Kurt's Singing Voice

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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  arina on 4/27/2012, 10:33 am

I don't know, I think he would sound alot of better on the chorus if they lower the key, so I am not sharing Chris's opinion on this one... At least I don't have to be mad at the producers that they did not lower the key for him when they did it for girls..

I am just sad that now the people who were saying Chris did everything he could with the song, will start blaming him for this choice..


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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Jellyrolls on 4/27/2012, 10:33 am

HollyMc. wrote:Personally, I could hear the damage Marie was talking about, and I think it was too high for him. He seemed to be using only his head voice for it.
It was a very good attempt, but I feel that it would have been better in a lower key.
If the girls get the keys lowered all the time, why not Chris?
I was very puzzled when I saw the tweets.

As music producers, could Alex and Adam not advise Chris a bit more?
They want to sell songs right? I think the sales would have been much better if the song had been in a lower key.

You have your answer. Chris wanted it that way. It's obvious that he loves to sing in his high register--most of the songs that he requested to sing on the show have been songs have been in his high register.

And for Chris, it's not about selling songs. It's about putting power and emotion into the performance. Most of the singers on this show have good to very good singing voices, and that's really all they do. They just sing the songs that are assigned to them. But Chris puts so much emotion and life into his songs, and uses it to enhance the storyline of his character.

I don't pay much attention to how a song charts. I don't think that we can fully know how a song sells unless we know how many copies it sells. The difference between a song that is the number 20 seller, and a song that is the number 40 song could really be as little as 20 copies sold. I would love to know the number of copies of sold for each song instead of the number it reaches on the charts. I'm sure "How Will I Know" sold a respectable number of copies.

Oh, and Holly, you sure are comfortable here fast, calling Marie by her name on her first post. Have you been lurking here long, or are you just addicted to Glee, Chris, and the message boards?

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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  HollyMc. on 4/27/2012, 10:52 am

arina wrote:I don't know, I think he would sound alot of better on the chorus if they lower the key, so I am not sharing Chris's opinion on this one... At least I don't have to be mad at the producers that they did not lower the key for him when they did it for girls..

I am just sad that now the people who were saying Chris did everything he could with the song, will start blaming him for this choice..

Agreed, I don't share Chris's opinion on this at all. The song started off quite nicely, but once he hit the high section (I think it starts at "Don't close one more door") he was out of depth in my opinion. And the highest section at the end? Completely out of his comfortable range.

I guess he just really loves singing high... regardless of what people think and how it sounds.


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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Glorfindel on 4/27/2012, 11:55 am

I suspected as much that Chris was the one who wanted to sing it in the original key.
*shrugs*
Chris would want to tackle a challenge like that. He gets a bit over-zealous at times and sometimes it bites him in the butt. hapitgh
Well, at least he is true to his reputation of knowing what he wants and going for it all the way. His 'drive' is what got us SBL and LoS, and a big part of why we love Kurt Hummel so much, so.....

It still doesn't excuse the music arrangers from allowing him to do it. They are the professionals in this, not Chris. They should have told him to lower the key. But who can resist this:



Alex and Adam never had a chance. ptdr

Well, at least I'm glad I haven't made the song review yet. I was about to go all Lima Heights on the Anders brothers. ooppss Smile

And regardless: Chris still did an amazing job with 'I Have Nothing', and he did it his usual Colfer magic way. wub
It's not an A+, but it's still an A-, imo. It's unique and still better than autotuned and techno beat tweeked-to-death remixes.
Haters gonna hate.


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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  fantastica on 4/27/2012, 11:59 am

To some people the sound of a males high register never sounds right. It appears unnatural to them. No matter how well Chris sing in his high register there will be criticisms. His better selling songs r all done in his low register. About IHN I doubt any one who is not a pro can hear any "straining ". But when a note goes so high it sounds "unnatural " if u r not used to it. hence the impression of straining. Chris has been practice for a week. If he cant reach the note he wont sing in that key. To my untrained ears he sounds great in this song.
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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  HollyMc. on 4/27/2012, 12:08 pm

I'm not a vocal coach or music expert, but even my untrained ear can hear that Chris's voice was basically cracking. He was depending on his falsetto, and you could hear the damage/straining very clearly toward the end of the song.

It sounded like it probably hurt his throat.

I think Chris was very very wrong to make this choice. Boy needs to learn to accept his limitations lol. And I'm pretty pissed at Alex and Adam for not setting him right on this.

Chris may love to sing as high as possible, but that doesn't mean he should.

Not that I hate the song, I adore the beginning of it.


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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Jellyrolls on 4/27/2012, 12:20 pm

Hope you enjoyed your six posts here, Glee Addict. You won't have a seventh.

