Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The Voice: Ruth Brown brings the house down!

I'm not even going to start on the god-awful dress they put Ruth in, or that Holly asked the same banal question of the judges three times each. Because I simply don't care - what I care about is that Ruth Brown gave the most raw, powerful, emotive and beautiful performance I've seen on my TV screen in a long long time. She has the vulnerability of Randy Crawford and the power of Aretha Franklin - for those that are banging on about her just being 'loud', listen again, because this performance sang it loud and sang it with fragility too - she can sing it anyway she likes. Even more respect to Tom for allowing her to do it her own way - that vocal was not taught or coached, it was given the freedom to just be. You only have to watch Will's reaction; blown away doesn't cover it. It was like the world faded away and there was just Ruth. 

Through all the usual talent shows I've lived in hope that I'd hear a voice to rival a huge soul star - and been eternally disappointed as promising auditionees were ruined by the judges (I'll give you Will Young and Alexandra Burke as exceptions, although I wouldn't say they both blew me out of the water). Firstly, out stepped Joelle, with a hugely difficult song - quite possibly the reason she ended up in the bottom two, that and soppy Will letting slip that she 'complained', sorry, 'was concerned' about going first. Vocally it was right up there with Mary J, Chaka and all other female soul stars. Stunning performance, animated and passionate, pitch perfect.

And then Jaz turned up big time, giving me that male vocal I've previously listened in vain for. Shades of Stevie and  Luther but ultimately all Jaz. Subtle, sincere, soulful, classy. Wonderful stuff.

But that's not to say the others weren't good, far from it, all of them turned in strong vocal performances - it came down to personal musical taste. Those I hadn't initially been keen on - Tyler and Frances, both impressed. They came across well, likeable - especially when Frances, bigging up coach Will said "he can even sing". Loved that! 

Sam, while having the voice for his own version of A Little Respect, didn't do it for me and seemed pretty high maintenance emotionally; Sophie, giving Titanium a good go, lacked the sparkle that saw her through the week before. I wasn't surprised to see them both in the bottom two and their coaches letting them go. They shouldn't take it personally - different songs could have easily brought about an alternative result.

Adam was a tad too rockified for me, but would certainly have satisfied the masses into that particular genre; Leanne so strong and making Pink's Who Knew her own. Matt and Sueleen seem to be the ones people are either loving or hating - I happen to enjoy them. Again, it's not what I'd normally listen too but I can appreciate the harmonies and Matt can rock it out well.

In the team Danny/Jessie group number, Aleks needs dance lessons, seriously, he was so uncomfortable, whereas David, Max and Hannah were all going for it. Bo tended to get a little swallowed up too. Jessie's team were much more even - no-one commanded my attention, in a good or bad way. 

Tom and Will can relax for a week now, the pressure's all on Danny and Jessie and whether their teams can match what we've already heard. To keep you going till Saturday, you can see clips of all Team Tom and Will's performances here


  1. Ruth and Leanne are fast becoming my favourites! :o) I also really enjoyed Tyler actually.

    I was a little suprised to see Joelle in the bottom two for Will. I figured she would be saved, but that just goes to show you can't tell what the public will do.

    Like you Scatty I wasn't at all suprised that sam and Sophie went this week. Didn't shine quite the way the others did.

    It'll be interesting to see how Teams Danny and Jessis cope with their first live performances next week :o)

  2. Ruth, definitely after that. What's left of my top 10 are going to have to work hard!

  3. It seems to me very disturbing that all the Black singers were voted off

    1. ruth bless was so natural and brilliant every week - then leanne shocked us with her potential - thats how ruth was voted of.

      jazz sang such a drab no. when he could have soared anyway he wanted - maybe not inovative enough

  4. sadly, Jaz - from being the one I expected to root for, just didn't excite me. Likewise, Leanne just got better and better and overtook Ruth vocally, for me at any rate.