Friday, 26 October 2012

[Review] Chris Mann Featuring Christina Aguilera "The Blower's Daughter"

Christina Aguilera Chris Mann

Fourth runner-up (loser?) of series 2 of The Voice (USA), Chris Mann, has once again teamed up with his mentor from the show, Christina Aguilera. Having already delivered a beautiful cover of The Prayer, the duo have now taken on Damien Rice's heavenly ballad The Blower's Daughter. But does it live up to the standard set by their last duet?

Being classically trained,Chris Mann's voice immediately gives the song a different feel to that of the original. Whereas the original was rough and organic, Mann's controlled vocal makes this less folksy and more Broadway. It's not bad, just different. Needless to say, there's no problems for him hitting the right note, at the right time, and there is definitely an emotional connection to the song's lyrics coming through.

For Diva watchers, Christina Aguilera's comes in on the song's bridge, and unsurprisingly all hell breaks loose. But not in a good way.

Now, I know you Aggie fans may jump on me for saying this, but this song illustrates precisely what I dislike about her vocal styling. Just compare it to the original version, and you'll hear how less is so SO SOOOOO much more.

Lisa Hannigan was the female singer on the original track, and her soothing voice shows that having a powerful/loud/bombastic delivery isn't always necessary to be impressive, or moving. In fact, sometimes it's not needed at all. Besides, when you're only a featured artist on a song- as Christina is here- its just darn rude letting your vocal get so out of control.

I'd go as far as to call this one of Ms Aguilera's messiest recorded vocals: being unashamedly showy and totally inconsiderate of the song's mood or narrative. It's almost as if she's parodying herself. At least there's no danger of her being accused of copying the original.

I think the only way we can stop these out of control vocals from occurring is to handcuff Christina Aguilera to Linda Perry. If Christina's interview with Billboard is to be believed, she seems to be the only one who can reign in that errant melisma;
Linda Perry is raw, she’s real and she intimidates a lot of grown men. She’s amazing. I was having a really bad day. I came into her studio. It was at her house at the time. I was working with her on a bunch of stuff. She just kind of sat down at her piano in her dining room and started singing.

Don’t do all that Mariah sh**’ — that was her, not me, I love that sh**!” she clarified. “But she was like ‘don’t be doing all that acrobatic sh**, just sing!

Needless to say Christina Aguilera kills this cover of The Blower's Daughter for me. Without her, it's okay; but it's still no patch on the original.

Rating: D-

Original Damien Rice version:


  1. I must say I really like his voice, he is an extremely adept vocalist. I agree about Christina's contribution though, what confuses me is whilst her voice actually sounds in better condition she seems to think it is still acceptable to rip the arse out of it...she could have kept the power and cut but sang it straight through rather than all the fluttering here and there making it sound like an auditory washing machine that is off balance :|

  2. He has a nice soft tone of voice. It's very soothing. I find it odd though that the voice seems to be kicking all of the others shows arses yet we hardly hear anything about the leading winners. And I must say that I absolutely agree about Christina...She's belting like a normal person now but she is still all over the place with the same melisma she uses in all of her songs and performances. I mean at least Mariah has variety. Are you going to do a article on her duet with Tony bennet? I sent you the info mannnn....haha.

  3. yeah, her voice does sound better, but she is out of control! lol. And I just saw the email you sent- it was marked "read". I think having email on my phone is a bad idea; I tend to read emails when I'm out- and usually a little "merry"- and totally forget about them the next day! As for a review, could be on the cards! :D

  4. Totally, I've said it before, I'll say it again (at my own risk), Christina has little natural musicality. She needs someone to guide her raw talent. If its left up to her, she just does what she has here.

    Oh and can I say, I am so jealous about you seeing Ms Church!! Did she give the impression that this new music is the direction she's going to keep with?

  5. I really cannot stress how incredible Charlotte was! I mean her voice is just bloody beautiful in every way!!! She played a couple of tracks from the new EP to be released and they are all kind of going down the same sound, real crackers too! It was a really small venue too, I was like right next to her at one point and like less than a metre when she was on stage, I nearly passed out with excitement!!!

  6. Aguilera is old news. This girl should retire. Why can't she see that she didn't become anything close to Mariah, Whitney, nor Aretha. Forget it, girl. Find another way of living.

  7. Since we are talking requests for reviews of about one on the Dave Stewart/Alison Krauss one on his latest album?

  8. Who says she wants to be up there with Mariah and Aretha? Im sure we all would be very comfortable with those 100 million album sales and 5 Grammy awards. She is still one of the most successful singers out there right now numerically.

