Like chocolate chips in a cookie, hard sounds sprinkled into smooth music attract attention. Imagine a sudden 15 seconds of pizzicato cellos in the middle of a lilting waltz. You’d notice them, wouldn’t you? You’d wonder what they ‘meant.’
What do you think the 15 seconds of hard consonants: suitcase, drunkand trunk, ‘mean’, in among the rounded sounds of House of the Rising Sun? Who’s talking? Who’s he talking about? There’s deep sadness in a son who names the ‘only things’ his own father needs, without including himself. Eric Burdon doesn’t need to emphasise the hard consonants. Your emotional antennae pick them up:
When you sing Highway to Hell, don’t waste too much energy on the word highway. Save your breath for hell. It’s the Most Important Word in the chorus. AC/DC wear devil horns, not traffic lights on their heads:
The English H sound is relaxation. And a touch of breath. That’s all. If you can breathe, you’re halfway to an English H. More than halfway.
Sometimes it’s hard to trust your breath do all the work, especially if H is silent in your own language. Watch Pharrell Williams’ face as he sings the H of hot, here, happy and high. He looks relaxed and happy, doesn’t he? His H isn’t a nasty cough. It’s a smooth, easy breath.