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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  fantastica on 4/27/2012, 12:23 pm

Gleeaddict: its not chris' voice that's cracking. It's your ears that are cracked

And jelly honey u r way too generous.
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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Divalicious on 4/27/2012, 1:28 pm

Thank you, I just got up, and got on the forum, and had to read those sad posts. I wondered, why is she allowed this much? Then I see it is already taken care of, muchas gracias tonguue

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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Buenos on 4/30/2012, 2:18 pm

Chris can sing in a high register and a lower register. He can sing in both, but it's totally an opinion which one prefers as a listener. The one thing is that he can cover that range.

Some folks hate male *falsetto* for example, (Bee Gees and SNF being a prime example) , it isn't a matter if the Bee Gees could sing that high, they obviously could it's whether someone likes that type of sound or not. Another example is Frankie Valii with the Four Seasons.

With Chris Colfer, the fact that he has that variety is unusual for Glee and he stands out from Cory, Kevin, Darren, etc in the show in his vocals. Their voices, as good as they can be on occasion, can blend in and out so people can't always tell who sings what. With Kurt out of the falsettos of "Saturday Nigh Glee" it was amusing to see fans flailing trying to figure out who sang what among the other guys. It's happened several times among the fans of the other singers (cough..cough..Darren..cough..cough) that they have no idea who is singing. Chris uniqueness is not highlighted or "showcased" which is annoying because Glee supposedly celebrates being the best you you can be. When Chris/Kurt sings, you know who is singing and he draws attention.

He doesn't need backup dancers, he doesn't' need major auto tune, he doesn't need production values, he doesn't need the rest of the Glee club swaying behind him or singing backup, he just needs to sing to grab attention and focus.




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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Glorfindel on 4/30/2012, 4:12 pm

The Saturday Night Glee-ver First Listen Friday was the funniest FLF we've had so far. It took the fandom 2 days to figure out who was singing what. ptdr


I'm very satisfied that a lot of the comments last week on 'How Will I Know' said things like "These are the 4 strongest/best/purest singers of Glee". suure


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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  fantastica on 4/30/2012, 4:29 pm

^ that's a pure acapella song. no auto tuning. no heavy music to mask any vocal flaws. no studio backups. you can't do it well if you are not a good singer to begin with.
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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Glorfindel on 4/30/2012, 4:44 pm

^Exactly. hapitgh

*she says smugly*

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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Glorfindel on 5/3/2012, 10:26 pm

I just finished my review of 'I Have Nothing'. Tomorrow I will post it here, but now I'm tired (it's 3.30AM), and reposting it here will take me another half hour because the format on this forum is different and I'll have to make adaptations.

For now: here is a link to the KSV thread on GF.

REVIEW: I Have Nothing

bisou

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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Glorfindel on 5/4/2012, 5:23 pm

REVIEW: I Have Nothing (IHN).

After a Saturday Night Fever tribute episode that didn't have Kurt singing a BeeGees song (yes, I'm still pissed about that), Glee immediately followed with another tribute episode, dedicated to the late Whitney Houston. And this time Kurt did not only sing, but he sang in 3 songs (!), which can be counted as a small miracle.
That only has happened 3 times before: in 'the Power of Madonna' (although Kurt only spoke in 'What It Feels Like for a Girl'), 'Journey to Regionals' (although Kurt's line in DSB was cut and he only sang a little backup to Finn in the other Journey song), and 'Extraordinary Christmas' (although he just had one backup line in DTKIC). Hmmm, so I guess it didn't really happen after all in these episodes. Kurt is no 'fighter' apparently. Rolling Eyes
Well, to stay positive: I'd say the Whitney tribute episode was the real deal, because in neither one of the other almost 3-songs episodes did Kurt have a solo and a significant part in the 2 other songs. I'm such a cockeyed optimist today.

As soon as we heard that Kurt would sing 'I Have Nothing' the whole fandom freaked. The Kurtsies freaked because although this is a wonderful song and we've waited for a Kurt solo for soooooo long, we were afraid of the result and the reaction of the rest of the fandom. And the rest of the fandom did indeed freak, because "Chris-should-not-sing-in-his-high-register-and- how-dare-he-sing-a-Whitney-Houston-song-when-Amber-Riley-is-on-the-set." Or something like that.
Yup, been there, done that. dryy
So I geared up and prepared for battle. But surprisingly, not much battle came. Even more surprisingly so because Chris sang IHN really, really high and that would have earned him an immense smackdown by the non-Kurtsies in season 2.
But I guess being the underdog for so long, not having had a solo since episode 2 of the current season, and fated to sit on a stool while his acapella dreamboat boyfriend took over in glee club, mixed with some fandom frustration about the writing and song distribution these days, does pay off. Maybe the Gleeks hearing the feeble attempts of Chris' castmates to sing falsetto in the BeeGees episode helped create some sympathy for his strong falsetto voice as well. tonguue
Instead of scorning him, a large part of the fandom admitted that, though IHN was too high for comfort, it still was a lovely, emotional song and Chris did a good job with it. It even ended up on 2nd place in the poll on Glee forum. That is a big miracle, let's celebrate that for a moment.


