the joys of a good song…

I just found out that Emmy Rossum has a new CD out. If you remember, she played Christine Daaé in the movie version of The Phantom of the Opera, so she can definitely sing. Of course, with my goals for the year including noEmmy-Rossum-album-cover music or book purchases, that meant I couldn’t immediately download it. Blast. So, I went back to what I did when I was in Australia… listening to the songs on YouTube. That website is a wonderful thing for those who want good music, but are trying to be frugal.

Rossum’s Sentimental Journey seems to be a collection of oldies stretching from the 1920’s to the 1960’s, and though I haven’t even finished listening to all of them, it’s already a great listen. If you like to listen to real “oldies”, sung by an amazing “new” vocalist, this album is probably for you.

It’s interesting, finding some great new music at the same time that I’m getting back into watching The Voice Australia, which has just begun its second season. For those of you who love America’s The Voice, I’m sorry, but I’ve never been a fan. Not because of how they find the singers, I think being judged on your voice, solely, is a fantastic way of doing things. But tumblr_mhbo2cwVwR1qzoaqio1_1280while I have a liking for Blake Shelton, as a person and because he’s a country singer, the few times I’ve watched our version of The Voice, I get really annoyed with the judges.

Don’t get me wrong, they can all sing, especially Christina Aguilera, but I don’t find them very likeable, as a group, and I find CeeLo to be a bit of a perv. Maybe it’s because they all come across as being full of themselves. I will admit to never watching beyond the Blind Auditions, so maybe things improve.

But if you’ve never gone looking for The Voice Australia, online, then you don’t know what you’re missing. It was a bit disappointing when Keith Urban left the show, but thus far, Ricky Martin is doing a brilliant job of replacing him. Keith is probably a bit wasted on American Idol, amidst the crazy panel of judges, because he’s a REALLY good coach. But I hear he has some of the best constructive criticism on their panel, without attempting to steal the spotlight from the rest of the judges.

I don’t know if most Americans would be aware that Joel Madden is an amazing coach and musician, because aside from Good Charlotte, he’s a bit more famous for marrying Nicole Richie. Speaking of which, last season, Joel sang a duet with his father-in-law, Lionel Richie, and if you missed it, I just plain feel sorry for you.

Seal, who coached Karise Eden (audition, finale) to the winning spot, is 558889_452782128135558_147501053_nalso a fantastic coach. He has a way with words that makes Joel Madden refer to him as “the guru” and a “master of the Matrix”.

And until I started watching this show, I had never heard of Delta Goodrem, who is one of Australia’s biggest stars. For those of us who are accustomed to hearing Andrea Bocelli or Josh Groban sing “The Prayer” with Celine Dion, Delta has sung it with both of them, on international tours. And on top of her amazing skills as a coach and performer, she’s just plain nice! She may look slightly like Aguilera, because she’s blonde, but the two are nothing alike. Delta Goodrem is the type of person you want for your best friend, while Christina Aguilera is the type you want to keep away from dating your younger brothers (even if she CAN sing).

My family keeps wondering what I’m laughing at, when I’m watching The Voice Australia, because it sounds like I’m watching a funny movie or a Castle episode. But no, it’s because the judges can be so hilarious! They tease each other like a family, not with subtle/painful digs that make you think they’re having cat fights behind the scenes. They genuinely enjoy each other and are searching for performers that they can work with, in order to give back to the next generation.

And the talent? If you’ve never heard of Rachael Leahcar, Karise Eden, Darren Percival, Lakyn Heperi, and the rest, you need to look them up. Already, Season 2‘s lineup is stacking up to outmatch them, though it’s hard to believe. Look up The Voice Australia: Season 2 on YouTube, and watch Harrison Craig, Chris Sheehy, Kaity Dunstan, and Luke Kennedy. Phenomenal.

I think every person that likes to sing will watch a show like this, or American Idol and The X Factor, and wonder if they could do that. Could they get up on stage and become the next Kelly Clarkson or Susan Boyle? Of course, if you think you have a decent voice, you also wonder if you’d be slammedDelta Goodrem by Simon Cowell, if you got up there (the less humble “singers”, for some reason, never expect this). But after watching The Voice Australia, and seeing how hard these fledgling musicians have worked in order to get where they are, I can see that you need to want music more than anything, to put it all on the line, like they do. Plenty of people will go up and make idiots of themselves, because their families mistakenly think they can sing, but the true singers and performers will never give up until they succeed.

So, while I enjoyed singing my head off while cleaning the shower (no, I don’t sing when I’m IN the shower), I know that even if my voice was good enough for the stage, I wouldn’t go on those shows. I wouldn’t like being in the public eye, I don’t like following directions when it comes to my voice (hence, I avoided ever taking any chorus classes in school), and I wouldn’t like having to do gigs all over the place. These singers thrive on it! I would shrivel up. I’m a writer who likes to sing, not a singer that likes to write.

But while I don’t have anymore “lullaby the baby” posts for you (no bubs to sing to, lately), I can still belt out the Broadway, with or without my headphones on. Maybe it’s because cleaning can be dull, if you don’t try to keep things entertaining. I spent five years of my life, cleaning the campgrounds from top to bottom, and I sang my heart out, the whole way. I still wonder if the walls soak it up, to spill out in some future era.

In case you were wondering, my Broadway cleaning songs come from some of my favorite musicals (the stage musicals, NOT the movies!), from Beauty & the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Les Miserables, Wicked, and Jane Eyre, to The Music Man, Oliver!, Cats, JaneeyrecoverSouth Pacific, and My Fair Lady. I know some of you, who haven’t heard me talk about musicals before, are already preparing to argue with me that The Little Mermaid and Jane Eyre are movies, not musicals. Well, you would be wrong, and I wish I could have seen them on the stage. Want to know where Sierra Boggess got her Broadway start, before progressing to Love Never Dies (the nightmare Phantom sequel)? The answer is The Little Mermaid: The Musical. And, of course, Marla Schaffel and James Barbour were beyond fantastic in Jane Eyre: The Musical.

So, I had to get some music ramblings out of my system, so forgive me if I jumped all over the place. And now, I’m looking forward to the Blind Auditions on The Voice Australia, this week. Especially because an acquaintance from Emerald, QLD, will be performing. And if any of my Aussie friends tell me the results, beforehand, I will be VERY upset with them!  : )

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