Mr. Bill George Presents

Susan Boyle Is Overrated

In Music, Television on April 20, 2009 at 4:39 PM

Yea I said it! Someone had to say it!

I grant you, the crazy cat-lady turned international darling is a darn good singer. But she’s being talked up as if she has the voice of God. Now if God were to release a CD, I might get it. Boyle? Not so much. I’ve heard her sing ‘I Dreamed a Dream,’ and on Larry King she did ‘My Heart Will Go On.’

Both songs I like (the former more than the latter) but I’ve also heard them both done better. I would never trade my International Cast Recording of ‘Dream’ for hers. And that makes me a problem for the media because they are in the business of selling CD’s. Synergy baby, synergy.

My mother noticed the headline of this article when I was writing it and immediately said, “You’re such a killjoy! It’s her story that’s amazing.” And that’s exactly my point: they’ve already got my mom! She’ll probably end up buying a CD because of this ‘amazing story!’ Which is precisely what they want!

Am I being an insensitive, cynical jerk who should be ashamed of myself because I can’t just let this poor lady have her fifteen minutes of fame without trying to diminish her accomplishment (which far surpasses any of my own)?

Yes, yes I am.

Now, do I think Susan Boyle is some kind of financial mastermind behind this whole thing? No, she is probably legit. But that doesn’t mean others aren’t trying to cash in on her appeal. And in doing so they are using artificially exaggerated language to describe her talent.

The problem is that now, a new contender as entered the ring. I saw a recent CNN headline about this other kid in the same competition. They are calling him a ‘young Stevie Wonder’ and now it’s his turn to steal the news cycle for another week (and inevitably sign a record deal).

My point is: there are a lot of great singers in the world, so exactly how long are we going to keep glorifying these talent show stand-outs?

  1. it’s good to know i’m not alone in this– yes, she has a nice voice, but she isn’t part of an opera company for one reason: there are better singers. yes, it’s uplifting because she goes against the grain of legislated “good looks” for singers, but wouldn’t it be better if we didn’t automatically think “that’s remarkable because you wouldn’t have expected her to be good based on her looks?”

    let’s let the music stand alone for what it is, and in this case, it’s good, not incredible.

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