The youtube videos:


Whitney Houston :


Kurt/Chris show version :


Kurt/Chris full version :



The Lyrics:

(low register is bolded)

(Verse 1)
"Share my life, take me for what I am
Cause I'll never change all my colors for you
Take my love, I'll never ask for too much
Just
all that you are and everything that you do

I don't really need to look very much further
I don't want to have to go where you don't follow
I won't hold it back again, this passion inside
Can't run from myself
There's nowhere to hide


(Chorus 1)
Don't make me close one more door
I don't wanna hurt anymore
Stay in my arms if you dare
Or must I imagine you there
Don't walk a
way from me-e...
I
have nothing, nothing, nothing
If I don't have you, you, you, you you, you

(Verse 2)
You see through, right to the heart of me
You break down my walls with the strength of your love, mm
mooh
I never knew love like I've known it with you
Will a memory survive, oh one I can hold on to-o

I don't really need to look very much further
I don't want to have to go where you don't follow

I won't hold it back again, this passion inside
I can't run from myself
There's nowhere to hide
Your love I'll remember forev
er

(Chorus 2)
Don't make me close one more door
I don't wanna hurt anymore
Stay in my arms if you dare
Or must I imagine you there
Don't walk away
from me...
I have nothing, nothing, nothing

(Chorus 3)
Don't make me close one more door
I don't wanna hurt anymore
Stay in my arms if you dare
Or must I imagine you there
Don't walk
away from me no...
Don't walk away from me
Don't you dare walk away from me
I have nothing, nothing, nothing
If I don't have you, you, you
If I don't have you, ohohooh"


Colfertenor:

When I was reading some comments about IHN on several forums I came across a few discussions whether Chris was a countertenor or not. Some people argued that a countertenor can reach the high notes in his 'real' voice (meaning low register I guess?), and Chris has to resort to falsetto to get that high, so he's no countertenor.
Well, no, because that's what countertenors really do: sing in their falsetto (in high register). There are very rare men who can sing that high in their low register, and they are not called countertenors at all, but male sopranos.
Chris is not a male soprano (nor ever was, even though Glee promoted him that way), but believe me: Chris is a legit countertenor if he wants to be.
Having said that: Chris does not sing as a countertenor in 'I Have Nothing', nor as (quite obvious) a tenor. Razz

After all the times Kurt and Chris have been accused of singing "like a girl" I'd say that this time that statement is mostly correct: Chris is using pure female vocal techniques in IHN. I think trying to come close to Whitney's style provoked that, but a big part of it is Chris' own unique style of singing: aka his Colfertenor.
Because, although Chris sings like a girl, he doesn't sound like a girl, and there lies the difference (and the core of the discord/schism over his voice in the fandom). Listen to the phenomenal Alex of TGP in Boogie Shoes, and you'll hear the difference in timbre and voice between him and Chris. I think Alex is a male soprano, and he and Chris do not sound alike at all (btw: Alex would have nailed a WH song). neutre

A refreshment course (since it's been soooooo long):
- a male soprano can reach the high notes in his low register, but they are very rare.
- a tenor only sings in his low register.
- a countertenor sings mostly in his high register (falsetto), only singing in low register when absolutely necessary.
- there are men who combine the 2 techniques (tenor+countertenor), but most of the time you can clearly hear the breakpoint (the notes on which he changes register).
- a woman changes frequently between her low and high register, blending them together as much as possible.

Chris sometimes sings as a tenor (4Minutes, Blackbird), sometimes as a countertenor (Don't Cry For Me Argentina, Pure Imagination), but most of the time he mixes both voices up, partly using female vocal techniques. The more confident he gets in using both his registers and switching between them, the more he keeps the middle part of his vocal range a neutral zone: singing the same note one time in low, the other time in high register. There isn't a clear boundary/tone where he always switches (e.g. with Kevin McHale there is a clear boundary above which he sings in falsetto). Chris can switch his registers on more than an octave of notes!!! That is phenomenal, and something most women cannot do, let alone men. Here's a male singer who uses the same techniques: Mandy Patinkin - Somewhere Over the Rainbow. wub



Chris' vocal range:
- low register = blue
- breaking point notes (both low and high register) = black
- high register (falsetto) = red

A2-B-C3-D-E-F-G-A-B3-C4-D-E-F-G-A-B-C5-D-E5-F-G-A-B5flat


The verses:

1-A + 2-A:

