“Let me hear your breaths”
A reader eloquently amplifies some of the thoughts I kicked around this morning about the techno-sanitization of the live album:
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Live albums, once my favorites, don’t even interest me any more because they are so far from being live. The tracks are usually pre-recorded in a studio and the vocals are almost all re-done afterwards. Even the applause of the audience is mostly chopped and re-inserted into the recording resulting in a Stepford audience sound. Not to mention the robotic singers (whose breaths have been taken out because breaths are imperfect???) No, thanks, I’ll pass.
If someone (TaRanda Greene, Janet Paschal, Katy Peach) were to record something live stripped down like this - piano, maybe some cello or light percussion, a harmony vocal used tastefully here and there - I don’t know if the southern audience would buy it, but I personally would be the first in line to buy it and it would be my Christmas gift to everyone on my list! Let me hear your breaths, your phrasing (that hasn’t been stretched or crunched by a re-mix engineer to fit the perfect meter) let me hear your shaded pitches and cracks. Because, as in most art, it’s truly the imperfections that often make one the most unique and beautiful.