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"Master Class Lady: professional critique of the AI performers"
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zazzy 4390 desperate attention whore postings
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03-14-09, 12:25 PM (EST)
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"Master Class Lady: professional critique of the AI performers"
Master Class Lady provides weekly analysis and critique of the AI performers. She has already picked one of the them to win or at least come in second--and she does not do that every year.

Here's her top 13 analysis:

http://masterclasslady.com/2009/03/12/top-13-american-idol-season-8-vocal-masterclass-article-the-music-of-michael-jackson/


Here's an example of the MCL critique on Matt:

"Strengths: Matt -what an absolute treat to watch you tickle those ivories while you sang this great number. As a pianist myself, I truly admired your piano skills - the phrasing and the musicality were absolutely first-rate. You really dig into those keys and your aggressive, but expressive approach to your piano accompaniment signaled to me that you are a confident, well-educated musician.

I loved your bluesy, introspective approach to this song very much and the generous manner in which you exposed every possible layer in your vocal range and dynamic. You take risks, Matt, and I like that very much. You obviously possess some gorgeous head resonance, as we could so appreciate toward the end of this song.

You, along with a few others, bring a new dimension to the Idol stage this year and, in your case, it is a relaxed, soulful style that looks and sounds folksy and contemporary at the same time. Very neat! Very distinctive! Very singular! And that spells success in my book.

Superb work, Matt!

Critique: Matt-okay, we need to get you some vocal lessons stat! Would that you could apply as much energy into your diaphragmatic support as you do when you play the piano!

Throughout this song, your voice lacked direction. You suffered some pitch problems and your overall vocal timbre was very vague, almost wispy in content. I completely understand that you are going for a very relaxed, carefee style here, Matt, but, yous till have to harness your vocal sound with potent technical skills.

You encountered some problems when you soulfully engaged your upper range and your voice, unfortunately, lacked the clarity and ring that is necessary in this part of your range. Therefore, your pitch was off-center and you lost control of the reins, even when you moved back to the lower part of your voice.

And your mouth! Oh my! The position of your mouth was far too horizontal; a circular mouth position while you focus your melodic line on the pure vowels is the way to go, Matt! And, drop that very tense jaw - loosen up those facial muscles and let your stomach and back muscles do the work.

Remember to keep your throat open and free, thus allowing your voice to float effortlessly from your body. Of course, this means that the diaphragmatic muscles have to be thoroughly engaged to release the perfect amount of air to create the purest vocal sound possible at every dynamic level.

You are an extremely musical young artist and I hope that this advice will help you to advance and achieve your true potential on this show."


And MCL's pick for this year's winner:

http://masterclasslady.com/2009/02/04/a-masterclass-early-pick-adam-lambert-cabaret-idol/

She includes this you tube video of Adam--his demo reel. Wow!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuH7t63oHi4


Wish I had read her site before doing my PTTEs!

