Al's Voice

All about Weird Al's concerts and other live appearances.

Re: Al's Voice

by Muppetboy09 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:00 pm

I might have referred to it as "scratchy" in a different thread, but allow me to explain. His voice started to wear down a bit later in the tour, so if you compare some of the higher range songs (end of WDTAHTM? or Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota) from their first performance to their final performance, you will definitely hear a change in his vocal style. Not that it in any way was bad, but just very different.
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Re: Al's Voice

by minnick27 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:51 pm

Ive called it scratchy. He can sing smoothly, and some songs that dont call for a "real rock n roll" voice still get it. I'm still enjoying every song though

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Re: Al's Voice

by mybologna » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:34 am

Okay so...I'm gonna post this and hope nobody gets offended because it comes from a place of worry, and plenty of study of Al's voice over the years.

They need to do a serious alteration on the ending of "Jurassic Park". The second I heard the song was being brought back, in full, I had a serious worry that:
1. They would try doing it in the original key
&
2. Al was going to try to hit the C5 and D5 at the end

Al hasn't made himself hit those notes onstage like that in a very long time. In fact, avoiding notes like that is why "Handy" and "Inactive" had pre-recorded vocals take the tenor melody line while Al sang an octave lower on the Mandatory Fun Tour. He can still -mostly- hit them, but not consistently every night, and it clearly wears his voice down a ton. Heck, he even began to struggle with the Bb4 at the end of "Twine Ball" last year rather quickly.

I was hoping that he was going to utilize the backing vocalists to create some new interesting harmonies for the final two "Oh Nooooooo"'s, put himself on a lower harmony, and maybe use the "Handy"/"Inactive" trick and put his original studio take in for the high melody.

But then a, uh, magical auditory version of the opening night show appeared and, sure enough, he went for the notes himself in full voice with hardly anything behind him. And, while it sounded fine, you can tell it's a struggle. And for me personally I could tell this was going to be a major issue.

Jump to June 15 and sure enough he's clearly majorly struggling, straining like heck and cracking and rasping through, especially on the second one. On the next available magical auditory source, he switched to hitting it in a somewhat weak falsetto, which doesn't quite sound right given the rest of the song.

I'm worried about Al straining this much and trying to hit notes like this every single night. He hasn't made himself sing something like that since 2004 with "Free Delivery" and "Pretty Fly For a Rabbi". I'm not sure what made himself think he could do this every night on this tour, but given how difficult it is, the fact that he's already straining, AND that its so early in the set with "Smells Like Nirvana" still to come (and still, amazingly, in the original key), I'm worried he's going to hurt his voice and he may experience severe vocal strain like he did on the 2000 leg of Touring With Scissors (easily his most vocally challenging tour to date). It's just not worth it to blow his voice for these high notes for this song.

I am amazed he brought this song back, its the first time a song went from full song-medley-video clip-full song again. But I hope he also knows that no one, especially not us die-hards are going to care if he doesn't hit those notes exactly as he does on the studio recording...hell I'd prefer if he didn't.

Al's voice has aged beautifully and although his range has changed a bit, the older he gets the richer and deeper his voice sounds and its just wonderful. He's sounded legitimately great as a vocalist on every tour since 1999 and deserves WAAAAY more recognition for his vocal talents. He does one of the most vocally challenging set lists in rock band history. He sings higher, and more, notes than Freddie Mercury ever even tried onstage (I adore Freddie, just a comparison). His vocal technique and his vocal stamina is truly something to be admired and I wish more people realized this and gave him the praise he deserves to have sung the way and the amount he's sung over the years and still have pretty much the same sounding voice.

But, and Al if you're reading this I am speaking from the heart and a place of worry: please don't risk your voice! We all truly don't mind if you have to change up the end to avoid that C5 and D5, and the general/casual fans and audiences members likely wont even notice. I admire your determination in hitting the note and I know that you wouldn't put something in the set that you don't think you can handle. But PLEASE, if its becoming a struggle, consider changing it.

Alright, thats all, sorry for the long rant. Does anybody agree with me or should I prepare for pitchforks and people telling me its not that big a deal X*
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Re: Al's Voice

by OneWAY » Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:41 pm

I think it would be fine if Al tuned some of the songs to hit his current range. I also could feel Al having some trouble hitting some parts, which is understandable. I was super happy to see Jurassic Park in the set list, but those last notes are absolutely rough, and utilizing the back-up singers I think may be a good way to ease the gravity of it.
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Re: Al's Voice

by Muppetboy09 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:30 pm

I've been noticing the same thing. It was very apparent on the Vanity Tour that his voice wore down by the end of the tour, where he had trouble hitting notes in songs like Twine Ball, WDTAHTM, and UHF. The first week of this tour, the ending notes of Jurassic Park sounded solid, and I was wondering if Lisa Popeil had taught him an easier way to hit those type of notes, because they sounded flawless. Unfortunately, I noticed the same thing over the past couple nights, both the straining of the vocals, and the switch to falsetto.

I think both the final notes in both Twine Ball and Jurassic Park could be reworked to better suit his vocal range, and no casual fans would even notice the difference. But knowing how Al always wants the songs to sound just like they did on the record, I fear he's going to try and tough it out each night.
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Re: Al's Voice

by Crysania » Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:23 pm

I have to admit I'm still pretty impressed with his voice. I didn't find it weak at all at the last concert. He's definitely done a lot to preserve it over the years, especially considering young singers like Adele are having major vocal cord surgery because of their misuse.
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