Yes, she did, so I'm not sure what the big deal is.
I don't think we need to worry about her voice, she can still sing very beautifully.
The important thing, to me, is, do we still enjoy her voice? Because that's more important than whether it's still pitch perfect or not. In her lower notes, probably not, but in her higher notes, she sounds perfect to me. I'm not an expert, but maybe it's better not to be an "expert", because that may be affecting your ability to enjoy a [still] perfectly beautiful voice.
Hi guys. As it's late I've been rather lazy and barely skimmed the text in this thread, but I think the subject says enough for me to lend my 2 cents. I was actually planning to bring this up in the Hushabye thread, as I've finally listened to it. For me her voice sounds drier tonally, and her vibrato faster and perhaps 'tenser.' The dryness I'm hearing may be related to the recording techniques used for Hushabye, but I don't necessarily mind it nonetheless, although I definitely prefer her voice smoother as it used to be. As for the vibrato (keeping in mind that I may be repeating points that have been made which I lazily neglected to read), I think we can agree that to a vocalist of her caliber, this is purely technique and is well in her control.
As a side note I think it would be nice to hear some new musical styles along with her new vocal sound, thus refreshing her as an artist completely rather than just prompting us to pick at subtle (yet hard to ignore) differences in her performances of music we've fallen in love with her singing of in the first place
There was nothing wrong with your previous post Taylor. I thought it was quite thoughtful and you didn't need to delete it.
As I've always said, I am wary of Hayley fans encouraging complacency in Decca by never speaking up about things. It only serves to encourage more low-budget and rushed projects. With Katherine Jenkins probably set to reclaim most of the attention at Decca in 2014, there needs to be some sort of expectation that Hayley will be given the time, resources and flexibility she needs to make a great record.
Hi Rory. You echoed my thoughts in your last paragraph. It's very hard for Hayley to always be trying to recreate her recordings from the age of 15 with an inevitably changed and developed voice.
I have to say that I don't really agree with the thrust of what was the initial post, but I haven't yet listened to the audio and may come back on it when I have. One or two people have privately expressed reservations about it though.
Thanks to everyone who chose to wait for the AUDIO CLIP before commenting And others too for your genuine thoughts. I have updated the link to work, please go through it. (The clips used of Hayley were all live, and all professionally recorded)
Jillian, I think the clip answers many of your questions, but still "Cheaply produced" is not an excuse, because it's the "singing" we are talking about. My comments were looking past recording qualities
There's things Hayley can so with her voice now that she couldn't then.
That's what I'm not sure of, People have been saying this a lot, can anyone name a few things that she can do now that she couldn't do then?
The important thing, to me, is, do we still enjoy her voice?
Libby, that is the conclusion most of us fans come to. But this is not about us, and I find it rather selfish that way. We will end up liking Hayley no matter what. But I put this question to all of you, do you think you would have been drawn towards hayley if you heard this voice first? (please answer this only if you've listened to my clip) I can take a bold guess estimating that most of us if not all would NOT have even cared about this voice. Why change something that's already great? Could this be the answer to declining sales since Winter Magic? Could very well be, upto Treasure the beautiful soprano voice was developing, the exclusive HSJS gave a pop edge to her voice. I'm sure it'd have sold greatly too.
As long as we enjoy Hayley's voice, why fuss?
I want us all to take a moment to forget about us fans and think if others still do too? I do not think so. I'm sure if there wasn't the "Hayley figure and personality" attached to this voice, we wouldn't be so impressed anymore. Yes simply because it's nothing "extraordinary" anymore. Nevertheless she's still an amazing singer. But don't we want hayley to become big? and be known for the talent she has?
A recent review of the Honk Kong concert, I think rightly said that "so much should have happened in the 12 intervening years but nothing much had" Sure she worked with many people and Paradiso was a mile stone. But I'm getting where they are going. They also mentioned "Let's hope she bridges the gap between a star and a superstar in the next 12 years" If she's taking the pop route then for everything I'd explained in Clip, it's not working well. And so much is expected of a pop singer to be a "super star". Again a very important decision she has to make. She has to understand her strengths and weaknesses. She had very well understood her strengths, the whole world did with her first few albums, now it's time to take notice of her weaknesses too. And things will automatically fall into place.
Right, I've managed to play the clip at last, so can appreciate the point you are making Simba.
OK, things she can do now but didn't used to:
1. Hit lower notes with confidence. 2. Use a lot more power. 3. Interpret songs better (OK, that is more to do with technique that voice evolution I know). 4. Perform as many as 24 songs in a single show. 5. Play guitar on stage (well, it IS new, if nothing to do with her voice).
I'm sure Hayley can still sing in the pure "classical" style if she chooses to do so. But nasal whining is the in thing now, you only have to listen to the X Factor. Perhaps it is what people expect, so Hayley sometimes sings like that to please them.
Having heard Hayley live recently, I can say that the power, range and control of her voice are undiminished, in fact probably better than ever. I didn't notice any missed notes at the Union Chapel, although she did get the words wrong a couple of times. Covered it well though.
