Chumbawamba – “Voices, That’s All” mp3
Funny how the context for singing has evolved over the ages. It is sadly out of fashion in today’s America to burst into song – on the street, at a game, or even at a pub. People call the authorities to report the crazy person. Wasn’t always so, and indeed, in much of the world, singing is still something that people do, for the joy of it, unselfconsciously. Somehow in post-post modern society or whatever it is we inhabit now, singing has been largely relegated to sing-ers – those designated (or self-designated) as qualified to sing. Which is nonsense, but it makes a certain perverse sense, I suppose, in a world where “Rock Band” is a video game. It’s especially odd now that auto-tuners have become the norm in recorded pop music, because no one, not one living person, can actually make a sound like that, with their natural voice. So I wonder, what a child discovering pop music today, thinks. I mean, I remember people saying “I can’t sing” and I would respond, “sure you can, if you can talk you can sing,” because I never felt anyone should be robbed of that joy if they wanted it. But now? Trying to sing like whatever hit record with that pitch-perfect ersatz-singing ear candy sugar-frosted-turd vocal? You just can’t, so maybe you give up, and think you really can’t sing. Thank goodness this is not a paradigm which can survive forever, after all, people have voices, and ultimately will discover and use them, though I expect someone will implant an auto-tuning device in their larynx by Tuesday.
From the soon to be released album by England’s beloved Chumbawamba, the single “Voices, That’s All” is a celebration of the human voice, that greatest of musical instruments, the one which is each of our birthright. It’s a real recording of real people playing and singing – something I never thought in itself would begin to seem like an endangered animal. No auto-tuners here, ladies and gents, just sweet harmonies and a simple, true and timely lyric. Sing if you want to.
“Voices, That’s All” (mp3)