I been reading a lot about what people are making of all the Taylor Swift stuff, and it never ceases to amaze that this is an age old issue that never stopped a lot of people from being successful in the music business.
Some points I've seen elsewhere to consider:
1) Plenty of people have tried to "buy" their way to success but the large majority of them have not succeeded.
2) Plenty of big name artists have pitch problems, even displayed on records. Garth Brooks & Whitney Houston come to mind.
3) Many big name performers have had pitch problems on "live" TV but because of their stature, no one has said a word. Go check the Mary J Blige duet on this year's Grammys.
So why all the uproar over Taylor? There has to be other reasons... besides these.
And now, with all the uproar, should the prerequisite for earning Album of the Year be that your daddy spent no money, you had no co-writers, you have made more than one album in your career, and you sing flawlessly?
Other reasons... I would put jealously on the list. I'm not pointing fingers.
In drumming circles, the talk always pops up about whatever famous/successful drummer having no chops. Larry Mullen Jr., deservedly or not, is often referred to as the "luckiest drummer in the world." A title he inherited from Ringo.
With guys who are "chops" players like Dave Weckl and Neil Peart, you hear drummers say things like, "He couldn't swing from a rope" or "He has no pocket."
Whether or not any of these criticisms are valid, they really have no benefit other than the hollow sense of superiority the critic gets from saying it. It's a most juvenile defense mechanism, to put down someone else in an attempt to make yourself appear better.
Before someone gets defensive and jumps on me for that... I'm looking in the mirror when I say it. We're all guilty. On another day, for another artist, I probably would have jumped on board with the bashing. In this particular case however, I have friends and colleagues who worked on the album, so I was rooting for them and sort of feel like sticking up for them.
Yes, I have seen Taylor have a good night. totally different deal, though. Her monolog song on SNL she accompanied herself singing a funny song. She was spot on pitch. It can be found on youtube. She sounded great, and delivered a solid performance. She came off in that moment as the complete package. SO I'm starting to get it.
Honestly, I've been on both sides of this issue emotionally. But I'm coming around to be a supporter instead of a critic. Two reasons. 1. Bashing her isn't going to make me any money. 2 . She's talented. Best singer in town? No. But what I heard on SNL, she was solid. But overall, she's got it going on.
But to answer Mike's comments about Jealousy... All criticism isn't derived from Jealousy. You're spot on with your comments WHEN that's the case, but since it's not always the case... if I'm not a drummer, which I'm not, is it not fair for me to express my opinion (beneficial or not) about someone else's drumming? I can think Neil is a great technician, but not the pocket player that Porcaro was, who couldn't play on a click if you held a gun to his head evidently. It's not criticism... It's just commentary.
But I will argue that there's not a lot of benefit for professionals (that means all of us) to speak ill of someone who is so successful in our business. I've been guilty of it. I'm trying to change my ways.
I surrender Pete. You win. Her SNL performance of her music (not just the monolog song) was spot on. No pitch issues at all. She sang great....I totally see what you mean. She's a great singer. I don't know what I was thinking. Thank you for setting me straight Pete.
Cough...cough.....nope....I just can't do it.....I have to stand by my previous posts.
And to reiterate...my "Bash" was not on Taylor Swift......it was directed at our industry that has a bad habit of taking mediocre singers and musicians and turning them into mega-stars with technology.