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  Table of Contents

  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
 RE: Master Class Lady: professiona... Belle Book 03-14-09 1
   RE: Master Class Lady: professiona... zazzy 03-16-09 2
       RE: Master Class Lady: professiona... Belle Book 03-17-09 3
 RE: Master Class Lady: professiona... okaychatt 03-18-09 4
   RE: Master Class Lady: professiona... Belle Book 03-18-09 5
   RE: Master Class Lady: professiona... sylvester 04-23-09 15
 RE: Top 11--Master Class Lady: pro... zazzy 03-21-09 6
 RE: Master Class Lady: professiona... zazzy 03-28-09 7
   RE: Master Class Lady: professiona... Belle Book 03-28-09 8
 RE: Master Class Lady: professiona... zazzy 04-05-09 9
   RE: Master Class Lady: professiona... Belle Book 04-05-09 10
 RE: Master Class Lady: professiona... mtb002 04-09-09 11
   RE: Master Class Lady: professiona... zazzy 04-09-09 12
 Top 7 critiques zazzy 04-17-09 13
 RE: Master Class Lady: professiona... zazzy 04-23-09 14
   RE: Master Class Lady: professiona... Glow 04-24-09 16
       RE: Master Class Lady: professiona... mtb002 04-24-09 17
       RE: Master Class Lady: professiona... zazzy 04-24-09 18
       RE: Master Class Lady: professiona... DoodleBug 04-28-09 19
           RE: Master Class Lady: professiona... mhdallas 04-28-09 20
 RE: Master Class Lady: Top 5 Rat P... mtb002 04-30-09 21
   RE: Master Class Lady: Top 5 Rat P... zazzy 05-01-09 22
       RE: Master Class Lady: Top 5 Rat P... mtb002 05-01-09 24
   RE: Master Class Lady: Top 5 Rat P... zazzy 05-01-09 23
 Top 4 Snidget 05-07-09 25
   RE: Top 4 DoodleBug 05-07-09 26
   RE: Top 4 zazzy 05-11-09 27
 RE: Master Class Lady: professiona... zazzy 05-16-09 28
   RE: Master Class Lady: professiona... DoodleBug 05-18-09 29
 RE: Master Class Lady: professiona... zazzy 05-24-09 30

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Belle Book 3556 desperate attention whore postings
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03-14-09, 06:50 PM (EST)
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1. "RE: Master Class Lady: professional critique of the AI performers"
I wonder what she'll say when Grand Ole Opry week comes along. I don't think Adam will do well with it.


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zazzy 4390 desperate attention whore postings
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03-16-09, 11:07 PM (EST)
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2. "RE: Master Class Lady: professional critique of the AI performers"
Belle, I saw Adam's "demo reel" over on You tube and was impressed with his versatility. I think it comes down to song choice for GOO night.
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Belle Book 3556 desperate attention whore postings
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03-17-09, 06:46 PM (EST)
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3. "RE: Master Class Lady: professional critique of the AI performers"
It certainly does -- and to willingness to tone down his style for GOO night.


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03-18-09, 08:38 AM (EST)
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4. "RE: Master Class Lady: professional critique of the AI performers"
MCL fails to realize how exceedingly annoying Adam Lambert aka "I'm SOOOOOOOOOO Cool" is overall. Yes - he has the voice. NO - he does not have genuineness to go with it. I get the willies when he is on stage.

When I see Adam I think, "processed cheese".


Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

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Belle Book 3556 desperate attention whore postings
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03-18-09, 03:54 PM (EST)
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5. "RE: Master Class Lady: professional critique of the AI performers"
I feel the same way! Sure, he's got a great voice -- he's just too over-the-top and annoying in performance! Lil's much better in terms of performance than he is!


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sylvester 555 desperate attention whore postings
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04-23-09, 06:57 PM (EST)
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15. "RE: Master Class Lady: professional critique of the AI performers"
"MCL fails to realize how exceedingly annoying Adam Lambert aka "I'm SOOOOOOOOOO Cool" is overall".....

I honestly don't understand what that statement is based on. All I see is gracious, humble, and phenomenally talented. I don't think MCL fails to realize anything, she just doesn't hold the same opinion as you do. Neither do I.

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zazzy 4390 desperate attention whore postings
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03-21-09, 12:51 PM (EST)
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6. "RE: Top 11--Master Class Lady: professional critique of the AI performers"
Critiques of the top 11 performances:

http://masterclasslady.com/2009/03/19/top-11-american-idol-season-8-vocal-masterclass-article-the-grand-ole-opry/#more-3287


Her's her critique of Scott:

"Strengths: Scott -you exuded an extremely peaceful presence during this exquisite showcase this week. Seated at the piano, you communicated this song with passion and musical sensitivity. It was a superb performance!

And, like Matt, your pianos skills are outstanding. For me, there is nothing greater than watching a vocalist seated at the piano - totally immersed in his element.