(Verse 1-A)
"Share my life, take me for what I am
Cause I'll never change all my colors for you
Take my love, I'll never ask for too much
Just
all that you are and everything that you do

(Verse 1-B)
(Chorus)

(Verse 2-A)

You see through, right to the heart of me
You break down my walls with the strength of your love, mm
mooh
I never knew love like I've known it with you
Will a memory survive, oh one I can hold on to-o

(Verse 2-B)

The first part of the verses (the A parts) are very soft, and Chris sings all but a few words in high register. The melody isn't that high and could have been entirely sung by Chris in low register, if he wanted to. But by using his high register he gets a much softer effect. Here he mostly sings as a countertenor, only going back to the low register when absolutely necessary, on the 2 low notes (G3) at the beginning of lines 2 and 4 in verse 1-A.
However: he also switches back to low register on "…ask for too much" in that verse. This is not necessary technically, and I think he does it to emphasize the words he's singing: to give them more importance and strength in comparison to the rest of the verse.

The similar in melody 2nd verse (2-A) is stronger in emotion, more intense, and by using his low register in those first 2 lines Chris can put that extra emotion in it. The 3rd and 4th line of verse 2-A are higher than their counterparts in verse 1-A. This is another trick to intensify the emotion, only this time of course, that was already intended in the melody when the song was composed.


1-B + 2-B:

(Verse 1-A)

(Verse 1-B)

"I don't really need to look very much further
I don't want to have to go where you don't follow
I won't hold it back again, this passion inside

Can't run from myself
There's nowhere to hide


(Chorus)
(Verse 2-A)

(Verse 2-B)

I don't really need to look very much further
I don't want to have to
go where you don't follow
I won't hold it back again, this passion inside
I can't run from myself
There's nowhere to hide
Your love I'll remember forev
er"

The 2nd part of the verses (the B-parts) are sung in low register (chest voice). Chris can do it easily, because the highest note (without the notes in the runs) is an A4, and he doesn't need to belt.

The first verse (1-B) is completely in low register except for 1 word, and that's where the Colfertenor sneaks in for an instant.
The second verse has a few more words in high register. This is not a tenor's voice. This is definitely Colfertenor.
Changing registers here is not necessary because of the melody, but still Chris does it several times. And it's fascinating how easily Chris switches back and forth, slipping in and out of his falsetto smoothly. We will see this more of him in the songs to come.

And it's new. Not completely new, but the ease and thougthlessness in which it is done is new. Chris is either not aware of it anymore, or he has just adopted it as his personal style. Or more likely it's a combination of both.
So far the rapidly switching of registers of the Colfertenor technique was mainly used to create and support the voix mixte: coloring one register to sound like the other register on notes out of reach of that other register: aka cheating a bit. Smile
But this is different. Chris is not hiding the switches/breakpoints anymore with voix mixte. His voice has become smooth enough to create a homogenous sound throughout his entire vocal range without resorting to voix mixte, and the small differences in timbre of the registers that he doesn't hide anymore behind that voix mixte seem now to be part of his signature, his style. It's like Chris doesn't care anymore that people know he's singing in all his registers, and using vocal techniques that are not traditionally male while doing so if he feels like it: it's out in the open. It is less contrived now, and more his own natural voice, imo.
It is only a tiny difference, and I hope explained it right, but it's as if another layer has been peeled off of Chris's voice. wub


The Choruses:

(Chorus 1)
Don't make me close one more door
I don't wanna hurt anymore
Stay in my arms if you dare
Or must I imagine you there
Don't walk a
way from me-e...
I
have nothing, nothing, nothing
If I don't have you, you, you, you you, you

(Chorus 2)
Don't make me close one more door
I don't wanna hurt anymore
Stay in my arms if you dare
Or must I imagine you there
Don't walk away
from me...
I have nothing, nothing, nothing

(Chorus 3)
Don't make me close one more door
I don't wanna hurt anymore
Stay in my arms if you dare
Or must I imagine you there
Don't walk
away from me no...
Don't walk away from me
Don't you dare walk away from me
I have nothing, nothing, nothing
If I don't have you, you, you
If I don't have you, ohohooh

Well, the choruses was where it all went to Mount Doom for a lot of fans. Darn, those notes are high. blinkk
In the 1st and 2nd chorus Chris sings up to a high F5. And that's the 'Defying Gravity' and 'It's All Over' F. In the 3rd chorus Chris sings even higher, to a F5sharp. That's because between the 2nd and the 3rd chorus the key changes 1 semitone upwards, and so does the high note.
Luckily the high F's are only briefly touched upon, and they are not long sustained notes, but yeah, they are still difficult.

The choruses also have another difficulty: riffs and runs.

