Interestment’s Top Four: Incomprehensible Singers

No room on the list for this poser…


It’s always a complete joy to hear from a member of the growing Interestment family, and today Debs – a fantastic writer with a very arched eyebrow – thought she’d point her magnificent microscope at strange popstars who sound like they’re singing gobbledigook. She had this to say…

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Many of us have had a special relationship with song lyrics at one time or another. Perhaps they evoked the memory of a loved one. Perhaps they recalled the time we were unceremoniously binned by that same loved one as they made off into the sunset, cackling and smearing Marmite onto our best friend. Whatever. The fact remains, lyrics have a magical power that can drag your emotions from exquisite joy to murderous loathing at the mere drop of a stylus. However, there are certain artistes who deny us this experience, simply because they open their mouths and a garbled string of consonants emerge. This lot are ideal listening material if you think the evening may become the sort of nightmare you don’t ever want to remember again…

1. Michael Stipe, R.E.M

If nasal slurring is the order of the eve, M. Stipe’s your man. Interesting fact – the title is the only regularly intelligible part of his repertoire, resulting in that embarrassing tendency to start singing along with zest only to fade off in garbled shame: What’s the frequency Kenneth!! whatc – er – shuh huh huh…Ahem.

2. Bjork

At best: sounds like a distressed child trying to talk mid-tantrum but who can only gasp out certain words due to wrenching sobs. At worst: it’s the vocal equivalent of shredding a dictionary through a powerful ceiling fan. And an Icelandic dictionary at that.

3. Caleb Followill, Kings of Leon

“Spainjer in the spoon gee cow!” strains Caleb at the beginning of Closer, sounding in desperate need of a pint of WD40. Followill manages to enunciate only one word in eleven – somewhat like those drunks who mumble constantly apart from the swear words that they manage to bellow out with all the clarity of a top-grade elocution graduate.

4. Sean Paul

Is, when slowed down and fed through an expensive piece of audio equipment actually reciting from the Yellow Pages: Romford and Ilford Districts. True story. Perhaps.

One Response to Interestment’s Top Four: Incomprehensible Singers

  1. Jam says:

    Smashing piece, but what about Eddie Vedder? The man somehow manages to squeeze out utter incoherent babble at every opportunity.

    Which is probably a good thing, if his lyrics for ‘Yellow Ledbetter’ are anything to go by:

    Unsealed on a porch a letter sat.
    Then you said, “I wanna leave it again.”
    Once I saw her on a beach of weathered sand.
    And on the sand I wanna leave it again. Yeah.

    YEAH, whatever…

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