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MusicLover_2007

Machine is like "The Flowers"

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I really like this song but I have to say every time I listen to the album version, I am bothered by the lead vocal in the second chorus. There's this terrible little warble in her voice when she says "i'm." She should have sung it in full head voice instead of trying to stay in chest voice or whatever she was doing.

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^^Are you talking about the second chorus from about 2:08 to 2:29??

Because, if so, that's one of my favorite parts of the song- not to be a counterpointing douche, hah.

ESPECIALLY the third "hooked into machine" at 2:14, where she sounds like she's straining her voice. [And I suppose the "I'm" right after that is in the same vein of strain].

I love that chorus, and that part of it, because, like I said, it sounds like she's straining herself- her soul- to its very limits. This entire song, while very much about cynical acceptance, still bleeds regret and remorse, yearning for what used to be. But all the while being forced to deal with what is [particularly, in that vein, I feel like "I am part of a composite" is one of the most bone chilling parts of the song; Because she is just quietly, and stoically relinquishing her own self, her own will, to this greater composite self, which, in my mind, is downright terrifying].

And so, the strain in her voice during the chorus emotes such passion and emotion that you just feel like you want to scream out. Whenever I get to that part of the song in my car, I can't help holding back intense strain in my face while singing along to it. In my eyes, her voice should be warbly, and should absolutely feel strained, as if she's using the last of her strength to convey this message. It adds to the song so much, I feel.

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okay, this is hard to explain, but i'll do my best..

there are a lot of similarities between regina songs, some easy to distinguish (the left-handed rhythms of dance anthem and all the rowboats, for instance.) some... not so much. like what exactly makes me want to categorize the clocks were asleep with small town moon, but not with loveology, or the majority of the spektography?

(here's the abstract part): i think regina has, like, 5 solid bases that she works from (i haven't counted. five is a somewhat random number); the "bases" are like her mode of expression (like paint or clay). they're like the genetic material she designates to breed her songs (weird, i know. but bear with me!)

take, say, apres moi. from the same base (or DNA), you have pound of flesh, the flowers, machine, and all the rowboats. i know nothing of music theory or anything like that, but i play all of these songs on the piano (or am just familiar with the non-vocal music of each). apres moi is similar to pound of flesh, the flowers is similar to machine, and all the rowboats has little to do with any of them (if you're looking for something, the interlude is similar to the flowers/machine). it can be assumed that these songs all sound bleak, dark, and generally stormy, so it's natural for the piano to sound alike to us, because it's the kind of music that regina makes when she wants the song to be bleak, dark, etc.

BUT, as someone said above, flowers and Us have similar piano. as do, say, aquarius and genius. the flowers shares an 8-note sequence with folding chair's demo version (one major, one minor), and UH-Merica has a similar rhythm to ne me quitte pas. These songs, in every other measurable way, are nothing alike, even opposite. but we don't connect them right off the bat, beecause of the emotion and feeling that each song has. say it with me: "each song has its own personality."

when we notice a similarity between songs, i think it's because regina didn't move far from the "Base" she was working from; if they sound similar, it's because they're not pulled and worked and molded far from the baseline selected to express them.

i guess this is supported by the stark contrast, and difficult comparison to other songs in Reg's library, when she tries a song in a specific genre. Like Love you're a whore or your honor. one is decidedly a "country song", and the other a "punk/rock song", and so they bear little perceived similarity to any of regina's other songs.

anyway, i guess what i'm getting at is that the "soul" of the song is independant of the exact rhythms, noises, notes, and "vibes" regina puts it to. so songs can all be inverted melodies and adjusted keys, and we'll still love each one somewhat equally with its evil twin or its big brother, because it's still something unique, no matter how many songs share its DNA Razzer

Bedtime. i sound like i'm on drugs...

P.S. just saw your post, dentistgirl, and phonetically, Machine-ah is car in russian, not machine. But i'm in 101 and barely know the alphabet, so maybe you know better than i do Wink

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quote:
Originally posted by Sgtcampsalot:

^^Are you talking about the second chorus from about 2:08 to 2:29??

Because, if so, that's one of my favorite parts of the song- not to be a counterpointing douche, hah.

ESPECIALLY the third "hooked into machine" at 2:14, where she sounds like she's straining her voice. [And I suppose the "I'm" right after that is in the same vein of strain].