Riffs and Runs:
Chris has a traditional Broadway voice. Chris has not got a R&B or soul voice. We all know that by now. Chris is not that stuck in his Broadway voice that he cannot tackle pop music or other styles, but riffs and runs are not his 'cup of tea'.
I myself cannot do riffs and runs spontaneously. I can study them and give a good imitation, but they will never come really naturally to me. Chris has the same problem.

And I think, more than IHN being very high, the riffs and the runs are giving Chris trouble maintaining his warmer and stronger timbre. Singing runs is hard work and the many little notes tend to make you 'slip' off the firm placement of your voice inside your mouth. You can't really 'hold on' to something. That is what is causing the 'haziness' and the loss of power in Chris' voice in IHN. Remember how I explained that the throat/vocal chords are like a balloon: not enough 'pressure', or 'placement' in this case, and the air escapes, making the tone less firm and drying out the vocal chords in the process. The drying out of the vocal chords causes the 'fatigue'.
So, ironically enough, a lot of people kept saying that Chris sounded strained in the high notes of IHN, when in fact it is the lack of strain that is causing his voice sounding 'thin' here.

But here's where Chris' impersonating/imitating talents come in handy. He obviously listened a lot to Whitney singing IHN. You can almost put their versions on top of one another and you'll hear how much Chris copied her timing and enounciation, and the riffs and runs.
Actually: someone really did put the versions on top of one another (thank you). Listen to this and be astounded. ohmy




The Key:

When 'I Have Nothing' was released on FLF I was in shock (and I wasn't the only one): Chris sang an epic Whitney Houston song in her original key. Apart from the last group number in the episode (My Love Is Your Love) noone else in the cast had to do that in this episode, not even Lea or Amber.
At first I was taken aback, because, boy, that was really high, Mr. Colfer.
But I still embraced and loved the song, because Chris adapted 'I Have Nothing' to his own style, without compromising Whitney's R&B's original style, singing it soft, angelic, but still full of emotional power, and his emotions seeped through, making his version as lovely and powerful in spirit as hers, regardless the high key.
And, to stop the haters: despite that the highest notes sounded thin and were not as powerful as Whitney's amazing belting voice, those high notes were pitch perfect, nothing wrong with that.
There was however a 'haze' in his voice, and I recognized that as fatigue and overstretching. This was, as I said above, due I think to having to rehearse this song and all its runs within only weeks (knowing Glee and the shoe-horned in tribute idea maybe only days), and then record it in 1 (!) hour. That will definitely give stress and fatigue to a voice. The Glee cast members work harder than horses, and Fox is a demanding boss. dryy

After the episode aired the news came out that Chris himself wanted to sing 'I Have Nothing' in the original key. Alas, no complot theory was true of Glee setting Kurt up for failure, or "What were they drinking/using that day in the music studio?".
I'm glad I got this piece of information before I wrote this review, because I was about to go all Lima Heights on Adam and Alex Anders. And I stil think they are not off the hook entirely for letting Chris sing IHN in its original key. In my opinion the key should have been lowered by 2-3 semitones. It is not so much that Chris cannot reach the high notes, because he clearly proves he can, but because his timbre in the highest notes is not as rich as a little lower in his vocal range, and….. well it's just darn high.
I have sung IHN myself at a wedding and even though I still have a few extra high notes on Chris (although he's catching up fast hapitgh): I lowered the key 2 semitones. Not because I couldn't reach the notes, but because I don't have a R&B voice like Whitney, and neither does Chris. Lowering the key a bit gave me more 'darkness' and power in my voice to work with, and that would have worked for Chris too.

Now listen good: I did not say that Chris should have sung IHN one octave lower in his low register only, as some people suggested. That is something completely different. I said that the key should have been lowered 2-3 semitones, so Chris could use his warmer timbre in his falsetto. Lowering the key with an octave would have been impossible music wise and Chris would have sounded horribly 'off', not like Kurt, and certainly not like Whitney.

No matter how lovely the end result: I think that Chris made a mistake in singing IHN in its original key; this was one bridge too far. But this is Chris we're talking about: the guy who thrives on challenges and constantly seeks the boundaries of his creativity. If that incredible drive of him gives us SBL, LoS and a new asyllum movie to look forward to, then a bold move that prevented IHN from becoming an absolute perfect Whitney Houston hommage can be easily forgiven. fanny2

Where was I…..? Oh yes, the Anders brothers. In hindsight and as a nagging voice coach who only accepts the best, I'd say they should have overruled Chris and lowered the key. But by giving Chris the opportunity to honor Whitney Houston his way, Adam and Alex (and whoever else was involved in the process) put themselves right on the line there with Chris, and I can only admire and appreciate that very, very much.
They ignored iTunes sales, the tendency of Glee to produce polished main stream music, and they were not afraid to say "scr*w you" to the nay-sayers of Chris' voice. Seeing the backlash and twitter crap they got for that, which led to Alex tweeting that Chris himself wanted to sing IHN in its original key, I can only say: kudos to them, and thank you for making it possible for Chris to have his own voice in this. wub



