Boxing Day and look, I'm blogging like a trooper! The things I do for you guys! Hope you all had a brilliant Christmas Eve/Day!
The reason for me taking the 21st century version of pen to paper is to comment on yesterday's Christina Aguilera performance of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas at the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa in Anaheim. It seems to be a performance quite a few of you caught- if the comments and emails I received asking about it are anything to go by. So no excuses for not throwing in your two pennies in the comments section below!!
So has Christina Aguilera's voice improved since she reportedly began taking vocal lessons earlier this year? Well, the tone is undoubtedly better and more consistent through the voice, being smoother and lighter. The control she demonstrate seems vastly improved- witness at 2.30 how she ascends through her head voice, reaching a D6, with a controlled dynamic and noticeable less push than usual. Even the high chest notes, which still had the rasp, sounded better supported, though there's no getting away from the fact that they are still somewhat strained. Most improved is Christina Aguilera's breath control, which compared to her somewhat out of breath demeanour on her recent live showings with Maroon 5, has increased exceptionally.
The first half of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas demonstrates noticeably how Christina Aguilera has improved on her vocal technique but the second, more showy part, shows that no one can control the way she utilises these improvements. It was naive, and foolish, of me to think that by working on her ability to sing that it would improve her musicality or restraint.
Still, a great evocative Christmas performance by Christina Aguilera that finds her voice roughly back to its peak condition a decade ago. It'll be interesting to hear what further improvements can bring to the "voice of a generation" next year.
Live 2011 rendition:
Original 2000 recording: