Today I was looking up some music, when I came across a genre called Dark Cabaret. Most of the music in that genre was pretty weird and I didn't really like it, but there was one name I was seeing everywhere: Kate Bush. I was seeing that name all over the place, so I decided to give her a listen. The first song that came up on YouTube was Wuthering Heights. I listened to it and thought it was ok. I couldn't stand Kate Bush's singing though. In my opinion it is extremely squeally and one of the most high pitched singers ever. The musical aspect of the song was pretty good though. Actually, the musical aspect, including the singing is amazing. It's as complicated as any opera or major classical piece and sounds good at the same time. The only thing that I didn't quite like was the singer.
Under 'related videos' there was a cover by a female singer called Hayley Westenra. My first thought when I saw her on stage was: 'holy s--t, she's on of the prettiest girls I've ever seen in my life!'. Then she started singing Wuthering Heights and it blew me away. She was so confident with every note. Even great singers like Tegan and Sara, Steven Tyler, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney sometimes have obvious struggles with singing melodies. Hayley Westenra hit some of these notes so naturally that most people wouldn't see as possible. It was pretty amazing. I looked at many of her own songs and I'm not going to lie: she is kinda a crummy songwriter. Musically she is amazing. Unfortunately her songs she wrote herself are kinda weak. She is nevertheless an amazing vocalist.
Through all of this I noticed one thing though: how modern music has much a huge innovative demand. I find many modern songwriters don't have the same musical knowledge or capability as singers like Hayler Westenra, but they have an extraordinary ability for composing original material. It seems that music today has such a huge demand to please a wide audience that you either have instrumental talent or composition talent. Having both is probably one of the rarest things you'll see. And if someone is amazing at one, they'll always be weaker at the other. I think the few modern exceptions to this include Michael Jackson, Chris Cornell, Jim Morrison, and I want to say Thom Yorke, but he can't even read music so I don't know. Either way, I just wanted to point out how nowadays its one or the other.
To finish off my tribute to one (if not the) greatest singer I've ever seen I'll give a quick summary on her. She is a New Zealand musical prodigy and has talent I'll never even come close to achieving. She is also one of the prettiest people I've ever seen. I figured today would be a good day to do this tribute, for today is her twenty second birthday.
To see her perform wuthering heights live: (Link to Live in NZ Performance on YouTube)
What an amazing singer. She will definitely set a goal for me and what I want to achieve in my musical talent someday. She also made me realize how much modern music demands an artistic ability over just pure talent. Especially when you grade musical talent and artistic originality on such a high bar. Either way, now I know masters from both aspects of the musical spectrum.
WOW! But I don't agree about her songwriting. Some of her lyrics are wonderful. Especially on HSJS2, she is really progressing I think. And the beautiful person that Hayley is shines through. We don't know if the writer had ever heard it of course.
But the greatest singer I have ever seen? Absolutely!
I sometimes wonder if things might have been different for Hayley had this single been released... Does anyone else think so? Perhaps the publicity surrounding the single could have driven Hayley in more of a pop direction? The music video presents quite a different side to Hayley than we've ever seen since. It's just one of those things that I've been pondering.
Hi Dave, Thanks for the reply. However it seems to me that Decca treats the U S as a red headed stepchild. They either don't know what sells in the U S or don't want to try the market for Hayley. A single of Wuthering Heights properly promoted ,in my opinion ,would do well in the U S. I certainly don't profess to be an expert; however at age 70 I've learned a lot about the music industry in the U S. A recording company must make a commitment to an artist they have faith in. Then they must be willing to spend the money to properly promote the artist. In my opinion this has not been done with Hayley in the past. The previous attempts have been lukewarm at best an inept at worst.
I agree that I'd love to see a single too. If you go onto You Tube it's the has the highest number of views of any solo project of Hayley (behind Vivo Per Lei with Andrea Boccelli and Scarborough Fair with Celtic Woman). It was the song that got me into Hayley. I was at a friend's house helping wash their dog and I heard strains of it coming from the TV inside. I actually stopped dog washing to go in and see what it was all about. Unfortunately, by then the PBS special was almost over! But the next time it was on I made sure that I watched it.
Unfortunately, I think that the race might have been run Re Wuthering Heights. Unless it is included again on a future album with the intent of using it for promotional purposes. But that would depend on Hayley's future direction. The 'Pure' era was much poppier.
Like I suggested in another thread, maybe the focus instead should be to find a new, original song which has the power and ability to showcase Hayley's voice like Wuthering Heights does.