Final remark:

The downside of no key change for 'I Have Nothing', and no whistles and bells like music videos, a glass table or nice short skirts to distract from the performance, was that it set Chris up for a direct comparison with Whitney Houston. And being compared to one of the best voices of her time will not go well 99% of the time. Chris was no exception to that.
But, apart from the puritans that are of the opinion that noone should sing Whitney's songs but her or Amber Riley, a lot of people admitted that Chris came darn close, admitted fans and critics. By several media recappers 'I Have Nothing' got an A-, and that would be my grade also.

By singing IHN the way he does, Chris once again demonstrates that he's just being who he is: not so much blurring the gender lines, but kicking against the rules of them (constraint by society), and ignoring them to fit his own expressions, his own style. Whether that style is considered as male or female or not: I honestly think that this is not his concern or hidden agenda.
I'm not sure if I made this clear, but there is a difference between deliberately blurring/crossing gender rules, or just doing what you want because it sounds right to you and scr*w the nay-sayers who want to pigeonhole you in the 'appropiate' box, in Chris' case either the box of a male singer who should sing "normal", or the box of a gay guy only wanting to sing "girl songs". And that goes for Kurt even more.
(And I'm writing this review knowing what will come for Kurt performing wise in the next episode: Choke neutre ).

It seems like Chris has chosen to be who he is, and the more confident he gets in his career, the more confident he gets in his voice. No more hiding or compromises: Chris defied gravity, iTunes sales and the fandom backlash with his voice, and I love that in him.
Maybe he will make more mistakes with this attitude then when playing it safe (and hearing his comments during his SBL interviews about among other things IHN I think he frets about that a lot), but it allows him to think outside of the box, and that's what got us 'Rose's Turn' and 'As If We Never Said Goodbye'. wub

In that respect some of the lyrics of 'I Have Nothing' ring very true for Chris:
"Take me for what I am, 'cause I'll never change all my colors for you."

Chris wanted to honor a singer he admired very much, and he did it in the way he thought was his best, and in many ways it was.

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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Emile on 5/4/2012, 5:47 pm

^I really, really love your review! I like to know more about his voice, and you make it easy even for someone like me who is all but an expert.

And I love what you said in the "Final remark"!
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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  fantastica on 5/5/2012, 1:29 am

Thank u Marie. Great review as usual plus the very insightful summary! Chris has a very unhealed voice and even more unusual approach to singing. Without your expertise and passion there would be more voices of dismissal father than acceptance and appreciation. Btw I lisrened to this song many times and I really cant hear any flaws. Just to show u I'm no pro.
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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  BlueJazz on 5/5/2012, 4:20 pm

Huge thanks to Marie for another great review of Kurt's song bisou My reaction when I first heard IHN was quite similar as you, a bit shocked and surprised (it's so high Shocked ) , but then I began to embrace the beauty of the cover wub To me, although this cover is sung in a quite similar way as WH's (key and runs), including the song arrangement, it still has its own "unique flavor" as it sounds more angelic and also more innocent. It's not as epic as WH's but it's more vulnerable and most importantly, it's sung by a guy Shocked In short, it's quite a bizarre and amazing thing Smile

I have some questions here, I hope you don't mind as I'm a total amateur in vocal field.

1) People often thinks that belting is a more valuable technique than singing in higher register (like comparing WH's IHN to Chris') because belting sounds stronger. What do you think as a vocal couch? Is a belter (like male soprano) more valuable than a countertenor?

2) I sing quite a lot by myself and often sing those belting parts of a song (like Lea's part in Faithfully) in my higher register as I really can't belt. I wish I could learn belting some day and I hope to have your advice. Do you think it's possible for a girl to learn belting in her 20's ? Also, what are the vocal exercises needed to improve a person's belting technique (you can only list a few important ones if there's too many)?

3) Since I'm not an expert, I did not compare the original IHN to Chris' as they're so different and it's not my place to judge but in your opinion, do you think Chris did IHN justice ? I'm just curious about your thoughts on it.

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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Glorfindel on 5/6/2012, 7:02 am

BlueJazz wrote:
I have some questions here, I hope you don't mind as I'm a total amateur in vocal field.