I also loved listening to the refined approach you applied to your lyrics: e.g “perfect world” - relaxed “r” consonant, and uncluttered, ”British-style” vowels. You really grabbed your pure vowels, as evidenced in your vocal sound during the “wild angels’ segment - lots of pure vowel sustaining ability and a supreme effort to avoid the messy diphthongs in both words.

And without stopping the compliments here, I applaud you on mastering the circular mouth formation when sustaining the “ee” vowel in the word “be” - it was absolutely perfect and, as a result, your voice sounded centered and clear.

Your voice sounded so transparent throughout this song and, because of your stellar technical efforts, your vocal timbre had presence and ring throughout this showcase. Gorgeous!

What a phenomenal performance! Your musical honesty was absolutely inspirational and, as Kara said you bring class and poise to the stage each and every week.

Critique: Scott- you experienced some problems with your falsetto passage. Always remember to trust your diaphragmatic support system and focus the sound through this technical resource. You needed to access your pure head voice and, if you wanted to increase the dynamic level, then apply the appropriate amount of support from the diaphragm to achieve the desired result.

Also, you intermittently constricted your facial features, thus closing off the resonating areas in your vocal masque. Remember to keep your facial features open and relaxed and allow your voice to be guided toward your vocal masque through the breathing process.

Also, we need to hear an upbeat song from you in the very near future. It really doesn’t matter to me whether or not you leave the piano - I would just love for you to expose a fun-loving, entertaining side to your stage persona.

It will also diminish some of the pressure that comes from singing musically expressive and sustaining ballads each week and I will bet your voice will take on a revitalization process.

Also, and this is an aesthetic piece of advice, you might consider donning sunglasses. It might add a “cool” element to your stage persona and, given your visual impairment, take the focus away from your eyes. This advice is coming not only from me, but also from several of my artistic friends, who felt this might enhance your stage persona in a positive way."

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zazzy 4390 desperate attention whore postings
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03-28-09, 07:37 AM (EST)
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7. "RE: Master Class Lady: professional critique of the AI performers"
http://masterclasslady.com/2009/03/27/american-idol-season-8-top-10-vocal-masterclass-article-the-motown-era/#more-3454

She critiques all of them --here's what she said about Kris this week:

KRIS ALLEN 23- years old: “How Sweet it Is” by - Marvin Gaye

Strengths: Kris - you decided to “change it up” this week and choose an up-tempo song. This was a great song choice. I loved the slow, sexy start to this song - it was a teaser to the clever movement into the gritty uptempo portion of the song. Through your playful facial expression, you visually mirrored the tempo change to perfection. I love watching you - your natural expressiveness establishes such a bond with the audience. You bring all of us along for a whimsical musical ride.


You are also so very musical, as evidenced by the manner in which you punctuated the rhythmn through the strumming technique on the guitar. There is always a forward momentum in your musical line and, yet, it always looks and sounds perfectly controlled. You are extremely masterful in setting just the perfect pace for your songs.

Your voice sounded beautifully resonant and clear. It is such a gorgeous instrument and you moved seamlessly throughout your range. Do you have perfect pitch? You really have a way of centering your pitch, even if the technique is not where it should be at this moment in time. The lightness of your voice - resplendent with head resonance - is probably the reason for this. Your voice has clarity and transparency that is ubiquitous throughout your range.

I also appreciated your attempt to maintain a circular mouth formation and relaxed jaw. You were really trying to apply a cohesive approach to myour vowels and, as a result, your voice sounded wonderfully resonant

Also, the performance structure appeared effortless and, more important accented your genuine distinctive style. Although this was a well-rehearsed song selection, it appeared and sounded spontaneous and because of this, it felt and looked authentic. This is a signature Marvin Gaye song, but, in your aw-shucks way of performing, turned it into a Kris Allen signature song. And that is what this competition is really about - re-arranging and modernizing music from the past!

I absolutely loved this performance Kris! Bravo!

