Chris, Lea and Naya to sing in chipmunk voices.  Shocked 

 
 
“The Rain In Spain Stays Mainly On The Plane”, aka diction:


After all the re-tweeking I did to get the original voices back they are still not sounding naturally (although Chris comes close), but this is the best I can do. At least the slowed down version gives us an indication of how the fab 3 recorded the song. Instead of an upbeat high-pitched song they recorded a sluggish and low slow ballad!
Singing so slow and low knowing the desired end result must have given them many giggling moments in the studio! It might be interesting to point out that though it must have been fun to record a song like that it’s not as easy as it sounds. Besides needing a lot of breath control for the long lines, it also required from the singers:
1)  a very good feeling of beat/rhythm, as the slow beat gives little footing in the music and they’d have had to count the beat of the singular notes along in their heads, and
2) an impeccable pronunciation/diction, as the sped up version still needed to have understandable and distinguishable lyrics, and faster or sped up talk often results in slurred and mumbled words.
 
 
x
 
Harmonies :
 
Another advantage the slowed down and lower pitched ‘reversed’ version of the Chipmunk Christmas song I made offers me is that it was much easier to use that version to detect the different voices and their harmonies.
As I mentioned before: distinguishing the girls’ voices is a bit difficult, and some of the notes Santana sings I had to guess and fill in the blanks by using music science logic instead of actually really hearing the notes, but I think I got the overall picture. But just to indicate that I’m not sure about her notes I’ve drawn them a little smaller in the next diagrams, and I won’t analyze them as thoroughly as I do with Chris’s harmonies with Lea.  unsure 
 
- Lea sings the lead melody, which, as you can see in the diagram below, is right in the middle of the 3-part harmony. It’s actually a bit odd that she sings lead on this song, as Kurt clearly is the ‘Alvin’ in CDBL, with the only 2 solo lines. Solos are usually sung on the main melody, so Chris literally had to take over Lea’s lead melody to sing those solo lines and then ‘jump’ back down to his lower voice. It would have been more logical if Chris had sung the entire lead.  dryy 
I guess that Glee is so used to having Rachel sing lead on practically every song she sings in that it’s their default mode, and nobody even stopped to think that this time it really should have been Kurt leading, as he was ‘Alvin’. Another possibility could be that they let Lea sing lead so she wouldn’t need to sing very low, as Chris’s lower harmony goes as low as an E3(!), which would be harder for Lea to sing (although not impossible for a regular mezzo-soprano, or they could have had Naya sing the lowest voice and Lea the higher 2nd voice).
 
- Naya sings a higher 2nd voice, mostly in thirds and fourths intervals, with just a few deviations. It isn’t hard for her to sing higher than Lea (even though Lea has a higher voice than her), because the song is set so low that even she does not have to sing higher than a G4!
The interval spaces between Naya’s voice and Chris (leaving out Lea in the middle) are mostly sixths (strongest harmony interval after a third) with a few seventh and fifth intervals. As the song has 3 layers of voices the harmonies create perfect chords between the 3 of them.  hapitgh 
 
- Chris also sings a 2nd voice, or better said: a 3rd voice, as his voice is the lowest of the 3 voices. It consists mostly out of thirds and fourths intervals, but with a few interesting exceptions:
 
“Christmas, Christmas time is near,
Time for toys and time for cheer.
We've been good, but we can't last,
Hurry Christmas, hurry fast.”


Santana/Naya = purple
Rachel/Lea = red
Kurt/Chris = green
 


- As you can see in the first diagram Kurt’s 3rd voice and Rachel’s lead roughly follow the same melody pattern (like 2 rails of a railway track), except that Kurt often repeats the same note when Rachel gets to have a little more melody variation. Often these little ‘jumps’ in the lead melody are the cause that the usual thirds intervals between them turn into fourths or an occasional second interval.
Kurt has a lot of those repetitive notes, and this can be boring to sing (and therefore demanding extra concentration) under normal circumstances, let alone in an extremely slowed down song like CDBL.
 
- In the diagram I added a blue line to connect the many green and red dots on the same note (in the middle). This note (the A3) gets sung by both Chris and Lea many times, and they go back and forth on it in a musical leapfrog. It’s important that they both sang that note pitch perfect all the time, or it would have been jarring everytime they switched.
The same pattern also is noticeable a bit between the lead voice and Santana’s part. All in all the 3 voices are very close together and moving simultaneously like a school of fish. As you can imagine one of them slightly deviating from these huddled close together voices would have had an immediate audible effect on the harmony.
 
 
“Want a plane that loops the loop,
Me, I want a hula hoop.
We can hardly stand the wait,
Please Christmas, don't be late.”





- This is the diagram which has the Kurt solo line in it: “Me, I want a hula hoop” (inbetween the 2 black vertical lines). BTW: In the 2nd chorus Kurt sings “I still want a hula hoop”.
If you can picture in your head the green line of Kurt’s solos as red instead you see clearly how that line was meant for the lead voice, as it connects the red dots of the line before and after the solo line. Chris had to ‘jump’ up from his lower 3rd voice to sing Alvin’s solo line, and then jump back down to continu the 3rd voice.
 