1) People often thinks that belting is a more valuable technique than singing in higher register (like comparing WH's IHN to Chris') because belting sounds stronger. What do you think as a vocal couch? Is a belter (like male soprano) more valuable than a countertenor?
Belting is a technique that is very difficult to learn, and not everyone can do it. In fact: if you do it wrong you will ruin your voice *cough*Adele*cough*. You really have to train a belt very carefully (just like being a countertenor). It's a combination of natural ability and training. So in a way belting is considered as 'better', an extra talent.
However: if you're not very good at belting there are other ways to get a similar result: strengthening your higher register and coloring it to the low register, aka voix mixte.
That's what Chris usually does when he needs to go high in a strong way.
Personally I think that both techniques are difficult: but belting is in this culture and age considered as 'more', but I don't totally agree with that.

A male soprano can be called 'better' than a countertenor because they are very, very rare. Countertenors are rare, but they still have a male vocal range: they just have the natural skill to strengthen and train the upper register more. But they can't belt.
A male soprano is born with a female vocal range (e.g. Alex from TGP), and that is extremely rare. Because they don't have to go to high register to hit the high notes, they can 'belt' a lot easier, because the higher notes are still in reach of their low register (belting is singing high notes in low register).
So, like gold and diamants: male sopranos are more 'valuable' because they're rare, not because they sing 'better'. I personally prefer the sound of a countertenor, because they still have this male timbre, where male sopranos do sound like women.

2) I sing quite a lot by myself and often sing those belting parts of a song (like Lea's part in Faithfully) in my higher register as I really can't belt. I wish I could learn belting some day and I hope to have your advice. Do you think it's possible for a girl to learn belting in her 20's ? Also, what are the vocal exercises needed to improve a person's belting technique (you can only list a few important ones if there's too many)?
You can develop your voice till you're about 40, and even after that age there is room for improvement.
The best way to learn belting is to do vocal runs: exercises. Sing from low to high and try to postpone your breaking point as long as possible.
But be careful: as I said, you can damage your voice very easily when belting the wrong way. If you can afford a voice coach than let him/her help you. If you have to do it on your own: practice belting for only short periods of time (5-10 minutes) and stop as soon as you feel any strain on your voice. neutre

3) Since I'm not an expert, I did not compare the original IHN to Chris' as they're so different and it's not my place to judge but in your opinion, do you think Chris did IHN justice ? I'm just curious about your thoughts on it.
Of course, I think that is in the review. Yes, Chris most definitely did IHN justice.
All that was wrong with it was that a slightly lower key and more preparation time (to learn the runs) would have improved his timbre, that's all.
But it still gets a 95% score, and that's much more than a lot of songs (and singers) on Glee get from me these days.


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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  BlueJazz on 5/6/2012, 5:28 pm

Thanks for answering my questions in such a detailed way wub . I hope they are not too silly for you Embarassed Also, I think I'm with you on preferring countertenor over male soprano as I think they sound really unique and kinda irreplaceable while male soprano sounds just like a woman. Sadly, I don't think much people can see the beauty of a countertenor voice :( It's their lost, though, imo vexe


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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Glorfindel on 5/6/2012, 5:57 pm

BlueJazz wrote:Thanks for answering my questions in such a detailed way wub . I hope they are not too silly for you Embarassed
No questions are silly. fanny2

I'm also sad that so many people don't appreciate Chris' voice, only because it is out of the 'main stream'. It just proves how badly informed they are, because countertenors, or high male voices in general, have been active and popular throughout history. They have a right to be heard, just like any other voice.

But people are determined to not like what they don't know.
I cooked Brussels sprouts today. Two of my three kids won't eat them because they've decided beforehand that they will not like them. When I ordered them to eat a sprout they did so with a distasteful face and of course: they hated them.
That's the mindset of some people concerning Kurt's high notes: they think they are 'shrill' and 'thin', when those notes are probably rounder and fuller than a woman's, because of the male timbre. But they just won't give it an honest chance.

Well, their loss. vexe


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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Divalicious on 5/6/2012, 6:19 pm

I am an eclectic individual. I like things traditionally feminine, but also the traditional masculine. I love to cook (and eat) and to make things like sew or needlepoint, but I also love playing video games (RPG only, I like a story) and love fantasy science fiction. I told my brother I was going to name one of the male kittens "Jade" after a favorite RPG character who is also male, and he said I should change it to Jaden because that is a boys name. My brother is gay, but also follows traditional roles, which is why he favors Blaine over Kurt. To me that is just propagating the myth that things have to be either female or male. They can't simply be "good" on their own.

Perhaps that is why I love Kurt's voice, I find it remarkable and more unique than Unique. Because Unique sounds like a belting woman, which I've heard a whole lot of on this show. I've said it before, but I don't need to be blasted in my seat by a wall of sound, I prefer to be lured to the song by it's siren's call, to wax poet. I am lured by the emotion Chris puts into his songs, and like things you love, you find the best things about it. People who don't appreciate Kurt or Chris probably won't take the time to find the wonder of something just being different.

