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#1 Edited by Aegon (5712 posts) -

I'm all about the VOICE and how it's used to give you that special exciting feeling when you listen to music. I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and it's something that's hard to come up with an ultimate conclusion for, but I think my choice for the best vocals, not just for my fave artist (MJ obvs), but just ever, would be shoo-bee-doo-da-day. When I first came across it, the name sounded odd, but after listening to it for a while, while on my commute to university, I just couldn't shake the thought of how amazing the vocals on it are. I looked the song up and found out it was originally by Stevie Wonder. Listened to his version. It was too slow and the vocals couldn't be compared between the two. Shit starts getting crazy around 1:34 and it doesn't stop.

TL;DR what the title says.

#2 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

No where near my favorite Radiohead song, but the vocals in this song are pitch perfect, especially from 2.10 to the end.

#3 Posted by psylah (2181 posts) -

Deal with it.

#4 Posted by Aegon (5712 posts) -

@bourbon_warrior:

Oh yeah, to try to keep this from getting spammy, try to maybe say something about what exactly you like about it or if there are any specific parts you want us to pay attention to.

#5 Posted by notdavid (840 posts) -

Glen Hansard belts his fucking heart out in the version of Say It To Me Now that was in Once.

#6 Edited by f00 (49 posts) -

Between these two. MF Doom's voice is really striking, and Whirr's vocals, as unemphasized as they are, really make the song

#7 Posted by Pr1mus (3953 posts) -

I'd say probably something from System of a Down. The mix of both Serj and Daron's voices is great. Serj has a really powerful voice. And their stuff can be so varied, all within the same song, it's hard to pick one example.

Otherwise more recently i really, really like Adele's voice.

#8 Posted by Animasta (14715 posts) -

Man this is a really dangerous topic after marathoning through season 3 of glee, but I will overcome!

probably this, very dynamic along with his falsetto <3 (actually i really like that new song's vocals but it wasn't the best quality)

#9 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@animasta: I really like that sound, can you recommend an album from them?

#10 Posted by Animasta (14715 posts) -

@animasta: I really like that sound, can you recommend an album from them?

my personal favorite is ( ). I like most of the others but ( ) is the most dynamic and the most musically interesting of their albums imo.

#11 Posted by DougCL (216 posts) -

Greg is always so good at playing with the edge of screaming and singing, but the way he takes his voice from a pleading wail to screaming regret really emphasizes the lyrics of the song and the overall themes of the rest of the album.

#12 Posted by Demoskinos (15034 posts) -

I absolutely love Hayley Williams voice its one of the reasons I dig Paramore so much. And "Let the Flames Begin" is by far one of the songs where she shows her vocals off.

I'm really starting to dig Paramore's new song they just released too a whole lot...

I also really like Dani Filth from Cradle of Filth. He may not have a voice that a lot of people can stand at all but I feel that his voice is really what brings Cradle of Filth its personality in their music. Cradle to Enslave by far still my favorite song of theirs.

#13 Posted by Sinusoidal (1680 posts) -

The back to back (well, one's at the end of "Page Side" the other at the beginning of "Leaf Side" if you've got the vinyl or tape) "It's the End of the World as we Know it" and "The One I Love" from R.E.M.'s 1986 album "Document" were and still are pure awesomeness. The former's a mess of incoherency, stream of consciousness verses, the latter, a few simple lines repeated over and over.

#14 Edited by mellotronrules (1225 posts) -

oh man- this is pretty much impossible for me to answer succinctly. i do meditate on it a lot, but ultimately there are just too many damn voices that are too damn unique to pick one...some voices are powerful, some are hypnotizing, others are wholly eccentric- it really just depends what i'm in the mood for. BUT! in the interests of sharing- here's a tune and voice i've found compelling...

listen at a reasonable volume- her build is great, she hits the notes she needs to hit with gusto, and i love that has just one central lyric.

@bourbon_warrior: @animasta:

thom and jonsi are both great choices as well.

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#15 Posted by EVO (3921 posts) -

Hard to pick just one song from Tame Impala's catalogue but everything great about Kevin Parker is in this one.

#16 Edited by FunkasaurasRex (847 posts) -

I'm not really about singers, but I've always found Morrissey really emotionally affecting (in the Smiths that is, not particularly familiar with his solo work).