- Right after the solo line there’s a little descent of semitones in Kurt’s 3rd voice (I put a blue arrow underneath it), a ‘cascade’ which is different than the overall pattern of his 3rd voice. This little cascade is playful and provides more variation in the intervals, creating fifths, a sixth and a seventh, plus it uses a semitone which is not in the key the song is set in (an Aflat in a C major key), which makes the harmony a little bit jarring, but in a good way. The seventh at the end raises the anticipation/tension for the conclusion in the last line of the song.
In the repeats of this line the first 2 words (“We can…”) are sung lower, but the rest of the cascade remains intact, including the Aflats.
 
- In the same line that has the semitones cascade in Kurt’s 3rd  voice, Santana’s 2nd voice suddenly dives under Rachel’s lead voice, or Rachel’s lead voice jumps over Santana’s 2nd voice: it all depends on how you look at it. In the diagram I also had them share a few notes together, but I’ll be honest and say that I couldn’t hear that clearly, so it could be that I simply didn’t hear Naya sing something else over Lea’s voice.  blushh 
 
- The repeat of the chorus after the instrumental break is practically the same as the first one, except for a often used key change to 2 semitones higher, and the 2 notes that Chris sings differently in the cascade, so I won’t write about that chorus separately.
 
- BTW: I’m 99% sure the “Tickle me” is Naya.  moque 
 
 
Chris :
 
If my theory of the slow and low recording of CDBL is correct, and I managed to guess the key for their natural voices right, then Chris had to sing very low in his range. Which is quite ironic, as he often gets ‘insulted” (even by himself) for having a chipmunk voice high pitch!
 
Chris’ vocal range as we know it:
A2-B2-C3-D3-E3-F3-G3-A3-B3-C4-D4-E4-F4-G4-A4-B4-C5-D5-E5-F5-G5-A5-B5
 
I underscored the range of notes he sang in CDBL (if my original key is correct). His lowest note in CDBL would be the E3, his highest the F4sharp.
All these notes he sang in his low register (chest voice), which is even more ironic when you think of it. For Chris that must have been a bit awkward, as I believe he once said singing so low for a long time is something he’s not comfortable with, probably also because he was forced to sing low almost constantly while singing in choir in his childhood as noone recognized the countertenor in him.
Lea and Naya also had to sing relatively low in their ranges, especially Lea, as she has a higher voice type than Naya but sang lower than her in CDBL.
 
I like how Chris embodied the funny Alvin the chipmunk cheer in his singing and the spoken lines in the song. Remember: he had to incorporate that cheer while speaking and singing low and slow. Just listen to his stretched out “Ooooookaaaayy”.  Razz 
 

Did the chipmunk song waste Glee’s best voices?


The finished version of CDBL distorted the voice timbres of the singers because of the higher pitch and the faster speed. But we know now that Chris, Lea and Naya in reality had to sing very slowly, and low in their voice range. There are also many repetitive notes in their melodies, plus they had to repeatedly ‘take over’ a note from one of the other singers. This made singing CDBL difficult, as they all had to sing pitch perfect on long, slow, vibrating tones (so no individual ‘scooping’ or gliding would be allowed, and especially Lea had to reign that in, and she did) or else the slight deviations in tone would have caused a jarring dissonant. And speeding the song up and a higher pitch would have amplified even very little flaws. In the mean time the song also required a lot of breath(-control) and precise articulation.
 
So even though ‘Christmas Don’t Be Late’s a silly, fun song that turned their voices into a childish jumble Chris, Lea and Naya still had to pull off singing an elaborate 3-part harmony while the slow and low recording challenged their breathing, range, pitch and pronunciation.
Their excellent vocal skills were not wasted on this chipmunk song but very much needed!  wub 

Of course it’s a pity that the end result does not really reflect that, as CDBL will only be “that silly chipmunk Christmas song” to most people, and unfortunately it’s not really a nice, peaceful song you put on your annual Christmas playlist because of the annoying chipmunk pitch, so not many fans bought it from iTunes.
 
Is ‘Christmas Don’t Be late’ a waste or not?
Yes, when you consider the sparse times we get to hear HummelPezBerry sing together, as a trio, in duet or separately on the show: I’d exchange CDBL for a Kurtana or Hummelberry duet anyday (let alone a Kurt solo).
No, if you look at what vocal techniques and musicality it took to pull this off, and what fun the song’s scene was in the show.
 
 
x
 
Final remark :
 
I thought this was going to be a nice, short review (not much to tell except for how the music producers made chipmunks out of Chris, Lea and Naya), something I could finish in the few free days before Christmas, right in time to give my very own Christmas present to the fandom.  cvece 
I figured that ‘Christmas Don’t Be Late’ would be a warming up before I tackled the other Christmas songs of 5x08, as both ‘Here Comes Santa Claus’ and ‘Away in a Manger’ have harmonies that I know will take time to review properly. So when I began writing this review I even added the helium stuff to fill what I expected to be a thin review up a bit.
 
But then I got to the harmonies of CDBL, and where I thought I could dismiss that easily by saying something like “they did mostly a harmony in thirds intervals” as I sometimes did in other songs, the harmonies turned out to be a lot more complex. The review writing came to a grinding halt and I had to dissect the song note for note (and it was extra difficult with the distortion of the chipmunk tweeking), writing the harmonies down for each singer and drawing them up in a diagram in Paint, which took me all my free hours of 2 days (after Christmas), and writing about it in this review took me another.
 