In a show about the underdog, the different, I am always amazed by the amount of on-line bullying and non-acceptance of those unique underdogs. You have to have what others regard as "acceptable" voice ranges and songs to be desired. I love Rachel, but have never found her an underdog, ever. She has had the boy friends, the adulation of being their "best" singer. She yearns for things, but never really fights for things. Kurt takes chances, and has the obstacles of being gay, not having a pedestrian voice and feminine mannerisms at times. Kurt is the underdog on this show, but I do acknowledge that Rachel has always been set up to be the main character, which is why I accept the stories she gets, and Kurt doesn't.

I do know in the upcoming year it will be all of Kurt's songs I will buy, with only the occasional other singer, because I've heard a lot of belted ballads that I don't connect with. I want a song that makes me feel, not just nice to hear.

On another note, I decided to name another male kitten Kit Carson, it seems a rambunctious explorer who doesn't give a s#@t. Number 3 kitten I am still deciding on. neutre

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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Buenos on 5/6/2012, 11:04 pm


To me it's silly to say Chris voice is a girl's voice (as I've heard in other Glee forums). It's like saying Adele's voice is a man's voice, since she can sing lower than a lot of women. What attracts me to his voice is that it's not generic , it has interesting character. Sometimes with the other guys (Kevin, Cory, Mark, Darren, Damian, etc) you close your eyes and you can't tell whose singing what.

Chris voice has a purity but it also can have punch.
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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  BlueJazz on 5/11/2012, 9:26 pm

Some questions for you here, Marie (hope that I'm not bothering you too much):

1) I saw in GF that you've mentioned wanting Kurt to sing "I am what I am" for his NYADA audition (btw, why is sammy holding a cigarette in his hand while singing in that video? blinkk I hope both Chris and Kurt will never ever smoke...) Is there any other songs (preferably from Broadway) that you think can show off both Kurt's singing and dancing skills to the fullest?

ps: Not that I think NTBND is not good enough because that performance just screams "Kurt!" and it made me got a little emotional with all the proud mama feelings wub I just wanna know if there's any other better songs for Kurt's audition.

2) I've been thinking of sending a link of your review of Chris' voice to glee writers or anders through twitter maybe during the hiatus after S3 finale and I have to get your permission before doing that. Are you comfortable with it or you wanna send it yourself? I just wanna let them have a chance to take a look at a vocal couch's analysis of Chris' voice so it may give them some good ideas to utilize his voice if Chris is going to sing in S4. So, I don't mind who send it as I just want them to get the message. Plus, it may give you a chance to be Glee's musical advisor in the future tonguue (just kidding, but I really want that to happen after reading all your gorgeous review) So, what do you think?


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Re: Kurt's Singing Voice

Post  Glorfindel on 5/12/2012, 8:21 am

BlueJazz wrote:1) I saw in GF that you've mentioned wanting Kurt to sing "I am what I am" for his NYADA audition (btw, why is sammy holding a cigarette in his hand while singing in that video? blinkk I hope both Chris and Kurt will never ever smoke...) Is there any other songs (preferably from Broadway) that you think can show off both Kurt's singing and dancing skills to the fullest?
Sammy held cigarettes all the time. That was not a musical performance, just him singing the song. In the musical 'I Am What I Am' should be sung in drag, and as much as I think this song is good for Kurt, I didn't want him to act that scene out. Had I known that the audition would be in character and full scene I would not have wanted Kurt to sing that song, even though his voice is perfect for it.
As for other songs: yes, plenty. But since 'The Impossible Dream' would have bored Carmen Tibideaux to death as well..... Smile
Chris' own auditions song would be a great choice: 'Mr. Cellophane'. I really wished that Kurt would do a reprise of that song, from the Pilot to NYADA. But since Kurt's storyline in 'Choke' was taking a 'risky' choice I guess 'Mr. Cellophane' was out.
NTBND is controversial in the fandom now because it is not a very difficult song voice wise. But changing the key, adding a few high notes (and it's really stupid they cut the high F from the show version), and dancing during the singing made it an acceptable song, vocal technically wise, for a NYADA audition.

2) I've been thinking of sending a link of your review of Chris' voice to glee writers or anders through twitter maybe during the hiatus after S3 finale and I have to get your permission before doing that. Are you comfortable with it or you wanna send it yourself? I just wanna let them have a chance to take a look at a vocal couch's analysis of Chris' voice so it may give them some good ideas to utilize his voice if Chris is going to sing in S4. So, I don't mind who send it as I just want them to get the message. Plus, it may give you a chance to be Glee's musical advisor in the future tonguue (just kidding, but I really want that to happen after reading all your gorgeous review) So, what do you think?
Well, I certainly won't do it myself. But you've got my permission. Somehow I think they read the forums anyway, or at least hire people to do it for them (RIB that is, not the Adams brothers).


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