It’s 2011. Adele is finally granted a visa to visit America:
Tag Archives: ghosts
Skyfall, Adele and the Ghosts of English Song
Written English is full of silent, dead letters: the k of knee, the b of thumb or the h of stomach. When it’s sung, English is haunted by different ghosts – consonants the singer chooses to shape but not to sound. Ghost sounds.
Ghost sounds are a powerful tool to use when you sing in English. And a dangerous trap if you’re learning English songs by ear.
Adele sings a full fright of ghosts into Skyfall. We all know that the word Skyfall ends with an ll but, when Adele sings the word, what sound do you actually hear? An ll, or something slightly different? Is the sound exactly the same every single time she sings the word? Why does she sing the sound as she does?
Continue reading Skyfall, Adele and the Ghosts of English Song
Be Good – Be a Good Detective
You need no excuses to listen to Gregory Porter. It’s always a delight. If you’re inspired to cover his songs, do your detective work first. Like a lot of jazz singers (Amy Winehouse comes to mind) Gregory often ghosts consonants like d, t, n & m at the end of words. Softened endings often suit the jazz mood. But be careful when you sing a cover: a softened consonant isn’t the same as no consonant.
Try this exercise: in his song Be Good (Lion’s Song) Gregory sings the phrase Be Good fifteen times. Can you hear the d sound every time? Does the d sound exactly the same every time?
The Four Tops: American Ghosts
Some of you have asked if ghosts are a feature of British English alone. Good question, but no. Ghosts haunt American English too. Listen to the The Four Tops singing Reach Out I’ll Be There. Can you hear them pronouncing the t of Reach Out?
Don’t Look Back in Anger and don’t forget the T
People often choose Oasis songs for singing contests. They’re powerful and catchy. Sadly, a lot of contestants don’t listen to the Gallaghers properly. Just because Noel ghosts some of his consonants, it doesn’t mean they’re not important to the song. Continue reading Don’t Look Back in Anger and don’t forget the T