Male Singers I Enjoy

I am not an immensely musical person. I took piano lessons when I was younger (parental requirement) and a musical instrument (trumpet; also a parental requirement), so I can read music (which is surprisingly helpful) and I understand meter (also surprisingly helpful when teaching poetry). But my skills are less than amateurish, and I can't sing in tune unless I'm sitting next to someone who can.

I do enjoy music very much, especially musicals. And yes, I sing along, and yes, it makes listeners beg me to stop.

However, when I'm singing, I don't hear myself. I hear the singers. And the singers I love the most are singers whose voices have personality. That is, my favorite singers are singers who don't sing full-time. Or rather, they do, but they are primarily known as actors before singers (the major exception here is Colm Wilkinson).

So, for instance, I hugely enjoy Alun Armstrong's singing voice which has a nice burr to it (you can hear the accent). (Alun Armstrong is one of those actors whose genre largely depends on how you "met" him--through New Tricks or through Les Mis.)

I greatly admire Tim Curry's singing voice and "I'm Going Home" from The Rocky Horror Picture Show is one of my favorites. He sounds like Tim Curry (which isn't always true; sometimes a person's singing voice is quite different from his or her speaking voice).

I admire Ewan McGregor's melodious, unaffected voice. Here he is in Moulin Rouge. He sings quite often in movies even if  just a few minutes. He does not, as far I as know, sing in the Star Wars movies. Well, maybe.


Truth is, I never really got into American Idol because the singers (with a few exceptions) always sounded like what they thought singers are supposed to sound like: digitized.

I think singers should not only be powerhouses (like in musicals); they should also sound, well, like people.

Colm Wilkinson as Valjean has that "real" sound--that lilt at the edges of the lyrics is fantastically gorgeous.

I know that almost everyone posts "Bring Him Home" as an example of Colm Wilkinson's amazing ability.

However, in "One Day More," one can really hear Wilkinson's range--plus I like ensemble numbers. And there's Philip Quast as Javert! Because one powerhouse deserves another.

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