  9. Have to disagree with you here DD. I much prefer Chris over Damien. More pleasant voice to my ears and he is able to hit the notes. Damien feels struggling all the time and doesn't deliver on the promise the melody keeps making.
    Christina though does indeed lack the musicality to understand what was needed there and overdid it.
    Next step...Chris teaming up with Lisa! ;)

  10. I mean really, our critique is almost always constructive! Is there anybody that you actually do like...? Or is everyone just trash trash trash, as you like to call them...???

  11. He clearly only likes Mariah Carey

  12. That is his problem Brian. He sees Christina as competition to Mariah and he is here to be negative about anybody who in his mind falls into that category.

  13. Lol....that's the thing though, so do I. But I can still bitch on her when she slips her standards *cough Triumphant cough lipping cough* it seems though he gets all delusionally defensive when we start on odd...

  14. That's what I thought. Though in all fairness, my fave bit is not the vocals but the viola. Especially the bit where her viola takes over his guitar solo. Especially inspired idea I feel.

  15. I t was a bit much on Christina's part, Christina has yet to muture vocally, Im not speaking about her bad technical ways. I mean her need to attack songs verses embracing the melody and tune. Its kinda like she feels she has to prove something,

  16. Thats the great thing about both of these artists in particular though, its not just about the vocal, its about the instruments and sounds generated to create different feelings and that was deep! For me anyway :D

  17. I would like to chip in that Chris is far more aesthetically pleasing also, because I am shallow, I admit it hehe

  18. I agree with your points. It seems to me though that the main person she is trying to prove something to is herself. The sad thing is when she drops a song that is sang with restraint she can really sound special.

  19. I guess its something we just have to expect from Christina. Every song she is part of will including belting, no matter how small of a part or verse she given. My biggest thing is if she would be able to replicate those runs live without having to lower the pitch or any other alterations, buts thats a whole different issue. The Linda Perry things is very true. Personally I always thought Mariah's belting and runs are tasteful, unlike Aguilera''s. But Mariah does write the majority of the songs that she performs, so there written with a melody that's originated for melisma's and belts, Mariah at times can get carried away with the whistle. Linda Perry is great, she tames Aguilera and allows her too place adlibs and runs where they are can be tasteful.

  20. LOL Can't say I even gave that aspect a single thought until now but I just Googled them both and I would say Damien pulls slightly ahead of Chris for me.

  21. Deep and very very true Stuey! You have your moments ! ;)
    I read Dave say in an interview AK was the only one of all the guests who came to the studio with already a lot of ideas on the song.

  22. Noooooooooooo how could you...?!? hahaha

  23. Sweet, also noted is how well their voices blend together, its nice to hear him sing with a more soprano toned voice, taking nothing away from Annie though either - she is incredible.

  24. Hey. I am not a "gold star" lesbian for nothing. ;D

  25. Oh yes, there are are plenty of really food singers who even in my fan eyes can give Alison a run for the money but when it comes to harmonizing...NOBODY better.

    Forget about Linda Perry, Christina should take a master class from Alison Krauss.

  26. Good example of Christina singing in a restrained manner, personally I think it's one of her best vocals albeit it is in studio. The runs used weren't tacking and over done.

  27. Exactly. I call it Soprano Syndrome since it is associated with overbearing sopranos. Melody from PCD and Christina love to attack their songs. There is a time for that incision, but there needs to be more attention to phrasing and melody as well. Hopefully, both can balance it out. Back to Basics had more phrasing since jazz influences and big band cuts guided the sound. Christina is capable of doing it. The question is whether she will mature enough to not attack every song so forcefully. Depending on the song and the subject, she should attack some and deliver others more naturally.

  28. Completly true, Christina is Arogaont, she makes no secret of that. I think her arrogance is probably a front to a degree. If she cant convince herself, then theres no convincing anyone else. She does sound special and like a true artist when she restrains

  29. Agreed. Soprano Syndrome is very real, I watched a thing on PCD a while back, Melody praises Christina being her Idol and inspiration. I think she has spent a lot of time trying to imitate her. I think Christina wants badly to be put on the pedistal, that Mariah, Whitney ,and Aretha, have been on and tries to overcompensate as a result. I think we can say the majority of people feel she over sings and it comes off as being unatural and not authentic at times, which takes away her credit. She is capable of being tasteful and balancing out vocals, melody, and phrasing as she did in Back to Basics, (I think (Oh Mother) is a perfect example of that. I noticed on The Voice, she prefers to have singers who, over sing and attack songs as she does on her team. Hopefully she will mature and evolve. (Only if we could all have a group conversation with her.)

