Liner Notes: No provenance

Anna Taylor
Features Editor

I can tolerate listening to most music. As long as the artist has a decent voice and complements from their music, I probably won’t change the station.

But, as you might have guessed, there are also a select few I cannot tolerate, usually because of their voices or lack of what I consider musical talent. Maybe you’ll agree with me on these.

Joanna Newsom

I don’t remember when I first heard her voice but I remember being amazed, and not in a good way. Newsom really surprised me with her small, adolescent voice. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for someone expressing themselves through music but the industry is not for everyone.

The harpist, who often sings of inanimate objects, has been featured in one song that I really enjoy listening to. Her song “The Book of Right On” is sampled in The Roots’ “Right On.” That little voice of hers actually complements the song. Put Newsom on a track by herself, not so much.

I really think she has the talent to be just an instrumentalist. Girl knows how to strum a harp.

Lana Del Rey

While this lady is still pretty new in the biz, she still has yet to impress me. I must not be alone in saying this because the young studio artist has had a lot of negative publicity since her Saturday Night Live appearance. She had two bad performances on the comedy sketch show a few weeks ago as she was introduced to the mainstream world with her low vocals.

Those low and somewhat unattractive notes she sung didn’t exactly bring me joy, but maybe slight fear for her fresh career. For someone who is supposedly the next cool thing, she’s yet to be on my radar.

What Del Rey lacks in her music is emotion. If she felt what she was singing and could show that, maybe her SNL gig would have gone a little better.

Taylor Swift

The least painful listening on this list is Swift, but she still causes me to occassionally change the station or take an unintentional restroom break during a song or performance.

I realize Swift has many supportive fans and she is loved for her song writing, relatability and hair. But, I have my reasons for not being a fan, and I’ve tried to become one. I just can’t.

Before Swift was a teenager, her family moved to Nashville to help her pursue her dream. Her dream came true, of course, as we are all reminded every time she gives an acceptance speech, but not until she literally knocked on every single record label’s door in town with her tape of karaoke sing-a-longs.

Sure, her technique worked but I’m not sure what her record label heard in her voice then considering how she sounded when her first single was released. Swift began her career awkward and out of tune.

Without a doubt, Taylor Swift has come a long way in her career and has grown as a musician and performer. Maybe the hype for Swift has died down a little but I don’t see her music selling out in 10 years if her lyrics don’t mature with her age. A girl can dream.