Great 8

FAVORITE SINGING VOICES

8. Brian McKnight – I’m not much of an “R&B” guy. That being said, this guy’s voice is so good that it makes me want to stop singing and communicate solely with sticky notes. While he does some upbeat stuff, his voice shines brightest when its on a ballad. Ever since his guest appearance on Sister Sister (remember that show?), I’ve loved his voice and it achieved perfection with his ’99 release, “Back at One.”

—– Favorite Songs Include: Back at One; 6,8,12; The Only One for Me; Anytime

7. Lauryn Hill – Who could have predicted that “Rita” from Sister Act 2 would go on to hip hop success with the groundbreaking group “The Fugees” and then scoop up an armful of Grammy’s with her debut album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill?” Not me. The rawness in her voice is evident in her more “stripped-down productions” like when she’s singing “Eye on the Sparrow” in Sister Act 2 and her Unplugged performance. Her voice comes alive over her penetrating lyrics and each word seems to be lifted right out of her diary.

—– Favorite Songs Include: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You; Ex-Factor; Lost Ones; Everything is Everything

6. Bethany Dillon – She is one of the few reasons why I still tune into Christian music. I first heard her song, “Beautiful” while I was working at GNC and once I found out who was singing it, I bought her album and was NOT disappointed. A couple years ago I heard her in concert with just her guitar and each song was right on and her voice was flawless. On her album, “Waking Up”, we get to see her heart open up on songs like “Are You Sure” and “You are on Our Side” and these songs become a showcase for her tremendous voice.

—– Favorite Songs Include: You Are On Our Side; The Kingdom; Hallelujah; A Voice Calling Out

5. Keith Urban – His voice is one of my favorite voices because it’s very “singalongable” (yep, call Webster, it’s in there). And with every song that I belt out, I remember why he has the singing career and I have his CD. Thanks to BJ McPheron for introducing me to him in college and watching one of his concerts w/me on CMT…or was it GAC? And even though he’s a “country singer”, he lacks that “twang” that makes me want to jump off the roof of my house. It’s a voice that I would love to have, and for a few fleeting minutes with the volume up, I kind of do.

—– Favorite Songs Include: Days Go By; Stupid Boy; You’re My Better Half; Everybody

4. Joss Stone – Yikes, what a voice. I first heard her voice while I was watching some show on MTV and they threw her video on for like 15 seconds during the closing credits. It didn’t sound like anything that was out at the time and was a SWEET cover of “Fell in Love with a Girl” by the White Stripes. Her vocals are so powerful on some songs and yet the intensity remains on songs that feature a “softer” side. Her songs and her incredible voice (and the fact that she’s really tall) put her “head and shoulders” above the rest of the competition.

—– Favorite Songs Include: Fell in Love with a Boy; Don’t Cha Wanna Ride; Security; Victim of a Foolish Heart, Right to be Wrong

3. Jon Foreman (Switchfoot) – As far as “Christian Music” goes, these guys are probably one of the best things going. And a lot of it is due to Jon Foreman’s voice. He has a truly unique voice and you can always tell when you’re listening to a Switchfoot song. He has an amazing range that is very unassuming until you try to sing along and he leaves you in the dust. My favorite album is “Learning to Breathe” because there’s less production on his voice (and the overall recording) and foreshadows the direction of his solo career (acoustic/vocal driven). Check out the video below of him in a living room playing one of my new favorite songs off of his “Spring EP”, called “Your Love is Strong.” (He starts singing around 1:40)

—– Favorite Songs Include: Your Love is Strong; Learning to Breathe; Burn Out Bright; On Fire

2. Marvin Gaye – This guy can just flat out sing. In the 60’s, he was the voice of the Motown sound. With songs about love and relationships and accompanied many times by his favorite duet partner, Tammi Terrell. In his later years, he became more politically-driven and socially conscious and his vocals became the backdrop and soundtrack for a pretty temultuous time in American history. And with every recording, you can still hear the emotion, the pain, and exactly what he was feeling as he was writing each word. Timeless songs; timeless voice.

—– Favorite Songs Include: What’s Going On; I Heard it Through the Grapevine; Can I Get a Witness

1. Aaron Marsh (Copeland) – I could listen to this guy for days. Straight. Just him. For days. His voice is so smooth and drifts in and out of his falsetto so effortlessly that when I try to do it, I just end up coughing. My love for this band (and his great voice) was furthered by attending a Copeland concert where I realized that his voice is just as clear and powerful live as it was on the CD. It doesn’t matter what song I’m listening to; each one lets his voice drive it, but without forcing it. A truly great voice, and my fave out of them all.

—– Favorite Songs Include: When You Thought You’d Never Stand Out; Take Care; California; I’m a Sucker for a Kind Word; You Love to Sing; You Have My Attention

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Filed under Great 8, Music, Observations

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