Sweet Jesus, YouTube is dangerous….
…dangerous enough that i spent about 30 minutes watching footage of—gasp!—an American Idol contestant.

The cheesy staging, the screaming 14 year olds, the fact that you vote, the usually shitty-sounding bands in the early rounds…American Idol displays a lot about what’s wrong with music today. For that, I hate it. It feels like fucking high school talent show, dance competition bullshit. So FAKE!!!

But I do love seeing talented singers, and sometimes some of them are.

Carly Smithson, an Irish beauty with a hell of a rock and roll voice, made it to the top 6 in the 7th AI competition. Something about her performances stood out to me–she’s got a fabulous depth and edge to her voicethat sounds straight out of the 70s.

I really love what she does with her voice–she has incredible control and does lots of scratchy-in-just-the-right places notes, without sounding too much like she’s mimicking the Mariahs and Christinas…she just SINGS! I wish more chick singers did that. Shouted & screamed & went all out.

I like the elements of soul that she can put in seemingly any kind song–think Duffy, Amy Winehouse, that whole shtick that’s becoming oh-so-cool.
For example….

(WARNING: Do yourself a favor and fast forward all the fucking bullshit, them talking, blah blah blah….)

Come Toegether
(For some reason, I really like this song when it’s done by a female.)

Total Eclipse of the Heart
(I am such a sucker for this song to begin with. As if possessed, I must sing! Can’t do it as well as Smithson does, though I wish she was more vulnerable.)

(The chorus of this song is one of my favorite guilty pleasures while driving. I should be shot for my bad taste, but oh well. It’s not hurting anyone.)

Without You
(I like it better than Mariah’s–never liked her voice all that much.)

Now I LOVE music with a powerful female singer, but what I hate about most of it is that the band behind her usually sucks or is not doing anything fun. Singers like Smithson, powerful female singers, get thrown into the “hey im hard-and-edgy but still popular” category, which is just a contradiction. You can’t be hard rock and be pop–at least, not the way you used to. The 60s, 70s, 80s and some 90s have it but I can’t think of anyone whose really struck the right balance in the past few years, what with all the manufactured starlettes we have to play with. Miley Cyrus, anyone? Fuck that shit.

I hate the “hey im hard-and-edgy but still popular” shit with a fervor I cannot find words to express, and something in me fears that’s where Smithson’s career could wind up (if it winds up anywhere other than YouTube.)

How much better would a voice like hers be in something else? A voice like hers should not be in pop, it should be in stuff that’s weird and sexy and harsh. Stuff with lots of sounds that are deep and rich as hers. Let a singer be a vocalist, for something written & crafted, and it’d be a much more respectable outlet than trying to score a top 40 hit (or covering old ones).

It’s official. I hate myself for watching this many AI clips, and taking them seriously for even less than 45 minutes of my life. Here’s hoping somehow, someday, it proves worthwhile that I watch so much stupid shit.

I just dig powerful chick singers. That’s all, I swear!