The difference between the singing in today’s mainstream music industry and that of the past can be broken down into many areas but I’m going to point out three main things; Emotion, Performance Quality, and Powerful Voices. This may not apply to all mainstream acts, but across the board in all genres the singing just isn’t the same anymore. The artists who do have this talent and vocal ability sadly don’t get the mainstream attention. Actually most of them probably would have gotten attention if they debuted back in the era when it was about the music. With that said, I know there are plenty of unsigned and independent artists that have that classic feel, but in the mainstream it has almost totally vanished.
There was a time where you could hear a singer’s soul get deep into a song to the point where it had an emotional pull on your heart. That emotion which was authentic and passionate was one of the strengths behind so many hits of the 70s, 80s, 90s, and early 2000s. The emotion presented in these songs were so powerful that, even 20 years down the line, you still feel the raw emotion in the voices. This is something that has faded during our current times. Singing doesn’t even need emotion behind it now to be successful. The emotion just isn’t as authentic as it once was, and it doesn’t make you feel any way about it. It just sounds like a nice song. A big reason why is because the singers depend so much on the engineer to make everything sound great. Although the singing may be great and wonderful, listeners know raw emotion when its there, and it just doesn’t seem to be there anymore in today’s mainstream, excluding a few exceptional singers.
Live performances and concerts used to be must-see, must-attend events. We knew, as fans, that live singing was going to be so great that we couldn’t miss it. Most of the time, the live performances exceeded what we got on the actual song, or at least equaled it. Singers of the past really put their heart into live performances, and were almost always accompanied by live instruments. Today, the live performances aren’t half as good because most of the time the artists just aren’t great performers or even great vocalists. Between the studio and the stage there is a huge difference and everyone can tell.
Now there are a lot of mainstream singers with good voices, but many of their voices are thin and not as powerful as those of the past. There’s something about a powerful, strong voice that can never be replaced. When the strength of an artist’s voice is shown it can take a song or a performance from a 7 to a 10. Showcases of this raw vocal talent come around every now and then, but once again today’s singers rely on engineering and different mixing techniques to give their voice that artificial “umph” that used to be so authentic in the past.
This is a topic that is up for discussion, leave comments below telling whether you agree or disagree with what I think. Feel free to recommend artists that have some of these classic features. As fans, we always want to hear, and will embrace good music.