As for the "more should have happened" argument, we might be forgetting one thing. How much does Hayley want to be a celebrity/superstar? It has always seemed to me she has done the minimum she can get away with to promote her albums and concerts. We have assumed it is Decca not wanting to spend the money, but do we actually know how Hayley feels about that? The likes of KJ will do anything to promote themselves, even resorting to other things like dancing when the singing fails to do the trick. I can't imagine Hayley doing that.
I suspect for Hayley the music is what matters, and fame is something she has to endure in order to make a living from her music. She likes to be able to walk through London and not be recognised. So she wants to limit her fame to that which is necessary to make a living.Hayley does very little in public that is not connected with promoting her music (as distinct from promoting herself). I doubt very much that she will be selling her wedding to a celebrity magazine for example, even in New Zealand.
I suspect that Hayley is happy being Hayley and making music. Not everyone has ambitions to be a celebrity, and we know that Hayley is a private person who I suspect would not welcome reporters trying to pry into her private life.
So we should enjoy her music, and be thankful that we know about Hayley and can gain enjoyment and inspiration from her work. She is one you have to seek out, but as we all know, she is worth finding.
I would look at it this way. There hasn't been an international album that Hayley has chosen the tracks on since Treasure, which was released on 26 February 2007. That is almost seven years ago.
Paradiso, while undoubtedly a highlight, was an Ennio Morricone masterminded project which was taken on because it was a wonderful opportunity.
I remember post Treasure/pre Paradiso, we were quite convinced that Hayley was going down a folk path. In 2009 she introduced Talk to Me and I Know You By Heart.
All of these rumours and speculation have been swirling around for years about what Hayley's 'future direction' will be. We are still none the wiser and Hayley is still singing her old repertoire.
Clearly Hayley has something in mind, but we don't know what that is yet. I feel that it is difficult to comment fully on Hayley's voice and singing techniques when we have no idea what her plans are (and haven't for years).
I do speculate that a change is singing style may reflect something which is going on in Hayley's mind about her style and direction, but who knows?
I suppose we will have to wait and see. Perhaps late 2014/ early 2015.
Simba, I think Hayley's voice is still extraordinary. She just has to choose the right songs for her voice. That's what every singer runs into. Not every song is well-suited to their voice, even if they can hit all the notes well. Which is why singing your own songs, songs written for your voice, are normally best. I believe that has a lot to do with why Hayley's original material are among my most favorites. I love the style, yes, but her voice just seems to really shine in those songs.
Martin's list is exactly what I would say, and more.
As for not having her wedding in a NZ magazine, I tend to disagree. Why have articles announcing the engagement if you aren't going to bother sharing your wedding, too?
I understand her not wanting to become a huge celebrity, and it's very unlikely she ever would be. But it would still be nice for her to be able to have concerts in the US more often. That's really my only goal in attempting to boost her career. No need for a tour of the whole country. Even five concerts would be a dream come true, trust me.
Taylor, I saw no reason for you to delete your post, either. I was only quoting your last comment because I agreed with it.
Thank you so much martin for taking the time to read everything and listen to the whole clip. Much appreciated. And actually as always I agree with most of the things you said. So yes, Hayley has improved as a performer in the many ways you mentioned, but like you said none is attributed to the voice so much. Except the 'hit low notes with power' which I don't quite agree, I always thought her recent low notes are shaky and dodgy, you'll be surprised to see that she did her low notes better earlier. Her lowest recorded note F# from My Heart belongs to you from Odyssey is never beaten till now in clarity and fullness.
And I am sure she can sing in the pure classical tone too martin, which is why it's a huge deal for me. If it's more of a vocal problem or a damage like someone earlier thought it could be, I wouldn't have bothered much. I see where your going when you said she's trying to please people by singing in a Nasal tone, makes alot of sense. But I guess we as fans wouldn't want Hayley to do things that'd please people with lower music standards right? We like her because she's not like those X factor singers, don't we? I recall that you were once glad that Hayley is not among them If Hayley is doing what you said she is, I think she should rather not. If we don't like the nasal tone when others do it I don't think we need to justify it when Hayley does it.
The Union chapel one was among the better performances but the ones at the mall, especially White Christmas had a nasal tone, much. Which is why I think like you said it's something she's choosing to do more than often. Compare that with her previous White Christmas performance and it's evident that it's not an improvement.
And to the rest of the stuff that you said, I completely agree, maybe Hayley is not that ambitious, I'm sure she'll welcome any recognition that she gets purely based on her talent and no more special effort of hers to promote herself. Which is why I felt Hayley should try to develop the area where she's already strong at.
Hi Libby, I agree how her own songs are the best, and we seem to have similar favourites in general too which explains this. But a singer of Hayley's nature should not only be able to sing her own songs but use the talent to sing traditional numbers like Silent Night, and the likes. Let alone her new style or technique or "whatever" direction she's taking, these songs are meant to be sung in a special way, and I can only associate the classical way for what the song means and can imagine a person like hayley doing it justice. She always was able to, it's just that this "powerful singing", "loud notes" "cut-short words" don't fit for gentle songs like Silent Night anymore. I assume you didn't listen to the clip, if you had you'd have understood what I was saying regarding this. This is why I don't think this new technique is particularly doing any good, if she was able to show the difference by singing these songs in the old way and recent songs in the new way that would be stunning and would exhibit true versatility. So while she's able to do it I'd like her to keep singing these songs the way it's supposed to be sung. And clearly Hayley can never adopt a pop figure, atleast not the kind of pop people listen to, so it's only doing her bad by losing some of her potential listeners who liked her for her pristine voice. I don't see the audience range getting bigger.
