Just my annual "bah humbug" post, which I've finally managed to complete. You know, there's always something that sets me off.
This year, while walking around a shopping mall on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, I suddenly noticed in a rare bunch of coincidences, that each shop I went to seemed to have the same song playing on the Muzak.
Of course, Carl Jung would attach some sort of significance to this.
It was "O Holy Night," which prior to this Christmas, was one I considered a reasonably 'nice' Christmas carol. In each instance, it was being covered by someone different. "O Holy Night" has been covered that many times it's not funny.
I can't recall who was singing it the first few times, but it was Whitney Houston the second last time, and Mariah Carey the last time.
And these were the two that really set me off. It's one thing to hear these two bints doing their own stuff, but really, when stuck in a shop waiting for one's loved one to wrap up their purchases (oh, Christmas puns, you gotta love them) the last thing that one wants to hear is these atrocities being perpetrated by singers with the utter hubris to think that these songs are all about them.
In Carey's case, I don't think that she sang a single note in key or in time. Always she delayed or anticipated her entrance.
Actually, I'm reminded of a cover I heard once of Nick Cave doing "Hey Jude". He was late for every single note, and I'm not joking. But yet again, I've digressed.
In addition to Carey's appalling habit of chucking in glissandos of several hundred octaves per syllable, she cannot hit a note first time bang on. She has to scoop up from a lower note, or swoop down from a higher note.
But, you know, the worst part about this is that Carey, Houston and everyone else who has covered this recently can't plead ignorance in their massacring of this tune.
Oh no. Part of Carey and Houston's shtick is to have a full gospel choir going in the background. You see, the full blown vocal acrobatics in Carey, Houston's and everyone else's case appears to be a case of plugging their gospel credentials. In other words, there appears to be a serious lack of imagination as to how to cover one of these tunes.
This suspicion was confirmed as Carey's divadom faded out to be replaced by a cover of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" done by Michael Bolton in exactly the same way.
Now you expect this from RnB'ers. Their whole lifestyle is based around hosing down any suggestion that their soul or gospel credentials are below par. In Carey's case, add hip hop credentials to this list.
Why they insist on doing this during every tune, though is a mystery to me. I am not questioning for a moment the technical ability of these singers, but they still insist on foisting it upon us, when they could ease off from time to time and just sing normally.
RnB is basically western Cantopop (or Mandopop) designed to be as inoffensive as possible while bleeding dollars from black Americans. There really isn't any difference between RnB and Pop except for the colour of the performers, and this is possibly final proof that the music industry is one of the most racist places on earth.
Michael Bolton ought to know about this. For years, he's been indulging in every single vocal gimmick that RnB'ers use, yet he's labelled "soft rock" because he's white.
Anyway. That's my gripe for this year. Have a happy new year, and don't do anything I wouldn't do.