From a Voice Plantation
I'm no stickler for vocals. Or lyrics, even. I think anybody who grew up listening to early '90's indie-rock would probably have to agree on both points. Vocal performances and lyrical deftness really aren't central to enjoying, say, Archers of Loaf
. For every Merritt or Malkmus there are/were a dozen MacCaughans and Mascises, whining about girls and jobs in tones not even remotely dulcet, and only occasionally turning memorable phrases or evoking vibrant, palpable scenes. This is no slight, nor an any way a drawback, but merely an immutable truth.
Obviously this is also not to say that I never take vocals into consideration. An excellent voice, or impressive lyrics, can salvage the musically lifeless and/or uninspiring. Sometimes, the vocals are the point in and of themselves, superseding both the words and the notes. That too rare moment when the three align into perfect unison, however, forging an immaculately realized pop song, with uniformly excellent lyrics, vocals, and instrumentation, is probably the pinnacle of popular culture, and greater than any film, book, or television show. Such songs appear infrequently, and have absolutely nothing to do with I'm writing about here.
No, at this juncture I am solely concerned with the voice, its inexplicable majesty, and how it leers haughtily down upon all other strands of noise-making like some unknowable, unconquerable, primordial god from beyond the futile reaches of man's incognizant imaginings. And also how it can sound kinda cool, sometimes. Periodically I'll post an mp3 and put up some nonsense about some singer person I am particularly fond of, and place it under this heading, which will most likely be followed by a pound-sign and an Arabic digit that corresponds to its sequential location within the series of Voice Plantation posts. Hopefully it'll be awesome, but I think we've both learned enough to know better.