I think we'd only keep arguing since it actually took me 2 years to come to this conclusion I was fighting for hayley against my friends, trying to prove that she's the best. But I realized whenever I introduce someone to Hayley I never show them recent songs, because I knew it wouldn't make an impression. First listen, better be her best recordings of the past.
So how about we all play a small game? Since it's difficult to think past our attachment to Hayley, let's do a genuine test with a few who don't know Hayley. 1. Find someone who don't know Hayley (but would generally like classical music) 2. Play Christmas dream(since you all said it sounded great/normal). 3. Don't say anything, watch their faces as Hayley starts to sing. 4. Ask them how the song was in the end, if they didn't mention dislike about the female voice(don't say it's Hayley), ask them how was the female portion. Note down the comments. 5. Now play one of her old songs, Let me lie, May it be, Mists of Islay, Danny boy, anything. 6. Ask them how it was, chances are they'd have already gotten goose bumps and would have been complementary of Hayley already. Don't reveal that it's Hayley or the same person yet. 7. Ask them to compare both and say which they liked and why. (Their reasons would be more straightforward and unbiased) 8. Tell them it's the same person over a few years. 9. Watch them react in shock. Then play www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmyCM1tz_NE and then www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4vXGEBGQp8.
I think we need to take this a little more seriously than we are. Forget about hayley wanting to become a superstar, but the talent she is should be recognized for what it is. And I hope people genuinely do this experiment. Guaranteed that you'll be surprised. And no they don't have to be music experts, it doesn't require a genius to say that something's wrong.
I would say that Paradiso as a recording has the full 'Classic Hayley' impact. La Califfa, Malena, Whispers in a Dream, I Knew I Loved You - it's all there.
Unfortunately it's probably going to be almost a year (best case) until we get an album which indicates where everything is heading. So we'll all have to stew in our own juices until then (as inviting as that sounds :rollin)
Everything is up in the air at the moment and from our perspective their isn't much context as to what is really going on.
You never know who or what is influencing things. This year made me realise that classical crossover is not exempt from the forces of the entertainment industry at large. It is just as cynical and manipulative - just in different - and more subtle ways.
Very true, Paradiso was wonderful I thought. And it's right that we don't know the influencing factor for this marked change in tone. Which is why somewhere else I mentioned I'd like her collaborate with Celtic woman again, which would demand for a particular pure sound. But with none of the original members but Mairead it seems highly unlikely. Oh well
Oh I forgot to mention, my analysis is not a biased one but based on many references, youtube comments from people who don't frequently listen to Hayley and my real friends. They say if you look at a person every day you don't notice any changes however drastic or them aging. But a person who hasn't seen them for quite a while would be able to point out differences instantly. Some comments from youtube on her recent performances(I didn't have to search for it),
I love her work, but this was just odd. The intensity of the vibrato just made her voice sound forced and artificial. She can do better.
I have to say that I preferred the version she sang when she was only 15, in Auckland NZ to this. She sounded a bit strained at times.
As for me I agree that Hayley excels in straight-tone, which I get the feeling she did more in her teen years. Much vibrato washes away most if not all of what makes her stand out from all the other great female singers in her style.
Sadly I was a little disappointed with this version. Normally I love Hayley but did not think this her best.
Dammit, am I the only one who notices that her singing ability is declining? She owned this song when she was younger, and now the talent is not there. I mean, she's talented by average standards, but Hayley was a musical god when she was 16. Is she just not training as much? I know that voices change with age, but they usually get better when people are in there 20's and then decline around their 40's.
She's having major difficulty getting the notes out and sustaining them. What happened to her???
Is it the unfiltered accent or does her voice sound tremendously different from the way it did eight years ago?
And I think these people are generally favourable of Hayley's performances.
So maybe this is an answer to "Do we still enjoy Hayley's singing?" that it's only us diehard fans? The ones who bother to follow her and active on the forums? Doesn't it shout out that others are clearly not receiving this well? This is why it's a huge deal, this is why it's a big concern for me. Back then, when I show Hayley to someone, be it a metal fan or whatever, they say "I'm not a big fan of the music, but she's got an amazing voice" Not ONE person refused that. But it saddens me that, that is not the case anymore.
So maybe this is an answer to "Do we still enjoy Hayley's singing?" that it's only us diehard fans? The ones who bother to follow her and active on the forums? Doesn't it shout out that others are clearly not receiving this well?
Well Simba, it doesn't really concern me so much as long as *I* still enjoy Hayley's singing/music which I do (along with others who have posted here), and especially while she continues to be able to fill large Concert Halls in some parts of the globe, at the moment in the East of Asia. She must be doing something right!
And selective Youtube comments never have been a good way to judge performances, I've found.