Not that I minded doing the extra work (except for the fact that I couldn’t post the review on Christmas Eve like I wanted to), because I spent some great hours with the harmony puzzle I laid out for myself. I’m weird that way, lol. areu 
And while I was dissecting and drawing, with reddened cheekbones while softly humming the tones I needed to identify, as the harmonies slowly revealed themselves, suddenly my awe for Chris, Lea and Naya reached a new high.
They keep amazing me, and they work together so well.  wub 
 
When I write these reviews I’m mostly in ‘vocal coach’ mode, especially when I have to do something music theoretically/technically challenging like figuring out harmonies, and one of the by-effects of this ‘mode’ is that I then sort of view Chris as if he were one of my students. A student who’s voice I’m familiar with for a while now, able to recognize its strengths and weaknesses, following his education and evolution as a singer over the years.
And then to hear Chris tackle the unexpected technical difficulties of this song as if he really was trained at a school like NYADA….. it was nice to be reminded of what he can do musically, and how immensely proud I am of his abilities and progress as a singer and performer.   aa54 
So I consider that as a (late) Christmas gift to myself.  hapitgh 
 


Last edited by Glorfindel on 1/2/2014, 6:26 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  fantastica on 12/29/2013, 10:41 pm

yay! more song analysis! thank you so much marie! i cant believe you even listened to that chipmunk song. what a waste of 3 great voices!
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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  valkeakuulas on 12/30/2013, 5:20 am

It was indeed a fun song. I thought the pause before the last hoop was endearing, because it happens to a lot of kids when they sing, or indeed to adults who are a bit...drunk, because they forget how much they need to intake breath or they forget how long the verse was going to be. Razz

I know it might have taken truly extra effort to listen to that slowed down version. All the kudos for that!
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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Buenos on 12/30/2013, 5:23 am


fantastica: wrote:what a waste of 3 great voices!




OTOH, I'd rather those three sing on my screen a chipmunk song than the mind numbing boring songs of most of the New New Direction numbers.  That number had visual fun and the characters of Rachel/Kurt and Santana brought on the  comedy on screen.
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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Delight on 12/30/2013, 7:46 am

Thanks, Marie, for your dedication in analysing a song such as this. I'm particularly tickled that you went all Sherlock Holmes-y and used the fact that Chris needed to take a breath when he normally wouldn't have to as a clue that they all had to sing slower to make this song work. Who would've thought that it'd be such a challenge to sing chipmunk? I thought that everything would just be tweaked in the studio and that's that.

And thank you for the lesson in physics about the helium-induced pitch change (it's a phenomenon that had intrigued me but never made me curious enough to find out how it came about)  neutre 
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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Glorfindel on 12/30/2013, 3:17 pm

^Thanks to wikipedia.  fanny2 
I learned the theory about helium in school a long time ago, but I was glad I checked wikipedia first for the review, because my memory jumbled quite some things.
Makes you wonder how much of the things in your life you remember wrong.  unsure 


valkeakuulas wrote:I know it might have taken truly extra effort to listen to that slowed down version. All the kudos for that!
Haha, the slowed down version was convenient because I had more time to memorize, reproduce and write down the notes they sang. So that was a plus.

But after a while the very slow tempo started to drive me up the wall: even when I could start the song at about the time I needed to check e.g. a melody or harmony, after needing to hear the same line for the umpteenth time I was almost screaming at my laptop for every few seconds I started the song too early, like "Come on!!! I need to hear a note in the line after this one, so get going you 3!!!"   Razz

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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Georgette888 on 12/30/2013, 7:54 pm

fantastica wrote:yay! more song analysis! thank you so much marie! i cant believe you even listened to that chipmunk song. what a waste of 3 great voices!

Ah, but when you read Marie's excellent review, she explains why it wasn't a waste. *g*
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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  fantastica on 12/31/2013, 12:04 am

i want to hear kurt's voice though. i am addicted to his voice. i don't really care if hte other 2 girls are chipmunks. just want kurt to sing in his real voice.

p.s. i wrote that post before i read it. i had to cook dinner to feed my hungry "house mates".
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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  ColferInspired on 12/31/2013, 1:17 am

Thanks for another wonderful review, Marie.  bisou 

That scene was just perfect.

I don't mind the slowed down version of this.
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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Ireth on 12/31/2013, 7:35 am

Wow thanks so much for this great review, Marie! I learnt a lot from this, and I'm impressed by how you "solved the mystery" of what they did to get the chipmunk song. It really took more effort than I realized to get this song done. And the end result was worth it, what a cute song and wonderful scene!
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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Ranwing on 12/31/2013, 11:31 am

Marie, thank you for putting in so much effort (and doing a serious CSI job) to show just how hard it as to pull off CDBL and that the talent of the singers involved shouldn't be discounted. Had Lea, Chris and Naya not been as strong singers as they are, the song would have been a jumbled mess. My only complaint is that we've been shorted on this group singing so much (Chris especially) that I desperate miss more straight numbers from them and would love to hear a proper trio performance by them.

It's also a great credit to Lea, Chris and Naya that the song which was a novelty number ended up being the highlight of the episode, showing that it take more than just being able to carry a tune to be compelling performers.

