OK, let me ask you this:
Where is our 2010 version of Karen Carpenter? You know, a female vocalist with a pure, clear, beautiful voice who just SINGS without all the frills and trills.
(Oops. I just thought of someone, but if I tell you it’ll ruin this post.)
Who do you think of when you consider today’s popular female singers?
Horrifyingly, the first name to pop into my head was Britney Spears. That’s so wrong, y’all! Even tho I think at one time Britney could sing, like, maybe when she was five, before all the Cheetos and Red Bull.
I asked Dave this question, and he was about to launch into a good discussion, but then I suddenly had to run to the bathroom and when I came back he was gone.
But really, where is our Karen Carpenter? So many singers today are determined to avoid sustaining a note more than one second before melisma-ing it to death, strangling and mangling the flow of the song until the melody is no longer recognizable.
Then there’s the wave of affected British soul singers (and, yes, you’re affected if you’re singing in a world-weary fashion at the age of 20.)
Don’t get me started on AutoTune or lip-synching. Can’t anyone actually SING anymore?
Karen Carpenter could.
I loved that song. But I always used to wonder why it was called “Superstar.” The word does not appear anywhere in the lyrics. WHY? It bothers me still. When the song was popular in 1971, I’d sing it alone in my room and sneak in an extra line:
Don’t you remember you told me you loved me, baby
You said you’d be coming back this way again, maybe
Babybabybabybaby oh baby
I love you
(And Superstar does too)
Because otherwise, why “Superstar”?
Oh, gross. I’ll tell you why. I just checked Wikipedia, and . . .
Apparently the song, written by Delaney & Bonnie, was originally titled “Groupie (Superstar)” and was about “a groupie who holds a strong love for a rock star after a short sexual involvement.”
SEXUAL? Karen Carpenter? 1971? No way! I was only 11 when that song came out. How could it be sexual? I sang it in my bedroom!
Karen, this doesn’t change my love for you. It will remain as pure as your voice.