17 June, 08
A good singer does not have to live what he or she sings.They are a vessel of communication. If they are doing their craft right, they should be able to get the writer's intent across to the listener.
Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra were exceptions. They personally experienced many things they sang about taking it to the highest level of communication. They made it sound like they were singing directly to you - this is art!
When a modern day songstress sings 'Willow Weep For Me' (Gershwin's gift to Ann Ronell), chances are they have never been so lonely as to sing to a tree. This is an abstract lyric with a gorgeous melody. Does one care what the song is about? Lost or unrequited love is never mentioned in the lyric. The message is clear - pain! Having a great voice alone does not make you believable. You can still miss your target audience and fail to connect.