Music Break

The X Factor isn’t doing well in the ratings but this was Xcellent.

Comments

mimicry is NOT soul

She's 13 years old. That's how you learn. You learn by doing, by mimicking those with the soul. Hopefully she will never have the life experiences that gave Nina her soul, so the best way or her to get it will be to mimic those with it.

Compare with Nikki Yanofsky, who at 13 was doing Ella even better than Carly does Nina. She's got soul. Not as much as Nina or Ella perhaps, but that's a pretty high bar. Memorably, she conveyed the feelings of love and loss by thinking about her dog, because she was too young to have any other experience!

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I agree yojimbo - she's a great singer, a really great singer, but I just didn't feel the pain that I'm used to feeling when I hear that song. Maybe I should listen to other covers, but unfortunately I went on a Nina marathon last night and I'm a harsh critic.

Want to hear more from this girl, but it sorta doesn't feel right to sing that song with so much cheerfulness and spunk.

"""Want to hear more from this girl, but it sorta doesn’t feel right to sing that song with so much cheerfulness and spunk."""

That sort of thing is inevitable in X-Factor; but in spite of this, the child did much better than could be expected. The only thing to fear is that if she develops through the X-Process then she might never do anything other than pop-by-numbers. There's many years to go before such a judgement can be made.

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She was good. But then she does have her own website.

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It might be unfair of me to suggest it, but do I detect some autotune?

Yes, I heard autotune also. The singer's equivalent of steroids. She will grow up believing she has real talent and someday one would hope is all comes crashing down.

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Tyler has a long history of anti-elitist contrarianism, which ~strangely~ enough takes on its own shade of snobbery at times. Asked once about his favorite classical composers, Tyler named three: Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven.

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"Asked once about his favorite classical composers, Tyler named three: Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven." I must be missing your point: what is it?

Especially since this is an Alex post ...

an Alex post

ROFL! It was hard to tell....

Yes, all the amazing 13 year olds. Remember Charlotte Church?

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Young Ms. Sonenclar is not exactly an unknown - she started as a pro on Broadway at the age of 7 (as Young Cosette in Les Mis), and is in the current cast of The Electric Company on PBS.

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I get the impression that it was lip synced.

I'm not saying she can't sing. I think they pre-recorded her singing and had her lipsync to her own voice.

Her mic technique didn't sync with the dynamics of the vocal.

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For some reason after Alex's first sentence , all I got in the link was 4.23" height of empty space.

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And, who, exactly, would want to wish a set of experiences upon a 13-yr old that would make them authentically "soulful"?

With that logic, we should probably ban youth choirs unless the 10- and 11-yr olds can persuade us their spirit has truly been moved by a Transcendent Power.

And of course she didn't come out of nowhere. The meta-narrative of "unknown overcoming the deep skepticism of curmudgeonly expert panel" is too good not to engineer.

The 'tweens in the audience seemed to be enjoying themselves.

BT

+1

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"And, who, exactly, would want to wish a set of experiences upon a 13-yr old that would make them authentically “soulful”?"

not I. but lacking that set of experiences, attempting the soulful only comes off as (artfully) grotesque. lots of fun pop, and even some lovely ballads, that a beautiful 13-year-old voice can carry off. but leave the heavy stuff to Robert Johnson, Tom Waits, and Nina Simone.

i heard auto-tune, as well.

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Yes she has a powerful voice, a great ear and obviously spent MANY MANY hours of practice to approximate the phrasing of the original. To communicate true depth of feeling (soul?) in a performance probably reveals a lot about life experiences and can't be faked convincingly. So a 13 year old SHOULD sound spunkier than Nina Simone. That's part of what made her interpretation so surprising. It was a bold song choice and would instantly reveal any lack of practice or confidence. She was well prepared and kept a good sense of focus - likely many hours of practice on stage with lights and audience also. She has a good start on 10,000 hours of practice. I'm looking forward to her future work.
Eric - you correctly noticed that the vocal was overcompressed - but probably not lip synced - streaming video rarely looks in sync.

"To communicate true depth of feeling (soul?) in a performance probably reveals a lot about life experiences and can’t be faked convincingly." Hmm, a Turing Test for soul singers...

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Indeed, the little girl is a formidable karaoke singer.

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This is only thing to fear is that if she develops through the X-Process then she might never do anything other than pop-by-numbers. There’s many years to go before such a judgement can be made.

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