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Thread: MJ and Vocal Brutism.

   
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    Default MJ and Vocal Brutism.

    Why was MJ so aggressive as a singer.

    For a pop/soul singer, he was unorthodox in that the was rather urgent and brutal in his delivery.

    Even though he wasn't a rock singer, he often could be mistaken for one on some tracks. Employing vocal brutism in short bursts on the chorus on some songs or throughout the verse on others.

    I believe this is what sets him apart from other pop singers of the past, his ability to tap into his brutal singing style but revert back to that sweet soulful melodic sound when it suited him.

    My question though is, where did this come from?
    We know that he was trained by Motown in his youth with the Jackson 5, but his reference point was always soulful melodic pop.

    We also know that his vocal coach was Seth Riggs, but again, what was the influence to sing with that raw brutism? Where did it come from?
    Last edited by Snowbunny Sorcerer; 19-07-2019 at 07:03 AM.

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    Default Re: MJ and Vocal Brutism.



    'beat it' is what really changed the game. the fact that it was the last track recorded for 'thriller', and especially the response to it, was an indication of the direction he would take going forward - both vocally and musically. initially he was able to balance out the rough with the smooth. unfortunately (for me), the roughness later became more dominant, and the smooth was relegated for ballads mostly. I think it all depended on what kind of music he was doing, and how he used his voice to compliment it, and express certain emotions.
    Last edited by 83magic; 19-07-2019 at 07:09 AM.

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    Default Re: MJ and Vocal Brutism.

    Rough shows a lot of passion, I love this in his singing :-)
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    Default Re: MJ and Vocal Brutism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbunny Sorcerer View Post
    Why was MJ so aggressive as a singer.

    For a pop/soul singer, he was unorthodox in that the was rather urgent and brutal in his delivery.

    Even though he wasn't a rock singer, he often could be mistaken for one on some tracks. Employing vocal brutism in short bursts on the chorus on some songs or throughout the verse on others.

    I believe this is what sets him apart from other pop singers of the past, his ability to tap into his brutal singing style but revert back to that sweet soulful melodic sound when it suited him.

    My question though is, where did this come from?
    We know that he was trained by Motown in his youth with the Jackson 5, but his reference point was always soulful melodic pop.

    We also know that his vocal coach was Seth Riggs, but again, what was the influence to sing with that raw brutism? Where did it come from?
    Michael Jackson was an empath and his emotional intelligence ran at an extremely high level. It's the description and the expressiveness found in his lyrics and the emotion he injected when he sang them, that made him stand out above ALL other artists. That's why what he did with songs cannot be replicated, as much as people try.....no one can sing his lyrics with the same commitment and passion that he had.

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    Default Re: MJ and Vocal Brutism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowbunny Sorcerer View Post
    My question though is, where did this come from?
    We know that he was trained by Motown in his youth with the Jackson 5, but his reference point was always soulful melodic pop.

    We also know that his vocal coach was Seth Riggs, but again, what was the influence to sing with that raw brutism? Where did it come from?
    It came mainly from James Brown who sang with that raw vocal style.

    So, James Brown influenced him a lot, not just on his dancing but also on his singing.

    MJ wanted to incorporate into his own style those two elements of James Brown (dance moves, raw vocal style) because both of them radiated pure energy.

    Also, part of the reason for MJ's raw vocal style was because of his own desire to broaden his vocal abilities (from ‘Thriller’ onwards) so that his singing voice would express all human emotions (including in that way also anger, aggressiveness).

    MJ knew also that the darker lyrical themes of certain of his songs needed such a vocal style, so he was working more & more on that raw vocal style (for songs like 'Beat It', 'Dirty Diana', 'Why You Wanna Trip On Me', 'They Don't Care About Us', among others).

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    Default Re: MJ and Vocal Brutism.

    Quote Originally Posted by mj_frenzy View Post
    It came mainly from James Brown who sang with that raw vocal style.

    So, James Brown influenced him a lot, not just on his dancing but also on his singing.

    MJ wanted to incorporate into his own style those two elements of James Brown (dance moves, raw vocal style) because both of them radiated pure energy.
    Your right. Michael was a big fan of him. when he kick his leg and say ow! all the time. but also use some of his own moves with brown moves. i think james knew. i also notice Michael shades in the early 80's is like his also. hahaha. Michael loved james alot. BUT he was born to dance and not all his moves are from brown. he created his own moves.



