Does Adele sing consistently flat?

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by frogman81, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. frogman81

    frogman81 SS.org Regular

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    Sitting at my local breakfast joint and Adele was playing. Not to knock her obvious technical abilities/success/songwriting, but from her very first single, her voice has been a bit like nails on a chalkboard to me. I think it’s because she often ventures slightly flat (to my ears). My theory is that the producers keep her takes because it adds a bit of rawness/vulnerability to the tracks. Any thoughts?
     
  2. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Everything is autotune these days. Maybe she's just not autotuned like everything else, or...this is way out on a limb, but maybe she's autotuned into key then reintonated a few cents flat to make her sound human in a robotic sort of way.

    Personally, out of today's music, I prefer her stuff to the rest of her genre, but I am exposed to a lot of music where things are not all snapped 100% to 12-equally divided octave tones. I love listening to sitar being played with rock band, even though the damn thing will never be in tune with everything else, or microtonal music where tones are not at all like you hear on the radio, because, personally, I think 12-EDO, which has taken over >99.9999% of western music in a very aggressive way, is just one pallette of tones out of an infinite continuum.
     
  3. jwade

    jwade Doooooooooom

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    I find that she sounds really nasal to my ears, which often sounds flat/off.
     
  4. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire gearwhoricus americanus

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    at least she can actually sing her songs live, unlike mariah carey, who couldn't sing her own songs or the fucking national anthem correctly a couple of years back.
     
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  5. Ataraxia2320

    Ataraxia2320 SS.org Regular

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    Mariah Carey had one of the best pop voices in the world at one stage(she could sing in 5 octaves :O), just because she doesnt give a crap anymore doesnt mean she was never capable.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  6. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire gearwhoricus americanus

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    I never questioned her ability to sing in general, was more referencing how now she can't sing for crap. She was wayyyy off for the national anthem. It was legit painful to listen to.
     
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  7. rokket2005

    rokket2005 SS.org Regular

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    I'm not sure which song/songs you might be referencing, but I find it completely laughable to think that Greg Wells would put out a single where the vocals were out of tune. The closest to that I can think of is Rob Kleiner leaving all of Sias little squeaks and cracks in, but that's wholly part of the character of her voice.
     
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  8. frogman81

    frogman81 SS.org Regular

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    Oh I totally agree that it's odd, and I by no means consider my ears to be super in-tune. Here's what I was listening to this morning. I realize this is a live track, but I can dig into her studio stuff if I have to for lots of similar instances. To me, when she sings "photograph" at 2:05 she starts to waiver between flat and in-tune until 2:23. The word "exactly" around 2:14 seems most off to me.



    Again, who am I to criticize her... I'm just trying to reconcile whether I'm just not a fan of her voice, or if she's been singing slightly off-pitch in an artistic way and people dig it.
     
  9. Descent

    Descent SS.org Regular

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    1:09 "Way you ta...alk" was pretty bad too. Yeah, a lot of it is pichy, I think it is live performance that they liked for the "character" or no idea what.
    She is actually one of the singers that I totally loathe, there's just some kind of jarring effect her voice has on me though, or maybe her cockney diction, but I find really hard to listen to her. 4:20 part is also really bad, her voice cracks in quite a few places...yuk. I leave this kind of music for the hausfraus.
     
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  10. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Doc McStuffins Contributor

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    I think we all thought you were referencing album recordings and intentionally singing flat, no? I don't consider someone's live performance indicative of whether they always sing flat. Who knows what the room acoustics were like, whether she could accurately hear herself over the backing track, etc.

    Sounds mostly fantastic to me. Not a perfect performance... there's a few questionable moments in there. But much like Kelly Clarkson, her songs are much harder than the average and so nailing them live is far more difficult (much like watching Olympic gymnastics routines where you get a higher score purely for attempting a harder routine).
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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  11. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    "you'd be" around 2:43 is a little rough, too, pitch-wise. The soft piano-and-vocal part around 4:15 was kind of rough, too. Honestly, though, what's the point? You're picking apart the intonation of a pop singer's very specific live performance. Either you feel it or you don't feel it. You don't like the style, so why dwell on it? I mean, Adele is a human being, not a machine, so not every note is going to be 100% in pitch. This isn't my particular style, either, but my singing can never hold a candle to this level of performance, even if it isn't her best.

    I'm not saying this to defend Adele in particular, though, just in defense of performers in general having a bad day.
     
  12. rokket2005

    rokket2005 SS.org Regular

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    It wasn't a fantastic performance, but compared to someone like Rihanna who absolutely cannot sing, I don't care enough to go out of my way to dislike her more for it.
     
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  13. ImBCRichBitch

    ImBCRichBitch SS.org Regular

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    To answer, yes. She does sing consistantly flat
     
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  14. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger

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    I wonder if on an Adele forum they are watching a Paul Gilbert or Steve Vai live video and talking about out of tune bends and making mistakes.

    Its human part in live music that can be edited out in studio recordings.
     
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  15. frogman81

    frogman81 SS.org Regular

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    Well I am referring to her album stuff too, they just happen to play that version on the radio around here. So here's her first single from way back in 2010. Around 0:14 when she sings "finally" to me it wanders in and out of tune. This sort of thing just continues throughout. At 0:18 "go AHEAD"... 0:23 "see how Iiiiii'llllll".... I think sometimes she slides into the correct note in a harsh way, kinda like listening to someone learn the violin. She does have a lot of multiple-note words to sing, which I'm sure isn't easy.



    The point isn't to bash on Adele. I just wondered if I was imagining things - maybe like jwade says above that she's just very nasal and I'm mistaking that for singing flat - OR if she actually isn't super accurate, but people love her for the character of her voice anyway. I actually think it's kind of cool in our quantized/autotuned age if the producer thought to himself/herself "well she's a little out at bar 37 and 42, but the performance is so good let's make this THE take".
     
  16. ImBCRichBitch

    ImBCRichBitch SS.org Regular

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    A little nit picky, as i am a big fan of her stuff, but Rolling wasnt her first single and it is greatly improved from her first album 19. If you think shes flat now, look up Chasing Pavements.
     
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  17. frogman81

    frogman81 SS.org Regular

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    I figured there was an Adele fan or two in the house :) Well I appreciate your answer as it makes me feel like I’m not crazy or totally tone deaf. I have tons of respect for her as a musician, plus she sells out stadiums (multiple nights per tour in Toronto’s case if I recall) and I’m just someone with a keyboard lol...
     
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  18. marcwormjim

    marcwormjim SS.org Regular

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    No one’s going to point out the typo in the thread title? Anyway, to answer the OP’s question: Yes; Adele does consistently sing fat. And like a lot of people, I was really disappointed when I saw her live. She started singing, and the show ended.
     
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  19. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    Auto tune has completely fucked our ability to enjoy music.
     
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  20. Descent

    Descent SS.org Regular

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    I am willing to bet that fewer people have heard of Vai or any of the other shredders mentioned, I'm sure everyone on here has heard of Adele.
     
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