Critique: Kris -careful that the tension in the neck and jaw doesn’t get out of control No head-raising on the final note - that’s not a good thing! Always think down when moving up - think over the note, never reach for your upper note. This approach will only cause needless tension. And bend you knees and squeeze that butt, breathe, drop your jaw and - presto -watch the magic happen.

Over time, I know all of this will improve and you will feel a more profound resonation process. However, your performance this week was a spectacular one and I. Loved. It!

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Belle Book 3556 desperate attention whore postings
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03-28-09, 11:14 AM (EST)
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8. "RE: Master Class Lady: professional critique of the AI performers"
Glad to see that she complimented Lil! And I agree about her views on Adam -- for once.


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04-05-09, 12:44 PM (EST)
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9. "RE: Master Class Lady: professional critique of the AI performers"
We get a shortened review this week from Master Class Lady.

http://masterclasslady.com/2009/03/31/american-idol-season-8-top-9-vocal-masterclass-article-top-digital-downloads/#more-3509

Here's one of the longer ones:

"ALLISON IRAHETA 16 -years old: “Don’t Speak” by - No Doubt

Strengths: Allison - I loved hearing the sustaining elements of your voice in this slower number. Wonderfully done. You passionately delivered this number to perfection. Love the raspy nuances in your voice - nice contrast to your pure vocals.

Your performing skills are exceptionally strong - you pour every ounce of energy into your performances. You are such a passionate artist!

Oh my - your hair! Oh well, you’re a rocker chick, right? Enjoy! Good work, Allison!

Critique: Allison-you were better this week in terms of your technical skills. Slower numbers always coerce a singer to do their technical homework and I feel that you definitely did so! However, you still tend to punch out those vocals and, because of this, we lose the true beauty and power of your voice.

And I am concerned that the raspiness is evidence of poorly ingrained technical skills. And, I know you have a fabulous voice teacher -so my questions is - are you listening to him? If not, you should be. You need to protect your voice - it is a precious, unique commodity."

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Belle Book 3556 desperate attention whore postings
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04-05-09, 03:46 PM (EST)
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10. "RE: Master Class Lady: professional critique of the AI performers"
I hope Lil takes her advice and chooses a better song. I liked it well enough, but Celine Dion isn't something I would recommend for singers on this show.


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04-09-09, 10:39 AM (EST)
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11. "RE: Master Class Lady: professional critique of the AI performers-Top 8"
Here's the link to the top 8 performances. Great read as always.

http://masterclasslady.com/2009/04/09/american-idol-season-8-top-8-vocal-masterclass-articlebirth-year-songs/

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04-09-09, 10:56 AM (EST)
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12. "RE: Master Class Lady: professional critique of the AI performers-Top 8"
Thanks for posting the link, MTB!

Here's what MCL had to say about Anoop--to read what she says about Adam and the rest of the group--give her site a click.

ANOOP DESAI 22-years-old: “True Colors” by Cindi Lauper

Strengths: Anoop -once again, your voice sounded extremely resonant this week. The ballads seem to highlight the inherent beauty in your natural voice and you wisely attempt to use your technical skills to magnify the full range of dynamic power and skill in your vocal delivery.

You have noticeably improved each and every week, not only as a vocalist, but also as an artist, and your stellar work ethic and resolve are just outstanding!

I also noticed how diligent you were in maintaining that circular mouth position while sustaining those pure vowels. You work so hard on that stage, Anoop, and make every effort toward improvement a cause for celebration. I can see the concentration in your eyes - and the resolve!

This was a very sincere and sensitive performance. Congratulations!

Critique: Anoop -make absolutely sure that you are supporting that lower range. At the beginning of this song, your voice sounded slightly askew(where did that word come from?). I was missing the resonant purity and ring that I have been hearing over the past two weeks.

This week, your support did not properly engage in the lower range and this, unfortunately, hindered the aesthetic production of your upper range. It appeared and sounded to me that you didn’t have enough air to focus your voice with technical strength and continuity.

As a result, you encountered some pitch issues along the way - whether it was your nerves or lack of preparation in your song choice is something only you can answer.