I love that chorus, and that part of it, because, like I said, it sounds like she's straining herself- her soul- to its very limits. This entire song, while very much about cynical acceptance, still bleeds regret and remorse, yearning for what used to be. But all the while being forced to deal with what is [particularly, in that vein, I feel like "I am part of a composite" is one of the most bone chilling parts of the song; Because she is just quietly, and stoically relinquishing her own self, her own will, to this greater composite self, which, in my mind, is downright terrifying].

And so, the strain in her voice during the chorus emotes such passion and emotion that you just feel like you want to scream out. Whenever I get to that part of the song in my car, I can't help holding back intense strain in my face while singing along to it. In my eyes, her voice should be warbly, and should absolutely feel strained, as if she's using the last of her strength to convey this message. It adds to the song so much, I feel.

Yeah, the part that bugs me is at 2:14 or so, but the rest of that chorus is totally fine. I just think her voice sounds weak at that spot, in comparison with the vocal delivery in the rest of the song. The first chorus is much stronger; the vocal performance there has no warbles. I love the song and all of the symbolism/ideas behind it, but personally, I don't think the warble voice was done intentionally, nor does it add to the song. It's distracting to me.

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quote:
Originally posted by Lost in the Sounds:

quote:
Originally posted by Sgtcampsalot:

^^Are you talking about the second chorus from about 2:08 to 2:29??

Because, if so, that's one of my favorite parts of the song- not to be a counterpointing douche, hah.

ESPECIALLY the third "hooked into machine" at 2:14, where she sounds like she's straining her voice. [And I suppose the "I'm" right after that is in the same vein of strain].

I love that chorus, and that part of it, because, like I said, it sounds like she's straining herself- her soul- to its very limits. This entire song, while very much about cynical acceptance, still bleeds regret and remorse, yearning for what used to be. But all the while being forced to deal with what is [particularly, in that vein, I feel like "I am part of a composite" is one of the most bone chilling parts of the song; Because she is just quietly, and stoically relinquishing her own self, her own will, to this greater composite self, which, in my mind, is downright terrifying].

And so, the strain in her voice during the chorus emotes such passion and emotion that you just feel like you want to scream out. Whenever I get to that part of the song in my car, I can't help holding back intense strain in my face while singing along to it. In my eyes, her voice should be warbly, and should absolutely feel strained, as if she's using the last of her strength to convey this message. It adds to the song so much, I feel.

Yeah, the part that bugs me is at 2:14 or so, but the rest of that chorus is totally fine. I just think her voice sounds weak at that spot, in comparison with the vocal delivery in the rest of the song. The first chorus is much stronger; the vocal performance there has no warbles. I love the song and all of the symbolism/ideas behind it, but personally, I don't think the warble voice was done intentionally, nor does it add to the song. It's distracting to me.

You honestly think she screwed up the vocal and left it on record? That just doesn't jive with me.

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quote:
Originally posted by MusicLover_2007:

quote:
Originally posted by Lost in the Sounds:

quote:
Originally posted by Sgtcampsalot:

^^Are you talking about the second chorus from about 2:08 to 2:29??

Because, if so, that's one of my favorite parts of the song- not to be a counterpointing douche, hah.

ESPECIALLY the third "hooked into machine" at 2:14, where she sounds like she's straining her voice. [And I suppose the "I'm" right after that is in the same vein of strain].

I love that chorus, and that part of it, because, like I said, it sounds like she's straining herself- her soul- to its very limits. This entire song, while very much about cynical acceptance, still bleeds regret and remorse, yearning for what used to be. But all the while being forced to deal with what is [particularly, in that vein, I feel like "I am part of a composite" is one of the most bone chilling parts of the song; Because she is just quietly, and stoically relinquishing her own self, her own will, to this greater composite self, which, in my mind, is downright terrifying].

And so, the strain in her voice during the chorus emotes such passion and emotion that you just feel like you want to scream out. Whenever I get to that part of the song in my car, I can't help holding back intense strain in my face while singing along to it. In my eyes, her voice should be warbly, and should absolutely feel strained, as if she's using the last of her strength to convey this message. It adds to the song so much, I feel.

