Thursday, March 21, 2013

Not Every Song is Meant for a Mixed Vocal Trio...

Today, the second half of a little two week jog into the true fringes of the song-poem world, and another EP from the folks at the Film-Tone label. Clicking on the Film-Tone link at the bottom of this page will take you to the three previous EP's I've shared from the label, as well as the very little I know about the label. The key point here is that the only credits you'll typically find on a Film-Tone 45 are the director credit (usually Vincent Poli) and the fact that the performance is by a vocal trio.

This trio, and the group behind them, play and sing as if it was still the 1930's, and regardless of the lyric, it's always the same two men and a woman. Often, this works okay, but other times, I have to wonder what the song-poet thought of the results of his or her submission - more on that in a bit.

Within the limits of their chosen genre, the trio works well enough on the first song, "Butterfly at Play", although I swear I hear a phone ringing at the 1:46 point - it would be a perfect summation of the quality of song-poem industry products if that's exactly what it is, and if they kept the take anyway:

Then there's the awkwardly titled "Singing the Song of the Blues", which also works, I guess, with this arrangement, although it features some truly stultifying lyrics, particularly those song in the solo section by the bass singer, who curiously only sounds like a bass when he's singing alone - the rest of the time his voice seems considerably higher.

Side two kicks off with "Restless", which features some more words from the creativity challanged end of the lyricist spectrum, and, unusually, some unsure moments of vocalizing from our trio, brief moments where the three part harmony seems close to going off the rails.

And finally, the one referenced in the title of this post, "Everybody's Girl". These lyrics fairly scream out for a solo male performance, or at least a group male performance (or, on the off chance that it was meant to reflect a gay relationship, at least a consistent performance from vocalists of a single gender). And sure enough, it starts out with the two men singing. But then, quickly, the woman of the trio comes in and takes over the melody for the remainder of the song. I have to think this was not what the lyricist had in mind, and although I suspect it was just another job for this particular singer, I do wonder, while listening to this piece, what the hell she might have been thinking, while taking on the lead part in this particular song.


Stu Shea said...

They ain't no "Flying Saucers," that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

Oh my god, I'm loving this first track, thanks Bob!! Love Film Tone!

Ha! I don't know what that is! A phone ringing, it's a high whistley kind've thing. Weird!