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This is probably very sexist of my and I'm sure someone will point out that this is not only a female thing, but this pause thing that's in many songs over the past few years, you know the thing, singing breathlessly close to the mike and sticking a pause into a trailing vowel.
You must have hear it: (Sotto Voce) 'I'll always miss yuouoo[pause]u'
I don't know if people are trained to do it or whether people are copying one another and I know it's supposed to represent deeply felt emotion, but it always sounds to me like they've misread the length of the note or turned the page to discover they should have sustained or they've nearly run out of breath. I wish they'd stop!
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Too close into the mic could well be excess compression... Annie Lennox in Eurhythmics days used to be recorded with Dolby A and played back into the mix without. I doubt she was alone (Beverly Craven?)
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I blame Mariah Carey for influencing a whole generation of female vocalists to attempt things that are far to difficult for them. Proper singing requires a lot of training of the body's breathing mechanism, something that few pop musicians can be bothered with these days.
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I agree it's Mariah's fault. And Celine Dion. Mariah is hot though so I forgive her.