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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Kurt addict on 1/7/2014, 8:00 pm

Thanks so much for the review, as per usual you had me gripped. \I loved this episode and Chris singing on Away in a manger, i dont know this version we dont have this version in the part of england i live at least, the layering of Chris's voice was really beautiful and i think it showed that he is not a stranger to singing carols, i loved the way he held the end notes!
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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Porcelain on 1/15/2014, 5:14 pm

Marie, I've loved your reviews so much for so long.  wub As someone with a limited technical knowledge of singing, they've been enlightening and oh so fun to read! So brava and thank you for all the hard work you must put into these!
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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Buenos on 1/15/2014, 5:26 pm

Best musical education ever I get here because of Marie.
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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Porcelain on 1/15/2014, 5:38 pm

Agreed! When I first heard the Chipmunk Song, I found it to be a waste of three very talented singers, like many do.  suure But after reading Marie's review, I look at it in a much different way! It's amazing she managed to explain so much about that song. Now I can appreciate the song as well as the fantastic performance to go with it.
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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Glorfindel on 1/15/2014, 6:17 pm

Oh my.............thank you.


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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Glorfindel on 3/9/2014, 9:03 pm

After much delay I finally finished another review (Get Back). I really hate that it took so long, and I would like y'all to know I feel terrible about that.  No 

This review fought me tooth and nail: it just wouldn't get finished.
Besides a technical reason that caused quite a long delay (which you can read more of in the review itself), I discovered that a large part of all the extra effort I had to practically force myself to to get this review posted lies in the (negative) feelings I have for Glee in general, and the Beatles episodes in particular. I guess a certain proposal had a lot to do with that, lol.
Never again will I make fun of or belittle writers block, phew.  ooppss

Anyways, I wanted to get that out before I post the review.
I didn't want more negativity and frustration popping up in yet another review. Not that that won't ever happen again, but I think for the next few songs I will be reviewing I'll be safe. Starkurt here I come. fanny2

But first: 'Get Back'. Enjoy.

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REVIEW: Get Back

Post  Glorfindel on 3/9/2014, 9:06 pm

REVIEW: Get Back (GB).
 
In the 2nd episode of season 5 Glee continued the elaborate 2-part Beatles tribute. For Kurt this meant he got a few lines in a group number (Let It Be) and a Hummelberry song: ‘Get Back’. These songs are be the 4th and 5th Beatles songs that Kurt sang on the show (after ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand, ‘Blackbird’ and ‘Got To Get You Into My Life’), not counting ‘Silly Love Songs’, as he was only lipsynching in a Warblers song, and I think it’s safe to say that so far he done good on them.
  
Youtube :

The Beatles:


Glee – episode version:



Glee – full iTunes version:


  

The lyrics :
- the cut verse = italic
 
Kurt:
(verse 1) Jojo was a man who thought he was a loner, but he knew it couldn't last.
Jojo left his home in Tucson, Arizona, For some California grass.

Rachel and Kurt:
(chorus 1) Get back, get back, get back to where you once belonged.
Get back, get back, get back to where you once belonged.
Get back Jojo

(chorus 2) Get back, get back, back to where you once belonged.
Get back, get back, back to where you once belonged.
Oh, get back Jo.

Rachel:
Oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh, yeah, get back Jo! Yeah, oh oh oh oh
Kurt:
Go home.

Kurt:
(verse 2) Sweet Loretta Martin thought she was a woman, but she was another man.
All the girls around her said she's got it coming, but she gets it while she can.

Rachel and Kurt:
(chorus 3) Get back, get back, back to where you once belonged.
Get back, get back, get back to where you once belonged.
Get back Loretta.

(chorus 4) Get back, get back, back to where you once belonged.
Get back, get back, get back to where you once belonged.
Woo...
 
 
x

The harmonies :
First of all you might like to know that Chris and Lea are singing in the same key as Paul McCartney (and John Lennon).
There are only 2 verses in ‘Get Back’ and 4 choruses, plus some “oohs” and “aahs” from Rachel that were not in the original of course (can you imagine Paul McCartney or John Lennon doing those, lol?).   Razz
The verses in the Glee version are both sung by Chris alone, just like Paul did in the Beatles original. No harmonies to be found there, then. The choruses are full of harmonies though, and none of them are the same. So let’s see what we’ve got.
 
I already mentioned the 2 front men of the Beatles above, and I would want to look at their version first. Normally I do this the other way around, by starting with an analysis of the Glee version and then checking back to the original to see what they did the same and what Glee changed. But since the (harmony) changes Glee made in the choruses of  ‘Get Back’ all derive from 1 particular chorus in the original Beatles song, I thought it best to start at the source.

The original GB was basically a Paul McCartney solo. All John Lennon did was sing the second chorus with him, but John wasn’t even singing on the backup vocals of the other choruses: those all had Paul singing alone.
What’s interesting is that when John joins Paul in the second chorus you’d expect him (John) to sing back-up to Paul’s lead. But despite singing all of the other choruses solo/lead melody Paul surprisingly switches to a 2nd voice on that particular chorus. John Lennon is the one singing the main melody in the second chorus. You can hear it clearly in this live version as John is a tad too late when he has to start singing.
 
What’s even more surprising about this is that John is singing his chorus one octave lower than Paul did!  ohmy
Paul’s main note in the chorus is the G4 (on “…back”), whereas John sings on a G3 there. Because John is singing so much lower Paul’s 2nd voice is set higher than the lead melody (and if you’re interested: most 2nd voices are set lower than the lead melody).
And as Paul’s voice has not been edited softer while John’s low voice otoh is not dominating the harmony this creates the effect that it almost seems as if Paul is still singing lead voice (as he did throughout the rest of the song) but the melody is somehow a bit twisted.
I must confess that I never heard this while listening to the song casually before, and only noticed it now that I took a better look at it for this review.   blinkk 
I’m not sure why they did it this way. I’m not a Beatles expert, so I don’t know if John sang the chorus lower simply because he couldn’t sing that easily as high as Paul did, or that while composing the song the octave lower chorus was deliberately written (and Paul couldn’t reach that low that easily, so he let Paul sing it instead), maybe because they wanted the 2nd voice to be set higher to get the desired harmony effect and it just wouldn’t have worked one octave higher. Whatever the reason for this is: it’s inventive and a bit out of the box, which is typical for the Beatles.
 