Yeah, the part that bugs me is at 2:14 or so, but the rest of that chorus is totally fine. I just think her voice sounds weak at that spot, in comparison with the vocal delivery in the rest of the song. The first chorus is much stronger; the vocal performance there has no warbles. I love the song and all of the symbolism/ideas behind it, but personally, I don't think the warble voice was done intentionally, nor does it add to the song. It's distracting to me.

You honestly think she screwed up the vocal and left it on record? That just doesn't jive with me.

Yes. It's my opinion that it's a weak moment vocally. I didn't say she screwed it up, I said it was warbly and weak sounding. It's only one brief moment though, the rest of the song is fine. Listen to it yourself and you'll hear what I'm talking about.

Regina stretches her voice a lot, but usually it works for her. In my opinion, in this instance, it doesn't work. It doesn't jive with me.

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Well, I hear exactly what you're talking about. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely hear to what you're referring.

However, this clearly just seems to be a case of musical/audio subjective opinion.

I hear what you're referring to, but I distinctly believe it was absolutely intentional, and had been intended for the song in the first place. That strained sound in her voice compliments EXACTLY what is trying to be conveyed in that chorus at that point in the song. The song has a gradual, inevitable progression to it [as do MOST songs in existence] of both mood, and vocal/instrumental intensity. If you listen to the first chorus, it is very clearly held back, and intentionally more calm than the second; it is only the first chorus, and the song's story and mood have yet to elevate. Then, we arrive at the second chorus. The song's mood and story are setting in, we have been given dreary proclamations by the storyteller ["I am part of a composite"], the background sounds [from David Byrnes' piece] have become more prominent and apparent, and we are being increasingly drawn into this hellish world. So, the mood of the 2nd chorus follows accordingly. The vocals are more intense, they are delivered with more desperation, more strength, and more passion. The net result is, of course, sounding "strained". It's not really any different than when a singer's voice in a hard rock song gets raspy and harsh at a climactic part of the song. It's supposed to be that way, as dictated by the energy of the music.

So, that is all to say: It sounds strained and "warbly" for a reason. I mean, everything I just said, ever so verbosely, is just wordy analytical reasoning behind some of the simple basics of music and songs. If the second chorus' vocals had sounded exactly like the first, sustained and calm, I would have found it very odd.

But, of course, it's all opinion based.

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quote:
Originally posted by Sgtcampsalot:

Well, I hear exactly what you're talking about. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely hear to what you're referring.

However, this clearly just seems to be a case of musical/audio subjective opinion.

I hear what you're referring to, but I distinctly believe it was absolutely intentional, and had been intended for the song in the first place. That strained sound in her voice compliments EXACTLY what is trying to be conveyed in that chorus at that point in the song. The song has a gradual, inevitable progression to it [as do MOST songs in existence] of both mood, and vocal/instrumental intensity. If you listen to the first chorus, it is very clearly held back, and intentionally more calm than the second; it is only the first chorus, and the song's story and mood have yet to elevate. Then, we arrive at the second chorus. The song's mood and story are setting in, we have been given dreary proclamations by the storyteller ["I am part of a composite"], the background sounds [from David Byrnes' piece] have become more prominent and apparent, and we are being increasingly drawn into this hellish world. So, the mood of the 2nd chorus follows accordingly. The vocals are more intense, they are delivered with more desperation, more strength, and more passion. The net result is, of course, sounding "strained". It's not really any different than when a singer's voice in a hard rock song gets raspy and harsh at a climactic part of the song. It's supposed to be that way, as dictated by the energy of the music.

So, that is all to say: It sounds strained and "warbly" for a reason. I mean, everything I just said, ever so verbosely, is just wordy analytical reasoning behind some of the simple basics of music and songs. If the second chorus' vocals had sounded exactly like the first, sustained and calm, I would have found it very odd.

But, of course, it's all opinion based.

Thanks for a well-worded and thought out response. I mostly posted again because of what musiclover wrote. lol

Anyway, I love the song and I agree that vocal delivery can hit the general idea of the song home even more.

But in this case, I just don't like that one little bit of the song. I'm a musician so things like this tend to get under my skin more than most people. I am in no way saying that having a musical education and musical knowledge makes one able to appreciate music any more than a Joe Shmoe who doesn't know a diminished chord from a caesura. lol.

It just personally doesn't work for me.

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