  30. Couldn't agree more - she is totally detracting from the melody, it's just tooooooo much. A little melisma in her head voice (like she does in the last couple of phrases) would have been beautiful, chiming like little bells. But all the belty melisma is just completely out of character with the rest of the song.

  31. Why don't you all shut up and just enjoy the ride? LOL

    I'm a legend here (LOL)

    Christina is over. And you can all go F... yourselves.

  32. Shut up. Go find someone to kiss tonight.

  33. Yes. You can bet she tried to be up there, but NEVER got it! LOL

    Christina is over.

  34. LOL

    So Wrong! kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

    Try again!


  35. 32 years old you said you were and not a troll eh?

    Nobody is impressed dude. Only saddened at the thought of you, sitting there, typing these comments. Poor child. :(

  36. I've I wasn't an atheist I'd pray for him,

    But since I am an atheist I'll just wait for natural selection to do it's job ;D

  37. LOL Yes, atheism does have some drawbacks, doesn't it?

    But you know, we DO finally have a song now? :)

  38. Btw If you are interested..Alison Krauss is singing at the Grand Old Opry tonight ( 21.00 Nashville time).

    You can hear it live on the net here....

  39. I'll be sure to give it a listen, thanks for sharing :)

  40. LOL I wasn't aware, nice to know I have something to hum to myself here in the bible belt of America :)

  41. Or sing it with like minded friends. I know for a fact, you are not alone, even in the bible belt. :)

  42. "Go find someone to kiss tonight", Oh my....don't go out of your way to prove what we all think of you. Intellectually challenged, or challenged on every wave it seems, you have my pity...

  43. Christina is over??? No little man, our interest in the bile you spout is OVER...toddle on now... ;)

  44. Oops! gave you the wrong time. It's 20.00-20.30 and again 22.30-23.00 (Nashville time). Usually the songs are the same for both shows.

  45. That was one of my favs from the album! I thought whilst there was some filler in there it was a pretty decent record, plus the ballads on there were some of her best.

  46. I think Bionic held some of Christina's best and worst material. "I Am" "Little Dreamer" and "Birds of Prey" were personally my favorites from the album.
    Curious as to what yours were?

  47. Oh yes, I have like minded friends.

    I don't think this is ever something we will be singing loud and proud in public but it will be nice behind closed doors :)

    My town is a populated by a large mass of bigots and religious extremists. Sadly they resort to violence when something goes against their beliefs.Like my father for example breaking my arm due to my sexual preference, or my sweet and innocent muslim friend being harassed daily for her religious choice, and more racial hate crimes than I care to even keep count of.

    Needless to say this little atheist is out of here upon graduating ;D

  48. Right you are! Doesn't sound like the kind of town to stick around in longer than necessary. Real sad to hear your dad did that to you. :(
    But glad that you do have like minded friends around. :)

  49. I don't need prayers. Thanks!

    Talk to the hand, now.

  50. Poor you.

    I never care about anyone's comments, so why you all care about mine? Get a life.

  51. and you have mine. Because I don't give a D... about you, but you seem to give about me. LOL!

  52. bla bla bla bla...

    Forget about me. U should care about your personal life. I bet your bed is for one only. kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

  53. Dude, for someone who doesn't care you sure are making an effort responding to them.
    Eleven so far in this thread alone. So,do you really think this latest badge makes you come of any better than you did so far?

  54. Is there anyway to block that piece of crap from this site?

  55. Aaaw why do you want to take my entertainment away Brian? ;)
    Not a believer in free speech then ;D

  56. Gosh. Did anyone hit your head?

    When it comes to comment about the post I don't even care about what you think. I come here and do what I have to do. I only respond when people like U try to attack me.

    What I was trying to say is: if you say something about a singer, I don't care what you think about her. But you all come here and comments about my comments... kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk I never do that. LOL So I must be really important to you.

  57. Sadly she tries so hard to attack it still doesn't impress. :\
    She's like "I only have like one quarter of the song, gotta make sure people don't forget I'm in it!" then she starts going all over.