Here’s a diagram of how the Beates did the harmony in that 2nd chorus:
 
 
Paul’s 2nd voice is quite simple but again also surprising: mostly fourths (when thirds and sixth are more common), with the voices fanning out at the end from a sixth to a seventh to the same note in octave on “…belong.”.

To recapture :
- All the choruses except for the second are sung by Paul alone, and the octave he sings in is high (octave 4).
- The second chorus consists of  John singing the lead melody, but 1 octave lower than Paul (octave 3).
- Paul sings a higher 2nd voice to John’s chorus, consisting mostly of fourths, with a widening to an octave at the end.
 
The choruses in the Glee version are all variations to this, but Hummelberry shake things up a bit. hapitgh
 
 
x

Chorus #1 :
The first chorus of the original Beatles version is sung solo, so if Glee had copied the original then Kurt would have sung his first chorus solo too. But as you can hear Rachel sings along with Kurt.
Kurt is singing the main voice, at the same height/octave as Paul McCartney sang it. Rachel sings a 2nd voice, which I expected to be the same as the Beatles one, but it is not. It’s different in 2 ways:
1) the original has mainly fourths as intervals, but Rachel sings a harmony only a third higher than Kurt.
2) Kurt is singing the main melody on the same height as Paul instead of going to the one octave lower chorus John sang, but the 2nd voice of Rachel is still higher than Kurt’s lead. This has the result that both lead voice and 2nd voice are almost an octave higher than the original harmony (Kurt an entire octave, Rachel an octave minus 1 semitone).
 
I hope the diagram I made to show this is clear:
 
 
- The lowest yellow line is the original lead voice from John on his chorus.
- The green line above that is the original 2nd voice from Paul.
- The blue line is Kurt singing lead voice, which is the same as the original lead from Paul (the purple line right underneath the blue).
- The red line is Rachel’s 2nd voice, in her harmony of mostly thirds.
- The lighter green line (the highest one) is the original 2nd voice drawn 1 octave higher so you can see the difference in notes/intervals between hers and Paul’s 2nd voice.
 
As you can (hopefully mince ) see in the diagram Rachel’s 2nd voice deviates from the original, with just 1 semitone making the difference between a harmony in fourths and a harmony in thirds.
- In the first line of the chorus, when they sing this harmony for the first time, Rachel does not keep singing high up (to create the fanning out when Kurt’s melody drops a lot lower), but instead her melody drops as well along with his, so they end as they started: in a third interval harmony.
- The 2nd line in this particular chorus ends with the original broad octave interval as the original, as Rachel goes back to the same 2nd voice as the Beatles did (when the red and the light green bars meet).
 
I like this first chorus.  neutre
Chris is singing lead on a comfortable height for his hazy chest voice to shine to its fullest, and Lea is singing in the part of her vocal range that has power but also a ‘light’ and flexible quality to it, which both work very well for this harmony (and I wish they would use it more on Glee). The fact that their harmony is an octave higher than the original is not jarring at all, it fits very naturally into the song.
 
The “Get back, Jo Jo” line is also sung with the same lead+higher 2nd voice structure.
 
Just in case:
A little disclaimer is in place here, because the main reason why this review had such a big delay as it had was because I basically wrote this part of the review 3-4 times. :( 
The reason why I had to rewrite it so many times is that I had a lot of difficulty hearing the harmonies in this chorus. Not because they are so difficult in themselves, but because the original harmony was firmly stuck in my head and sort of ‘overlayered’ Rachel’s voice whenever I tried to figure out her 2nd voice part. I guess the Beatles original got stuck in my head over the years a lot firmer than I thought it had.

The first time when I wrote down the harmony of the first Glee chorus for this review I simply assumed it would be similar to the Beatles one, only 1 octave higher up. And that’s where I messed up. Because when checking it a few days later I heard something different: the harmony I explained above (with Rachel singing on thirds instead of fourths). So I sighed very deeply a couple of times and started rewriting that part of the review, and (which took up the most time) drew the diagram again. 
But then, when I gave the entire review a last look over I could only hear the other (original) harmony again, and needless to say I freaked out.   brikwol 
I abandoned the review, sulked for a few days, and then decided to enter the game again, but this time flanked by 2 linesmen I trust with a good musical hearing. And darn: of course each of them heard only 1 of the 2 possible harmonies, so that didn’t help me much. dryy
In the end I decided to go with what my daughter heard (the harmony in thirds),  because:
1) she is young and therefore does not have the original Beatles song stuck in her head to distract her,
2) she really has a good ear (a chip from the old block, and in her case even doubly-blessed), 
3) where’s smoke there’s fire: if she can hear the notes of the Rachel’s thirds harmony without me hinting at there even being one that means it excists, right?
Anyway, I’m sticking with that conclusion, just don’t tell my husband (as I didn’t pick what he heard).  phr34r 
 
 
x
 
Chorus #2 :
This is the chorus that in the original version was sung by John (on the lower octave) with Paul singing a higher 2nd voice in fourths. On Glee they also switch the lead voice around for that second chorus, meaning that Rachel sings the lead voice now whereas Kurt jumps to the 2nd voice.
Kurt sings the same 2nd voice that Paul sang in the original, on the same octave. But due to Rachel singing 1 octave higher than John Kurt suddenly does not sing a higher 2nd voice to Rachel’s lead, but a lower one! The voices get flipped around, and consequently the intervals in the harmony also.
 