Not necessarily his best vocal performance, but still a good showcase:

#17 Posted by panvixyl (325 posts) -

I adore Janelle Monae and wish to sweep her off her feet in a whirlwind romance. Barring that, I'm content with her music.

#18 Edited by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

Eternal Blaze may not be my favorite song of hers but damn if she doesn't do some great vocals in it. Or maybe she doesn't, I'm no music scientist!

#19 Posted by stryker1121 (1531 posts) -

One of my favorite performances by Queen, from their famous Live Aid gig in '85. It's Freddie Mercury's improv at the beginning that really does it for me, but the whole performance just crackles with energy from my all-time favorite rock vocalist.

#20 Posted by xyzygy (10045 posts) -

His singing is just perfect. I couldn't choose between this and Comfy in Nautica by Panda Bear.

#21 Posted by thevigilanteoflove (507 posts) -

Rapping is vocal right? The RZA's verse is Wu-Tang: 7th Chamber is so cool, and I don't know how he gets his voice to sound like it does.

It starts at the 4 minute mark. And ODB's and the GZA's verses are pretty good afterwards too.

#22 Posted by habster3 (3600 posts) -

Although he was far from the best vocalist ever, I personally view Kurt Cobain as one of my absolute favorites because of the pure emotion he exhibited in some of his performances. I'm not sure why, but my favorite performance by him was in this cover of an old Meat Puppets song.

Then again, I'm not really sure if Kurt was my #1 favorite vocalist. Some of my other candidates include Thom Yorke

Mark Lanegan

And Maynard James Keenan

Even Phil Anselmo deserves a shout-out for this performance

#23 Posted by Aegon (5712 posts) -

@panvixyl: Wait, I seem to recall that you're a girl and have a crush on Vinny as well. Hmmm...

#24 Edited by Chaser324 (6662 posts) -

I'm a huge fan of female vocals in songs, but I feel like my opinion of what constitutes good vocals really shifts a lot based on the genre of the track. For instance, I'm a big fan of just about any dubstep track featuring Belle Humble and the vocals on Purity Ring's tracks are top notch as well, but it's hard to compare those to a folk artist like Neko Case.

If you forced me to pick a single track though, I think this duet with Linda Ronstadt and Johnny Cash is a pretty good option since it features both one of the best male and one of the best female vocalists of all time:

Moderator
#25 Edited by ajamafalous (12055 posts) -

Vocals are powerful throughout the entire song, but my favorite part is the end where they sing over each other.

#26 Posted by Aegon (5712 posts) -

@ajamafalous:

The dude's regular singing voice is nice, but I just do not dig screamer music. Even the instrumentation is enjoyable, but the RAAAAAAAAH ruins it for me.

#27 Posted by EuanDewar (5043 posts) -
#28 Edited by Canteu (2821 posts) -

Either this:

Or this:

Or maybe perhaps this, for something not Dani related. Not for Tankian, but for Malakian:

#29 Edited by Lego_My_Eggo (1064 posts) -

I don't know if i would say this is his best, but Maynard James Keenan has one of the best voices around.

And the range of Dolores O'Riordan from The Cranberries in this song is amazing.

#30 Posted by ajamafalous (12055 posts) -

@aegon: Yeah, Jon Mess (the screamer) definitely refined his voice as their albums went on. I'm not the biggest fan of his screams on that album either.

#31 Posted by EVO (3921 posts) -

@habster3 said:

Although he was far from the best vocalist ever, I personally view Kurt Cobain as one of my absolute favorites because of the pure emotion he exhibited in some of his performances. I'm not sure why, but my favorite performance by him was in this cover of an old Meat Puppets song.

Great pick. I'm not a big fan of Nirvana but I love their Unplugged performance. They were incredible that night.

#32 Posted by bitchypixels (67 posts) -

These songs give me goosebumps to this very day.

#33 Edited by mellotronrules (1225 posts) -

@chaser324:

you're leaving me emotionally confused. i salute the linda and johnny, but shudder at the purity ring.

jk jk- purity ring is fine, i just find her voice a little sterile IMO. very processed (which in and of itself is fine), but very unremarkable. my favourite heavily processed vocalist:

edit: i'm deeply in love with karin andersson- part of the fun with her is that she sounds different from song to song, but it's always identifiable as her. another great, heavily effected voice:

the song is pretty played out by now, but when i first heard it (i was OG...before the god damn OC) i was knocked on my ass. it's such the perfect blend of organic and inorganic elements. and god i love a good vocoder.