  58. Childish yes. But also blindingly trolling the pages with an abundance of annoying irelevant comments takes away from the actual diiscussion of these comment sections. It's just something I would do to clear out the junk and make the informative information easiier to find ;)

  59. How is it taking away from other discussion though? It's not like you and I have less space to post a comment.

    Nor do we need to read his comments if we don't want to.
    Easy enough to scroll past them.

    Tbh there are several people here whose comments I find , for different reasons, equally uninteresting to me personally and I just read (or not) and scroll on. :)

  60. You "never do that"???
    LOL Like I said... you did it now about a dozen times in this thread alone.
    My head is just fine, thanks for asking. :)
    Yours I am not so sure about though.
    If you can claim you are just "defending yourself" and "don't care" in the same sentence.
    Also you fail to realize that standard troll responses only work if I would respond standard to your troll arguments.

    But again, I am always helpful and will explain by example...
    You claiming you must be important to me, is not going to get the standard response of my vehemently denying this, little man.

    As you can see from my responses, I indeed take your comments seriously. I don't respect them in the least bit...but I do take them seriously and I do take your right to be a childish troll seriously. :)

    Oh, you are not "doing what you have to" because really dude, you putting down Mariah's competition ( in your head) is not something you "have to do" even as a fan as it is absolutely and utterly futile.
    Nobody here who plans/wants to buy a Christina or Lewis or Adele ( or whomever else you posted about) record is going to change his mind due to your negative opinion . Nor are they going to rush out and spent their money on Mariah instead.

  61. Christina in a song called the blowers seems my immature side has taken over as i must leave and have a giggle

  62. Sorry it took me so long to reply....I just stopped laughing...

    Give a damn about you??? C'mon now! The only word I can think of where you are concerned dear boy is "insignificant"

  63. What the hell does my personal life have to do with anything??? But then I guess as you are such a simpleton that is the only response you are capable of, heaven forbid you actually write a credible response to anybody! As you would say....NEXT...

  64. I loved "I am", "You lost me" (plus the hex hector/mac quayle remix too), "Lift me up", "Birds of prey", "Desnudate", "Monday Morning" and "Elastic Love"....oooh and "Not myself tonight" did grow on me too.

  65. Yep, good to see you again Karen! Hope you are good!

  66. "insignificant"? OK!
    So why do you keep on coming back? hugs! LOL

  67. My God! Are you crazy? Do you really think I'm gonna read all that??? kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk You're nothing to me.

  68. I think the raw imperfections of the original are more interesting that Chris & Christina's version. They have beautiful voices but I find this new version kind of lacking in any real emotional. Perhaps it is too technical.

  69. And yet you felt compelled to reply. Again! :)

    Actually dude I don't expect anything from you at this point. Certainly not anything involving any display of intellect.
    As I pointed out earlier, I write to amuse myself and hopefully some readers who do have an attention span and language command befitting their age.

    But let's see if I can recap to your level of understanding. Maybe in a new comment since this one probably is already again beyond your abilities.

  70. You dear Henrique are like a headbanger at a ballroom dance affair. Out of place and mildly annoying as your wild movements disturb more controlled actions of the majority.

  71. I think there is...

    This might help :)

  72. bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla....

    Keep on showing your love for me. Kiss!

  73. Back once again to show how deeply you need our attention I see. Even to the point of calling it "love".

    See dude! That's what you get for not end up quiet oblivious to reality.:)

    But all joking aside...we all know what's really going on here. Nobody here feels love or care for you and you are just hanging on, trying desperately to "defend" yourself.
    Never mind that it's your own words and actions which are your worst enemy and your defense is only dragging you down deeper.

    You just keep on rollin' dude! :)

  74. I reckon Christina did amazingly in both the performance and the recording, i like her showy belts and many runs it is what she is known for.
    Xtina's melismatic qualities make her who she is and it is what separate's her from the pack, i mean sure not everyone likes it but a lot do.
    So to say she was bad in both is a bit on an overstatement i mean it is your opinion and i respect that but if you want to hear bad go listen to katy perry, rihanna, nicki minaj etc... sing live, that shit hurts your ears.

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  85. Ugh i hate when people say this... lol

    Soprano does not make you a better singer than a contralto or mezzo... Sopranos are just as limited in their range at times since they can't touch the lower notes with ease, and technically women who sing lower are at a harder place since it takes more control and air for women to sing low and STAY there.

    But why label over singing with soprano syndrome, fyi contraltos and mezzos can over sing too. As a matter of fact xtina has mezzo syndrome. She's trying too sing at mezzo range to emulate Etta James since her natural tessitura is actually at a soprano.

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