 
- The lowest, yellow line is John’s lead voice again.
- In the middle there are 2 lines together, Kurt’s (blue) and Paul’s (green), as they both have the 2nd voice on the same octave.
- The highest line, the red one, is Rachel, singing the lead voice on the same octave as Paul did (the purple line right underneath).
 
It’s the same harmony, right? Or not?
Now we come into the headache inducing territory again.  Mad 

In the original harmony the distance between the lead voice and the higher voice were mostly fourths with the fanning out at the end to the octave notes. But because the roles between the 2 voices are reversed in the Glee version (with the 2nd voice being below the lead voice) musical mathematics dictate that the intervals are also reversed, like a mirror.
And here comes the boring technical stuff, so bear with me:
An octave has 8 basic notes (really: the name “octave” sort of gives that away), but when it comes to counting/naming the place of the intervals the next octave’s first note also counts. (Like the calculation of counting trees on a road: the first tree counts as well as the last tree. So when you have 1 tree after every yard you have 9 trees on 8 yards.) You don’t count the spaces between the notes, but the notes themselves.  Shocked 
Each interval has a complimentary one, or a mirrored one so to speak, and when you count them together they always amounts to 9 (because you count the notes and not the spaces between them).
 
The interval “first” therefore has the eight interval as its mirror (1/8), the second interval has the seventh (2/7), the third has the sixth (3/6), and the fourth has the fifth (4/5). Basically these intervals consist of the same notes, so they kinda sound the same when you reverse them.
I say kinda, because when you e.g. play a third interval in notes such as C-E it definitely sounds different than when you play a sixth interval, like E-C. The latter interval has more ‘space’ inbetween the notes and therefore creates a more ‘airy’ sound, while the C-E one is ‘thicker’. But the overall meaning of their harmony, the ‘feeling’ the intervals provoke, especially when used in a chord, is mostly the same and often exchangeable.
 
So the essence of the now reversed harmony of Glee’s 2nd chorus of ‘Get Back’ doesn’t change, but when it comes to the placement, the ‘space’ they create you can definitely hear, almost feel a difference between the original and the Glee version.
What in the original harmony of the chorus were fourths have become fifths now, which creates a slightly bigger but hardly noticeable ‘gap’ between the 2 voices. Maybe this difference is only distinguishable for the musically trained ear, but it does distort the original harmony somewhat.
 
Now you might think this is just nitpicking and way too music technically nerdy, and I’d probably agree if it weren’t for the fact that I really don’t like this chorus at all.  Evil or Very Mad
The energy is off, it’s not as sparkling as the original, or for that matter Hummelberry’s first chorus.
And flipping the harmony and singers around is imo to blame for that:
- By taking the 2nd voice below the lead voice it becomes a bit sluggish, like a heavy weight pulling the lead voice down. And the slightly bigger interval gap (from fourths to ‘airy’ fifths)  only enhances the feeling that the voices are being torn apart by this heavy weight.
- It also doesn’t help that I think Chris’ voice is stronger in this song and in this particular chorus/range than Lea’s, so her higher lead practically gets lost in the heavier 2nd voice of Chris, which also increases the heavy weight feeling and as a side-effect it makes Lea’s voice sound thinner.
Whereas the original has a dark/heavy lead voice as basis with a ‘lighter’ but still powerful and edgy higher 2nd voice above it, in a closer fourth intervals harmony.
 
Because of the mirrored intervals the ending of the first line in this chorus is off too, as instead of suddenly hearing the 2 voices break away from the fourth intervals harmony with the nosedive of the lead voice so they end up an octave apart, we get the 2 voices coming closer together and ending together on the same note. An eighth interval (octave) is more layered in sound than having both singers ending on the exact same note because you can distinguish the 2 voices more clearly. With the same ending note the voices blur together, and basically the harmony disappears: The chorus therefore ends a bit in an anti-climax.
They at least avoided this in the 2nd line, when Rachel did not take the nose-dive of the lead melody but stayed at the same note till the end, creating a better fifth interval ending. 

All in all I think this chorus didn’t work. And as this was the only part they cut from the episode, it makes me wonder if I wasn’t the only one who didn’t really like it.  saispa 
 
Chorus #3 :
This is an easy one: it’s almost the same as the first one, with Kurt singing lead and Rachel the higher 2nd voice. The only difference is that Rachel goes lower in the end of both lines, instead of continuing to say the high notes on the last one.
 
Chorus #4 :
This chorus is totally different from the other ones, and it even abandons the basis of the original chorus of the Beatles. Its basically Kurt singing a line and then Rachel repeating it with a few variations. In music terms we call this an “echo harmony” which name sort of speaks for itself.
At the very last line Kurt does the same thing Paul McCartney does in the last full chorus: he sings the “Get Back” a note higher, but he also adds a little improvised cascade downwards on the last line.

