I was out and about running errands before work today, which is one of the few perks of working at night. Anyway, while I was in one particular store, I heard the most god-awful neo-lounge rendition of Van Morrison’s “Moondance”. It was just absolutely rancid. The term “desecration” comes to mind.
At first I thought it was Harry Connick Jr. (turn off your sound if you click that link, unless you actually want to hear the smug little mofo sing) but a little research turned up this guy – Michael Bublé. Look, I don’t really care which guy did it, to be honest, but whoever was responsible needs to be hit in the face with a red-hot shovel a couple of times. Pronto. Because the song is untouchable? No, of course not. Any song can and should be covered – IF you can match or exceed the quality of the original. If not, leave it alone. In this case, it wasn’t even close.
I’m usually pretty “live and let live” about most musical styles; even if I don’t care for it myself, I can usually (mentally) squint a bit & see how someone else might enjoy it. However, I find myself drawing a line at lounge singers. (I have a similar reaction to opera, too, but that’s not a can of worms I want to dive into at the moment.) That whole faux-jazz, whiter-than-white, pseudo-hipster, finger-snappin’, Sinatra wanna-be crap just gives me the itch, and how. If you want to listen to it, that’s fine. It is, as we used to say, your funeral. But I’ll tell you what: if I had to choose between listening to an hour of Sinatra and blinding myself with a hoof pick, I’d be thinking seriously about shopping for a seeing-eye dog.
“Oh, but he’s the greatest singer of all time”, you say. Well, you’re entitled to your opinion. In mine, he and his ilk rank somewhere below Arthur Ewing and his Musical Mice. (I’m willing to cut Tony Bennett some slack because he seems like a really nice guy, but that doesn’t mean I want to listen to him.) It just strikes me as being a very… dishonest style of music. It hits my ear as false and phony, all technique and no actual passion.
Again, your mileage may vary. I apologize if I’ve insulted your most favoritest type of music, but that’s how it sounds to me. Don’t ask me to give it another chance; I’ve heard enough for this lifetime, and the next few as well.