Articles by “S. L. Mason” 40

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  • So I've been getting some feels lately. As much as American Idol has..bothered me..in it's past few seasons. And as much as the talent isn't what it's used to be. I grew up with this show. It's made a tremendous impact on my life musically. Both in finding artists that I want to follow after the show..and following artists who I had never heard of prior to watching the show. (Confession, I know who Janis Joplin and Led Zeppelin are because of American Idol.) It was a cultural phenomenon, and although I've been watching this season for the snark and nostalgia..there's a part of me that's going to miss it dearly. It's like when the final Harry Potter book came out, an end of an era. (Although, Harry Potter was still good by the seventh book..)

    And of course, American Idol is probably the reason The Voice exists. So despite this being The Voice forums, I thought I'd pay a little tribute, both in my Top 10 performances this season, as well as a Top performances of all time at some point…
  • So, my plan was to do a recap per lives for this blog. Obviously that failed. (For various reasons.) One reason I think, is my lack of enthusiasm for this cast..which might have been a little unfair on my part..but really..

    We saw contestants that should be potential winners lose early (Ellie, Morgan, Andi & Alex, James)
    We saw contestants that have no business being in the top 12, in the top 12. (Zach and Sunshine)
    We saw contestants who started out so very promising, seemingly not be able to handle the lives (Shelby, Korin)

    And although this is true, there's a lot of good that can be taken in this season.

    We have two contestants that could rival Tessanne Chin for best vocalist ever on this show. (Jeffery, Jordan.) I would still go with Tessanne though.
    We have contestants flexing their creativity, and according to iTunes, have been quite successful. (Amy, Madi)
    We have a budding country singer who seems to only get better every week.

    So in short, this season is a lot like season…
  • Recapping the American Idol The Voice top 12.

    Here's the thing, The first season of The Voice I watched was season 4. After quite a few seasons of Idol's redundancy and sexism, I decided to give The Voice a try. (Also, Usher is pretty and I love Shakira.) Michelle Chamuel was a reminder of what American Idol never could be, and Danielle Bradbery was a reminder of what American Idol was supposed to be about. They were the most consistent performers that season..and Danielle won, and Michelle came in second.

    The Voice followed that up with Season 5:, where we had another little girl, Jacquie Lee, who was once again a reminder of when Idol was great. And Tessanne Chin, probably the greatest singer The Voice has ever had. The "greatest" singer never wins Idol..she won The Voice though.

    And then in season 6:, once again, the best singer and most consistent performer won. (Josh Kaufman..)

    Season 7: didn't quite have great singers, but there were a group of male performers who were the…
  • Tomorrow starts the live shows, and here's a quick guide to contestants heading into lives. (From strongest to weakest teams)

    General thoughts on This season..this may be the strongest group of guys we've ever seen on any reality tv season. On any other season at any other show, Barrett would be one of the strongest technical male vocalists, instead, he rates near the middle or end of the pack. It's somewhat of a gender reversal, where the men are powerhouses and the women are more of the singer songwriter variety.

    1. Gwen Stefani:

    Who would have guessed that Gwen's team of one chair turners would turn into such a strong team. A few key steals, and a few gems have meant that Gwen leads the coaches in talent. Let's see how she holds up.

    - Viktor: Even if he's not my personal favorite, it's hard to argue against him getting top billing on Team Gwen. Unlimited range. Unlimited control. A dreamy tone. And quite frankly, a nice look too. He has the entire package. Song choice will be…
  • The battles are always interesting. Even though they are most people's least favorite portion of the show, I do think we learn something about each contestant, and contestants establish themselves on their coaches team. We also get the opportunity to point and laugh at terrible coaching decisions.

    1. Evan McKeel vs. Riley Biederer (Higher Ground) : This was a competitive battle. I didn’t detect a single vocal error. Both singers have great instincts. Evan is simply vocal perfection. He’s undoubtedly someone that could leave this competition being called the best male vocalist in Voice history. (To be fair, there are a few this season that have that potential.) And Riley kept up with him, in his musical lane. In the end, Pharrell picked right in going with Evan, but Riley got a deserved steal. (Winner Evan, Riley Stolen by Gwen)

    2. Emily Ann Roberts vs. Morgan Frazier (I’m that Kind of Girl) : If you know Blake, you know who he is going to choose in this situation. (The teenage…
  • And now, everyone's least favorite part of the show. Montages. Poorly chosen songs. People go home when they shouldn't have. People stay when they really shouldn't have. (I'm looking at you, Ryan Sil). So, without any other comment, here's my power ranking.

