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While working at the Co-Operative, we have this CD that plays overhead. A lot of these songs are not sung by the actual singer but someone employed to sing their songs for them. It is never as good as the real thing, but seeing as I am sure it skips the legal rights fees, it is an understandable sacrifice. Therefore, after a while, I have adjusted to these imitations of famous songs. However, there are a few artists that should never be copied. Below I shall list a few of them.

3 – ELLIE GOULDING

I really like Ellie Goulding, but I have to admit she does have a voice that can be a bit grating after a while. She balances her vocals on a fine line between original and annoying. Some people would argue that she is irritating nonetheless, but, in my opinion, her music is imaginative and fresh enough to make her worth it. My point is that Ellie Goulding works hard to make her soft, barely audible voice suit her music, so when someone else tries to take her style and imitate it, it barely works.

I am sure I am not the only one, who has an ‘Ellie Goulding’ voice. It sits proudly alongside my Bane and Gary Barlow impressions. I don’t take it seriously, but when someone tries to sing with that voice, and doing so while being deadly serious, it can be a painful experience. There are a few people so unique that you can never try to copy their work and Ellie Goulding is definitely one of them. Alongside…

2 – ANATASCIA

This is where my points get muddied, because the above song is actually one of my favorite tracks. I don’t know why, but this is the kind of song that I forget about for long periods of time and always enjoy stumbling across again. Therefore, my biased feelings towards the music bring up the point that most people are fine with imitated songs, until it happens to a song they are close to. It’s like One Direction covering several songs that you don’t care for, but when they go near Blondie, you freak out. People tend to get very hypocritical towards imitated songs, so I will try not to be here.

But seriously, when I heard the cover for ‘Sick and Tired’, it was so bad, it was funny. Anatascia also has a voice tough to copy. It is very strong and a lot of the tricks she does with her vocals sounds ridiculous on anyone else. In fairness, the singer wasn’t too bad, as she side-stepped the trickier parts completely, which I appreciated. It was the backing vocalist that got to me. On the link above, he has a weird chant that starts off bizarre, but ends up blending quite nicely with the overall sound. It changes totally in the cover track. I wish I had a link for it, but I wouldn’t know where to start looking. Listening to it once was amusing; listening to it every day at work turned into a bitter nightmare.

1 – EMINEM

There are many elements to a good rap. For me, the main one is emotion. A lot of the worst rappers simply blend with the beat and while there is some level of talent to that, the lyrics and music becomes skin-deep. Eminem is one of the few rappers that never lets himself forget that rap needs to connect with some level of emotion. That is why he often brings out songs that are very personal and mean a lot to him. When he raps, we can feel that he means every word flowing from the music and that is why he is one of the most celebrated artists out there today.

This is also why he should, never, ever be imitated. I don’t even sing along to anything but the choruses of his music. And I am the kind of guy who sings to everything! Eminem’s music should be glorified from a distance and left untarnished. There’s a reason there are covers everywhere these days and Eminem is one of the only singers that hasn’t been touched by this imitation artists or even professional singers, looking for an interesting cover. Everyone knows that Eminem’s music works, because of the personal factor and in removing that personal nature from the song, the whole track falls to pieces.

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5 thoughts on “3 Singers That Should Never Be Imitated

  1. Mostly agreed.

    Will say Eminem is one of the few mainstream rappers who gives you emotion. They are aplenty underground. Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Sims, Dessa (oh god Dessa), K’Naan (when he was still spitting), Soliloquy of Sound, and so very many more do it, too. And at least a few do it better than Marshall Mather.

      • Dessa and Atmosphere are the best of the bunch, in my opinion. Dessa’s newest album is more pop than hip-hop, but she has an amazing singing voice, so that’s just fine with me. Her first full length album, A Badly Broken Code (2010), is underground hip-hop at its best. Inventive beats. Emotion ripping through every word. And gorgeous poetry.

        Atmosphere’s best two albums, in my opinion, are the most recent (When Life Gives You Lemons … You Paint That Sh** Gold – 2008 and The Family Sign – 2011). But they have a very different style than the early work, and I’m of an age with them (mid-thirties, nearing forties), so the story-telling technique jives with my current sensibilities. Back in the early 2000s when both Atmosphere and I were in our twenties, God Loves Ugly (2002) was my go-to album, for almost any mood. Not many rappers beat the sheer emotion Slug and Ant give you in that one. Not to mention the fun.

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