Hit American talent show, The Voice, returned to spectacular ratings of 35 million plus viewers! It has to be said that this must have been helped, to a large degree, by it following the 2012 Super Bowl, because its first season was averaging 12 million. For reasons unbeknownst to me, the judges decided to sing a medley of Prince songs to open the second season with. NB:I don't watch the show so let me know if there was a reason.
Having read comments by people unhappy with the singers handling of Prince's back catalogue, especially by country singer Blake Shelton, I was surprisingly impressed how they managed to amalgamate the songs into their own styling. I wasn't blown away, mind, but I could have imagined it being a lot worse- like on the level of this of "worse".
The medley started with a group singing of 1999, which Christina Aguilera opened no less- deference to vocal champion of the group perhaps? Cee Lo Green then gave a subdued rendition of Little Red Corvette, bolstered by prominent backing by Christina. Adam Levine followed, doing his best impersonation of Prince, on I wanna Be Your Lover, with his featherweight falsetto doing most the work. Blake Shelton came last, giving the Prince classic, Kiss, a country/rock twist that I thought worked really well. Listen out for the group vocal slide at the songs close where Christina Aguilera destroys everyone.
As for Ms Aguilera specifically, she reined in those vocals, rarely going into the fifth octave, and sounded all the better for it! Her timbre was once again dark and heavy but the voice sounded, altogether, in a healthier state- yay, vocal lessons? Also missing were the excessive vocal runs! Whether these restraints were due to her singing in a group situation, and not wanting to annoy her fellow judges, or because she has turned over a page in her vocal history time will tell. I'm guessing it's the former. However, what I really loved about the performance was how much Xtina was enjoying herself! She was positively beaming!