Vocal Points: Can Adele's Voice Last?

Our voices are capable of incredible things. They tell our stories, allow us to spill our guts and, most importantly, make us unique and special. Welcome to Vocal Points, a blog that will cover all aspects of the voice of a musician, from singers who have already molded the music industry, to new voices who are continuously shifting it. We’ll talk not only about literal voice and tone, but about the effects an artist’s voice can have on the world.

Adele‘s voice is one which has been making recent headlines. Her album, 21, is Number 1 on iTunes and this month’s performance at the iTunes Festival still has fans raving. It seems that people simply can’t get enough of her smoky, deep voice and the emotion she is able to convey with it. She is one of those singers who can make you cry by simply telling her own sad story, which makes her fans feel as though they understand her pain and, therefore, relate to her.

But the question is, is Adele’s voice strong enough to last? Recently, a bout of laryngitis caused her to cancel the last nine stops of her North American tour, and caused some uproar. Adele’s success comes from her vocal truthfulness and pure talent, but that just makes her voice even more valuable and holds her to a higher standard.  The fact that she uses only her voice and not all the theatrics that other artists use is great, and her loyal fans obviously still love her despite this incident, but the fact that her voice failed her cost her the opportunity to win over all sorts of new fans with her incredible talent. Even worse, the illness caused fans to question whether she is taking care of her voice properly.

Taylor Swift also recently had to postpone four shows on her summer tour because of a case of bronchitis. And while Taylor’s voice is not exactly comparable to Adele’s, this is the first time in her career that a setback like this has occurred. While the quality of her voice is not as essential to her career as it is for other singers, no artist can really afford to have incidents like this occur on a regular basis.

It comes down to a case of longevity. Adele is talented, but does she have what it takes to make her voice last for a long career? Professional singers put great amounts of stress on their voices and they have to be incredibly conscious of the way that they use them outside of performances. Adele has achieved massive success, but this doesn’t mean she will necessarily do all that she can to protect her stunning voice.

The fact that Adele can’t seem to stop smoking may have caused her severe case of laryngitis, but it could just as easily have been a viral infection or acid reflux. It’s impossible for us to know what caused the condition that lead her to cancel so many shows. The only thing which is certain is that Adele needs her voice. Whatever it takes, she needs to make sure that she can live to sing another day. After all, if you want your story to be heard, you have to have a voice to tell it with.

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

U2 pulls blind man onstage to play encore

Following their set at Nashville this week, U2 treated one fan to the experience of a lifetime. A blind man holding a sign that said he wanted to play a song for his wife was pulled up on stage for an encore performance of All I Want Is You. The crowd ate it up. Watch the performance below and feel better about humanity for three minutes and forty-seven seconds.


Spotify announces US launch

It won’t be long before US music lovers can start streaming music on Spotify, Europe’s premier online music service. Then again, it may be a while. Spotify has promised a States-based operation for some time, and the dates keep getting pushed back. But, the company made a formal announcement this week, accompanied by a US landing page asking for email addresses. GAH, that means free streams of every song ever created! Suck it, iTunes!

The Bad

Nicki Minaj mourns loss of her cousin

Nicki Minaj took to Twitter to mourn the murder of her cousin, Nicholas Telemaque, who was gunned down this week. Lived in Brooklyn his whole life. My precious cousin. My baby. Killed last nite [sic] the pop star wrote. Police responded to a call in Flastbush in the early morning of July 4, where they found Telemaque with multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Kings County Hospital. R.I.P.

Bieber cover of Vanity Fair bombs

Not everyone loves the Biebs, it seems. Justin Bieber’s lip-smacked cover (Selena Gomez strikes again) of Vanity Fair was the magazine’s worst selling issue in nearly 12 years. Ironically, the headline read Is this the adorable, inescapable face of 2011? Seems like some people did indeed escape it.

The Ugly

Ke$ha reveals disturbing photography hobby to NME

That Ke$ha, always freaking people out with her TMI comments. This week’s appeared in NME, where Ke$ha claimed to have a wall of wieners made up of her snapshots of the privates of various guests on her tour bus. Don’t worry, that’s not her only sordid interest. The pop star also revealed she likes to pee on weird things. Someone take this girl home to meet mom.

Disease-ridden stars cancel tour dates

Whatever was bugging Adele seems to have moved on from the soul singer and found a couple new targets to infect. Taylor Swift canceled some of her summer tour dates due to bronchitis, while Simon LeBon of Duran Duran canceled the band’s entire European tour because of throat problems. Upon hearing the news, a third-grader responded, Ooh! Somebody’s been making out! That third-grader was us.


New Kelly Clarkson single Let Me Down gets leaked
Beyoncé moves 317,000 copies, still tops charts
Noel Gallagher announces solo album
Katy Perry tries out planking on the 4th of July
Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott is engaged
Kings of Leon documentary to air on Showtime
Sting cancels Kazakhstan dates over treatment of oil workers
Fans honor fortieth anniversary of Jim Morrisson’s death
Jamie Hince from The Kills weds Kate Moss
Phish have a ball at Super Ball IX
Kanye West and Jay-Z’s Watch The Throne available for pre-order
Jim James and M Ward start Crí¨me Bru-log
Pete Doherty released from prison early

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Lady Gaga tops charts with Born This Way

Leading up to the release of Born This Way, experts predicted Lady Gaga would sell 850,000 units in the album’s first week. The actual number turned out to be considerably higher. Gaga’s little monsters gobbled up 1.11 million copies last week, jettisoning the pop star to the top of the charts. Can anyone topple the queen now? Looking at you, Bieber.

Trent Reznor and Karen O cover Led Zeppelin

Psst. Over here. While Sony is busy pulling down unauthorized YouTube clips of Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, featuring an edgy cover of Immigrant Song by Trent Reznor and Karen O, allow us to direct your attention to this link, where you can still listen to the track.


The Bad

Gil Scott-Heron remembered with memorial service

Gil Scott-Heron”influential protest poet and soul singer”passed away last week. This week family, friends and fans gathered for a memorial service at New York’s Riverside Church and a public viewing at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home. The artist died last Friday at St. Luke’s Hospital in New York. His cause of death has not been disclosed. R.I.P.


Sean Kingston injured in jet ski accident

Jamaican-American hip hop artist Sean Kingston was seriously injured along with a female companion after his jet ski crashed into the Palm Spring Bridge in Miami this week. Kingston’s condition has stabilized and he is expected to make a full recovery, as is his companion.

The Ugly

Avril Lavigne drops f-bomb at baseball game

Avril Lavigne’s love of salty language landed her in hot water this week when she unleashed a string of expletives at a Tampa Bay Rays baseball game. The Canadian singer unleashed the f-bomb after technical difficulties interrupted her set. She later apologized for going off in front of youngsters, and the Tampa Bay Rays management team followed it up with a formal apology. What the hell, Avril?

Amy Winehouse back in rehab

When Amy Winehouse’s dad told her her drinking was out of control and she should go back to rehab, she didn’t say no, no, no. She simply swilled one last shot of Smirnoff vodka en route to the Priory Clinic, where she’ll stay until doctors give her the OK to leave. Good girl.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011