I like this chorus too, as it's different and fresh after 3 somewhat similar choruses.
 
 
x

The Arrangement :
What I really liked about Glee’s ‘Get Back’ version was that they exchanged the guitars and drums of the original with pianos. That gave a little less emphasis on the beat and more flow and energy to the song (with the fast keyboard runs), plus there’s also the lovely piano solo in the middle (played by Billy Preston in the Beatles version).
The use of the grand pianos in the episode during the song matched that arrangement nicely. It makes you wonder what came first: the idea to arrange ‘Get Back’ with only pianos or the idea of having Kurt and Rachel do a choreography with grand pianos being wheeled around. My guess, as this is Glee and they make things up without thinking about the consequences for the music department: the latter.  Rolling Eyes 
 
This next paragraph got written only because my music education put some never ever to cross rules in my head and I simply cannot let this one slide. The many grand pianos in the dancing class room were explained by Rachel saying that dean Carmen wanted the pianos tuned by the students. Not that Glee is a bit realistic on a sunny day in California anyway, but:
1) Pianos being used in conservatories or similar music schools, and especially grand pianos would never be tuned by students, let alone freshmen. Usually a school like that would have a professional piano-tuner on staff.
2) Twirling those pianos across the room, sitting and even walking on them does not help the tuning proces at all, and as these were grand pianos which are usually a lot more expensive than normal pianos I bet miss. Tibideaux would have expelled half of the students in that class room had she walked in during the song.  Razz 
3) There’s no way that a dance teacher like Cassandra would allow several grand pianos and stools to be wheeled in and pushed around on that wooden floor. Dance floors must be as smooth as possible and are being taken care of meticulously. Not even normal footwear would be allowed except when there is special floor covering forming a path. Pianos would be placed on special coasters.  Rolling Eyes 
But I admit the visuals were fun and inventive, although it was not the first time furniture was used to do choreography in that same dance room. Maybe NYADA has a special class for that.  tonguue 
 
   
x
 
Lea :
As much as I love the excisting Hummelberry duets (and would love to get some more too, thank you very much Glee) I wish this song was not one of them. In general I appreciate it when in Glee more singers can get involved in a song that in its origin is a solo, especially when they add new harmonies, because I think the Glee music people write (additional) harmonies very well. But this is one of the few times when I think that Glee should not have tweeked an original song to make it a (sort of) duet.  mince 
Sometimes it works, sometimes it can even enhance the original, sometimes it’s merely acceptable, and sometimes it distracts and the added voice is just…..annoying noise.  unsure 
In my opinion ‘Get Back’ would have been better as a Kurt solo, with Rachel or other random singers strictly on back-up in 1 chorus (like in the original). Or if they simply couldn’t resist putting her in the song (it’s Rachel after all  Rolling Eyes ) they should have kept it to Lea singing the back-up 2nd voice on all choruses but without all the howling and moaning.
It feels like Lea was shoe-horned in because Glee is so used to its own patterns when it comes to the singing (and imo also in its storylines, but that’s another subject) and God forbid miss Rachel Berry does not get to sing prominently in a song when she’s in the same room as another singer, even when it is a song that is being sung to her in the show.  dryy 
This Hummelberry song shouldn’t really have been a Hummelberry song at all, let alone a duet. And as ‘Get Back’ is not originally a duet to begin with (unlike some other songs *cough*Come What May*cough*) I think I’m allowed to say that.  fanny2 
 
What also doesn’t help is that imo Lea does not have the voice to sing Beatles songs (or at least not the ones we heard from her in this episode). Of course she can technically sing them, she has one of the strongest and most beautiful voices of the cast, but I don’t think she has the right style and timbre to sing (these) Beatles songs. It’s too clean and too belted.
The choruses I can live with: it happens very often on Glee that other characters in glee club or elsewhere provide the back-up for a solo singer on a song, even when on many occasions the actors are just lipsynching the words on back-up tracks made by studio singers. So the choruses Lea sings back-up on (#1 and #3) are fine by me. She's okay on the chorus with the echo too (#3), but the second chorus is bad, and  the improvisations throughout the song are distracting and annoying. Her “ooh”s and “aah”s don’t fit in the song at all, and to be completely honest (meaning: harsh) they kind of cheapen it.   Embarassed 
Let me be clear: most if not all of the blame for this goes mostly to the music producers/editors, not Lea.
 
The interactions between Kurt and Rachel (or Chris and Lea) in the episode during this number was great, a real joy to watch. There wasn’t much dancing, but that was very generously compensated with many glances and genuine smiles, and don’t forget the head banging and gorgeous leg action going on.  neutre 
I hope we will get a real Hummelberry duet soon, as it is ridiculous that Kurt and Rachel have been living together for a year (and 1 ½ seasons) now and yet their last duet was at the beginning of season 3.  No 
 
 
x

Chris :
Glee is letting Chris sing in his low register a lot more in season 4 and especially season 5. And I love that, although I have to state for the record here that I love his high register equally as much (maybe even a little bit more). It’s amazing that besides his rare, beautiful countertenor and his unique ‘colfertenor’ Chris also has quite a distinguishable tenor voice that can’t get mixed up with or mistaken for the many generic male voices on Glee.  wub 
I hope Glee will let him continu to use both registers, and especially give him songs that mix them together in all variations and styles possible.
 