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    Default Re: MJ and Vocal Brutism.

    I like when Michael sing. when he sing he has so much emotions. he's like me when i'm reading a book and give the characters voices, emotions, and expressions on my own. he was a good singer and actor. i really wish he acted more.



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    Default Re: MJ and Vocal Brutism.

    but sometimes when Michael singed it was because how he was feeling. for example she's out of my life. when Michael song that it was because how lonely he was. real emotions and feelings while singing that. listening to that song makes me wanna cry everytime. he was just so sad.



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    Default Re: MJ and Vocal Brutism.

    Quote Originally Posted by 83magic View Post


    'beat it' is what really changed the game. the fact that it was the last track recorded for 'thriller', and especially the response to it, was an indication of the direction he would take going forward - both vocally and musically. initially he was able to balance out the rough with the smooth. unfortunately (for me), the roughness later became more dominant, and the smooth was relegated for ballads mostly. I think it all depended on what kind of music he was doing, and how he used his voice to compliment it, and express certain emotions.
    I completely agree with you. Earlier in his career he found the perfect balance between doing the rough/gritty and smooth delivery. On Invincible for example it became a bit too repetitive and too much imo.

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    Default Re: MJ and Vocal Brutism.

    Michael always maintained that melody was key when it came to songs. yet it's precisely that singing style (yelling between clenched teeth), that prevented that melody from getting out

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    Default Re: MJ and Vocal Brutism.

    Don't forget that he also loved some hard rock and heavy metal. Those styles were dominating the american music market in the 80s, and since he aimed to cross style borders / limitations and reach new audiences the inspiration probably also came from that direction.

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    Default Re: MJ and Vocal Brutism.

    I think "Will You Be There" has the perfect combination between Smooth, Rough and Powerful vocals from MJ.
    The perfect mix between ballad and sending a message.

    This part still gives me goosebumps.

    But they told me
    A man should be faithful
    And walk when not able
    And fight 'til the end
    But I'm only human


    Everyone's taking control of me
    Seems that the world's got a role for me
    I'm so confused will you show to me
    You'll be there for me and care enough to bear me


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    Default Re: MJ and Vocal Brutism.

    Quote Originally Posted by F D B View Post
    I think "Will You Be There" has the perfect combination between Smooth, Rough and Powerful vocals from MJ.
    The perfect mix between ballad and sending a message.

    This part still gives me goosebumps.

    But they told me
    A man should be faithful
    And walk when not able
    And fight 'til the end
    But I'm only human


    Everyone's taking control of me
    Seems that the world's got a role for me
    I'm so confused will you show to me
    You'll be there for me and care enough to bear me
    Perfect example thank you. Mike's aggressive is what separates him from everyone else in my opinion. It's like Someone Put Your Hand Out, a beautiful, soft and delicate heartfelt falsetto ballad and then Mike hits you with that raw power and emotion during in the bridge. Which gives the track that memorable hook and some staying power.
    His vocals and his rhythm is what makes the acapella the most interesting aspect of Michael Jackson stems are the vocals

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    Default Re: MJ and Vocal Brutism.

    Morphine is another good example. It's very underrated, same like most other songs on BOTDF, even by most fans.

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    Default Re: MJ and Vocal Brutism.

    passion doesn't have to always stem from, or be channelled into anger.

    as the op said, Michael was already demonstrating that in a variety of ways.

    he could sound urgent and desperate ('billie jean', 'say say say', and 'wanna be startin' somethin'), playful and energetic ('p.y.t' ,'thriller', and again, 'startin' somethin'), delicate and soothing ('human nature').

    who could forget his 'begging' at the end of 'the lady in my life'? a song he had to record in the dark in order to capture the passion.

    he even flipped out on paul mccartney in the middle of 'the girl is mine'; 'but we both cannot have her, so it's (ah) one or the other, and one day you'll discover, that she's my girl forever and ever!'

    he was able to enhance vivid lyrics with his voice whilst remaining pleasant. it also made sense within the context of the song, and sounded like actual singing. he could reach the highest heights and still retain that clean clarity and smoothness. he sounded free and flexible. organic and fresh.

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