    1. Keith Semple vs. Manny Cabo: Keith really impressed me with this, and could show himself to be a dark horse on Team Adam.
    Very strong vocally here, and his pitch was incredibly impressive. In fact, Manny was only slightly under, and I think the only way it was noticeable was because of how on Keith was. It's a shame Manny wasn't stolen, however, as he does deserve to still be in the competition. (Winner Keith)

    2. Jordan vs. Regina - Glad Gwen made this steal. Both deserved to move forward, for me, this one just edged out Celeste and Mark for best of the night on day 1. (Winner Jordan, Regaina Stolen by Gwen)

    3. Celeste vs Mark: In a lot of ways, the best battle of the night. These two had crazy chemistry. I would have gone…
  • 1. Shelby Brown (Stars) - We’ve seen Baby Michelle, Danielle’s long lost sister..and baby Amber Carrington decided to show herself..(she also ended up on the same Team as Amber..unfortunately) This one is more of a clone, because she looks like her..and sounds like her. And when you sound like Amber Carrington, you get the number one spot. (Team Adam)

    *On a sidenote, Amber would have killed “Stars”

    2. Amy Vachal (Dream a little Dream) - I’ve found my snowflake. To quote Adam “They sent out the best girl singer ever, and the prettiest.” And although that might be some hyperbole, Amy is simply exquisite. (Team Pharrell)

    *as another sidetone, does any other week 3 audition matter after these two?

    3. Sydney Rhame (Photograph) - Very unique song, and kind of cool yodel sound she made, and her head voice was beautiful. A very striking audition, but it was definitely filled with nerves. (Team Pharrell)

    4. Dustin Christensen (Downtown Train) - Great power. Great control. Unique tone. He…
  • I thought this week was a significant improvement over last week. In general, the Coach's seemed to gell a bit better, the talent seemed to be stronger, and we definitely saw some interesting acts. Adam also seems to be on quite the roll in terms of talent. Here's my power rankings for week two of contestants.


    1. Andi & Alex (Thank You) - Hard not to put them at #1..given they officially have the highest iTunes sales of the season (so far)…their harmonies are incredible, the arrangement was great (and unique) and on a personal note, they’re the first duo I’ve really liked. (Team Adam)

    2. Morgan Frazier (I Want You To Want Me) - Great arrangement. She comes across as very authentic. She had great control of her voice, and clearly knows what she wants to be. Definitely interesting to have a great country contestant that also seems to want to show her creativity. (Team Blake)

    3. Jeffrey Austin (Lay Me Down) - Shame on the boys for not turning around. Easily one of the best vocalists…
  • Bria Kelly recently partnered up with song writers from BMI and Nashville producers to cowrite the song "Why Me." The song and music video (which Bria also had a hand in making) were created in order to help stop dog fighting by creating awareness and empathy towards the abuse of theses animals. I also believe for every single sold, 90 cents will go to an anti-dog fighting organization. (The song is 99 cents on iTunes.)

    The song was written from the perspective of a dog, and therefore it would be hard, given the lyrics, to relate the song to anything else. The song still pulls at your heart (particularly if you care about this issue or animal welfare in general. ) Bria sounds great. Her voice is soft and beautiful, showing a head voice that she didn't display on The Voice. (Nice to see improvement.) And there is, of course, the Bria belting involved.

    The music video replaces human beings with the dogs and shows some of the abuse fighting dogs suffer, the message being "abuse is…
  • So, first week of Blind's down. Here are my personal power rankings of the contestants that auditioned this week.

    1. Jordan Smith (Chandelier) - He just has an incredible voice. Probably the only contestant with an incredible voice that we were shown this week. (Team Adam)

    2. Ellie (We Don’t Have To Take Off Our Clothes) - Ellie’s entire audition was excellent. She was adorable in her excitement for Gwen. Her song was different. Her voice has a sweetness too it, but still a layer of rasp. Sometimes Indie girls can have voices that are too small, but Ellie proved in her audition she didn’t. Either she goes far or Gwen makes a huge error. (Team Gwen)

    3. James Dupre (Let Her Cry) - So, the first time I watched “The Voice” I actually agreed with Adam’s arguments. But after years of watching the show, it’s clear Blake is a huge help to country singers, and if your heart is there..it is stupid to go elsewhere. That being said, James’ eyes seemed to light up when Adam mentioned…