In ‘Get Back’ Chris sings only in his low register, and quite high up in it even. The song stays mostly between the C4 and the G5, with a few sidesteps either way. The verses start on an E4 and goes up to a G4, and those are the notes Chris usually is the most comfortable switching to the high register on whenever he is singing with both his registers (his ‘colfertenor’).
For ‘Get Back’ he therefore had to be careful to choose the low register to sing those notes, but I don’t think that was hard for him since the entire song was in low register and that’s an easy muscle memory/mind set to lock the voice into. If he had to switch somewhere in the song to high register and back again then reminding himself to not automatically switch on those most convenient notes for him would have been more difficult, simply because he had to think about on top of everything else. Now he just needed to shift his voice in a fixed gear and go.  Smile 
 
As I said at the beginning of this review, Chris has proven several times already that his voice suits the Beatles songs very well. ‘Get Back’ is no exception to this rule. His low register is a little hazy by nature, and coincidentally so is Paul McCartney’s. Maybe that’s part of why Chris sings the Beatles songs so well.
He added a little grit to his voice in ‘Get Back’, but not as much as he did on ‘Got To Get You Into My Life’, as the song doesn’t need it. What the song does need is a little wink and a smile, as the lyrics are catchy but a bit nonsensical. And I think Chris expresses that feeling very well, both in his singing and in his acting in the episode.
 
 
x
 
Final Remark :
In my ‘Got To Get You Into My Life’ review I already mentioned that that song and ‘Get Back’ are far from my favorite songs of the Beatles. They’re fine, just nothing special imo. But it surprised me how much ‘Get Back’ apparently got lodged into my brain, as it was so difficult for me to hear the new Glee harmonies (even though I rarely listen to the Beatles on purpose). So the song still must have left some sort of impression over the years. And that’s what a lot of Beatles songs do. Young or old (and I’m not that old) : everyone knows and can hum along to at least a few Beatles songs. They definitely stand the test of time.  neutre 
I’m glad that Glee revived a couple of Beatles song for the show and made them more accessible to viewers who normally wouldn’t listen to them. Maybe they got curious because of Glee and will check out the originals now too.
 
I’m also glad that Chris had the chance to sing on several Beatles songs, and did so well on them. What delights me even more is that he not only did well on the ballads but also on the more uptempo ones, and that he was able to give them enough edge.
It’s not that I myself didn’t think he could (because I’ve suspected that he could ever since he sang ‘4 Minutes’) but the idea that he could not has been one of those assumptions that repeatedly made its rounds in the fandom and eventually is taken for truth by many.   dryy 

‘Get Back’ was not the first song on Glee in which Chris could show he can also sing the more edgy  pop/rock like songs (I remember how the fandom unaminously flailed when Chris growled that one line in ‘Black or White’), but it was the first that clearly had him front and center, as in practically being a solo. And since this review was written when we’re well into season 5 we already know there’s even edgier and more growling songs to look forward to.   aa54 
It’s certainly not the only reason why I marvel at Chris’ voice so much, but the fact that he turned out to be such a versatile singer when for many years he (and the fandom) thought his voice was beautiful but only suitable for a limited ‘niche’….. well, those days are definitely over.  hapitgh 
 
 
x


Last edited by Glorfindel on 4/19/2014, 10:44 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Glorfindel
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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  brisallie on 3/9/2014, 10:55 pm

Good review Marie  Smile I personally love Get Back as I think is a sort of cheerful song, I think changing the guitars to pianos was a nice touch. And yeah, I agree Chris has some hazy in her lower register that for me makes a difference from the other male voices of Glee Cast, except Kevin who has also a has a distinct voice.

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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  ColferInspired on 3/9/2014, 11:03 pm

Love the review.  Smile 

'Get Back' is my favourite from that episode.
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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  fantastica on 3/9/2014, 11:06 pm

thank you so much Marie, but you have to hurry up because the new songs are piling up.  Smile 

 bisou 
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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Buenos on 3/9/2014, 11:33 pm

fantastica wrote:thank you so much Marie, but you have to hurry up because the new songs are piling up.  Smile 

 bisou 

Yes you've slacked off long enough.

Wonderful review , now get back to work.  coool tonguue 
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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Delight on 3/9/2014, 11:48 pm

Thank you, Glorfindel, for the in-depth analysis of another Kurt song.  neutre 

I have to admit that although I like the Hummelberry camaraderie in the performance and also how Kurt sang lead in the song, it didn't really grab me as much as their previous duets (like, for example, For Good). It was an 'okay' song for me, and if you hadn't pointed out to me that the choruses were sung 4 different ways, I wouldn't have noticed. You've opined that this song didn't really work well as a duet, and I agree.

Another thing that I have to agree on-- more Hummelberry duets (proper ones) on Glee would be much appreciated. However, with the feud going on in the loft now, it would seem there would be less opportunities for this. Or more. I mean, they can always try to repair their friendship by singing songs, as Glee is wont to do.

Glorfindel wrote:...I remember how the fandom unaminously flailed when Chris growled that one line in ‘Black or White’

I remember that line in the song preview. That line was glorious. It made me extremely frustrated that Kurt didn't get to sing the whole song on his own but... Missed opportunities, thy name is Glee. *sigh*
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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Glorfindel on 3/10/2014, 8:27 am

Buenos wrote:
fantastica wrote:thank you so much Marie, but you have to hurry up because the new songs are piling up.  Smile 

 bisou 

Yes you've slacked off long enough.

Wonderful review , now get back to work.   coool tonguue 

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