As a singer myself, I can be a real snob when it comes to pop voices. I have almost immediate judgments flying out of my head — and sometimes my mouth — as soon as I hear a new singer or band. I may enjoy the overall sound and production or even be willing to give a song another listen — but I’ll know just what I think of the singing the first time I hear it.
I admit, I can be a little unfair. Have I ever changed my opinion when my initial judgment was negative? Of course. Styles of singing have changed and different voices are required to deliver different musical styles and lyric messages. My taste in voices over the years has expanded. Sometimes I can even go back and “discover” voices that I had earlier dismissed. Case in point — the first few Carpenters tunes I heard seemed so thin and packaged to me. Later, I fell in love with Karen Carpenter’s superb control and depth. And even the early songs — that I once sneered at — now delight me. I’ve joined the millions who miss the heck out of that gal.