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#34 Edited by Lego_My_Eggo (1064 posts) -

I haven't really listened to too many of her songs, but Regina Spektor can sing.

#35 Edited by Mercy_ (261 posts) -

I absolutely love Hayley Williams voice its one of the reasons I dig Paramore so much. And "Let the Flames Begin" is by far one of the songs where she shows her vocals off.

I'm really starting to dig Paramore's new song they just released too a whole lot...

Ooooh this post deserves a follow.

Came in here to say the live version of Let The Flames Begin (it's just amazing, the passion she performs it just...man). If you couldn't tell by my av I'm just a littleeee bit of a fan <__< If you ever get the chance to actually see them live (assuming you haven't, already) you definitely need to take it. I got the opportunity to see them during the Honda Civic Tour in '09 and am lucky enough to be going to see them again at the House of Blues in May. Super excited!

My second choice was going to be All I Wanted, Hayley goes above and beyond on the vocals for that and her control is just breathtaking.

#36 Posted by matti00 (674 posts) -

@animasta said:

Man this is a really dangerous topic after marathoning through season 3 of glee, but I will overcome!

probably this, very dynamic along with his falsetto <3 (actually i really like that new song's vocals but it wasn't the best quality)

I'd probably go for Við spilum endalaust over Hoppipolla, probably my favourite song of theirs.

Also, can't go wrong with The Decemberists, I sing this to my son all the time.

#37 Posted by JazzyJeff (401 posts) -

#38 Edited by GinjaAssassin (159 posts) -

@notdavid said:

Glen Hansard belts his fucking heart out in the version of Say It To Me Now that was in Once.

I was trying to think of a song and I'm really glad you brought this one up. It's probably one of my favorites in this distinction of vocal talent. And, in Glen's case, the kind of vocals I love in music. Aggressive enough that the words sound emotionally draining to the singer.

EDIT: Forgot to put in my own song.

There's a lot to love about this song for me, but something about Guy Garvey's voice and the backing vocals combined in the chorus it really uplifting every time I hear it.

#39 Edited by Philedius (204 posts) -

Well, my favourite vocalist must be Cedric Bixler of Mars Volta and At The Drive-In, and the song that came first to mind was this one. It's a great overall song with great vocals.

And one from someone who isn't my favourite artist but is pretty close, Arnór Dan of Agent Fresco. Especially when put together with another one of my favourites, Ólafur Arnalds.

#40 Edited by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

@demoskinos Too bad about the Cradle of Filth US tour being cancelled due to Dani's height. I didn't know there was a minimum requirement for tourists.

#41 Edited by Demoskinos (15034 posts) -

@mercy_: Yeah, I actually got to see a concert with The Sounds , Paramore and No Doubt a few years back. Actually let me see if I can find some of my awful (we were sitting pretty far back) pictures.....

#42 Posted by leinad44 (523 posts) -

The song that comes to mind, when I think of this band.

#43 Posted by DrShilliams (86 posts) -

#44 Posted by Furinax (2 posts) -
#45 Posted by Gargantuan (1883 posts) -

#46 Posted by Blu3V3nom07 (4252 posts) -

#47 Posted by ShaggE (6573 posts) -

Doctor Steel had a great voice all around, but this song really shows off his whole bag of tricks in an excellent way (although it's layered with female vocals for the first two minutes... stick with it)

Oh man... Peter Steele and Kenny Hickey's voices playing off each other: Powerful stuff. Not my favorite song on the album (that goes to Creepy Green Light, which also has amazing vocals), but it's still a hell of a capper.

Not the most impressive from a technical standpoint, and there are songs of hers that fit that description far better, but this one always impresses me with the way she expresses complex emotions with little, almost imperceptible lilts of her voice. This is especially evident with the verse starting at 2:39, which always comes off to me as a sort of unhinged amusement that's actually pretty disturbing. It's all the more fascinating when you realize that this probably wasn't intentional, considering her very real bouts of madness.

#48 Edited by Gnorbooth (286 posts) -

Gotta represent some HevyDevy when it comes to talking about vocal performances. Man is a machine. Bonus points for it being an incredible live version, with backup vocals from one of my favorite female vocalists, Anneke Van Giersbergen. Song starts at :58, if you want to skip some talky bits.

#49 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -
#50 Posted by TheHT (11556 posts) -