Also, I am wondering if this song was your first song choice. This is a question that I will be voicing with some of the other singers because, overall, the majority of the singers seemed unsettled with their song choices this week.

Certainly there are better songs out there for you. This song is melodically and harmonically repetitive and, yes, colorless (sorry, couldn’t resist!). In the future, make certain that all your song choices - from 1st to last -are impeccable in every aspect - great melodies, wonderful lyrics, strong message, highly entertaining, dynamic variation. You have to love them all to be able to sing them with confidence and assurance.

Good work, nonetheless, Anoop!

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zazzy 4390 desperate attention whore postings
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04-17-09, 01:07 PM (EST)
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13. "Top 7 critiques"
MCL is on Twitter now.

Here's a bit of what she was tweeting after the show Tuesday night:

"I don't know what to say anymore in my Masterclass articles. Some singers really, really improved & the rest - oh dear! Drop! YOUR! JAW!"


"Better show than last week, I thought, but some of the singers are actually getting worse. Care to venture which ones? LOL"

For this week's insights:

http://masterclasslady.com/2009/04/16/american-idol-season-8-top-7-vocal-masterclass-article-music-from-the-movies/


Here's Danny's--note the concern about his throat:

"DANNY GOKEY 28- years old : “Endless Love” by Diana Ross

Strengths: Danny -I love this song. The words, the music, the passion speak and connect wonderfully to the listeners. I loved how you increased your dynamics throughout this song - it was like building blocks of vocal nuance and depth. When you added your muscular vocals to your more subdued voice, the rich, robust, soulful quality of your timbre truly shimmered.

The phrasing was so musical and you made certain that the inherent drive and power of this slow ballad never relented. This allowed the slow tempo of this number to remain fluid and effortless. You sang the song as you would speak it and therefore added much inflection and modulation to this passionate number.

You sang this song from your heart, Danny and I appreciated the message that you were delivering so very much. Hey, and that gorgeous head voice on the word “love” was signature! Excellent work once again!

Critique: Danny - you exhibited some facial strain on the upper notes intermittently, so be careful. Boy -that raspy quality in your vocal mix still concerns me, although it was not as problematic for you this week, as last. However, you need to make certain that your vocal cords are healthy, so hopefully, you have a wonderful ENT specialist to assist you with any problems you may be experiencing.

Also, the “heave-ho” approach with your breathing was really disconcerting. What I mean is this - those shoulders and chest heaving up and down when you breathed worked against the proper breathing regimen for efficient vocalization. The breathing has to be diaphragmatic and the upper body should remain relaxed and free.

When you breath in such a shallow, inefficient manner, you are wasting air, causing tension in your throat and diminishing the visual strength and dimension of your performance. Also, that horizontal mouth position on some of your vowels increased the level of tension in your vocal timbre, subtracting the full complement of the inherent beauty of your vocal timbre.

As I have said often to many singers, you included, never reach for your notes, Think over the notes - like spiking a volleyball downward! Visualization is a wonderful technique for singers to use and I have many more up my sleeve. But, since everyone at one time or another has played volleyball or basketball, this one seems to work really well.

Great work, nonetheless, Danny! Good luck next week!"

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zazzy 4390 desperate attention whore postings
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04-23-09, 05:42 PM (EST)
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14. "RE: Master Class Lady: professional critique of the AI performers"
I've been trying to vary the performer that I feature from MCL's critiques. Of the performers left, only Adam has not been featured. And this week it is all superlatives--she had no critique for him! Adam is also MCL's pick for the season.

http://masterclasslady.com/2009/04/23/american-idol-season-8-top-7-vocal-masterclass-article-disco-music/

"ADAM LAMBERT 27-years-old: “If I Can’t Have You” by Yvonne Elliman

Strengths: Adam- first of all, what a look! I was not expecting the Glambert look for Disco Week, but then, with you, the credo is always ”expect the unexpected“, isn’t it? Whatever anyone else does, you do the opposite, don’t you?

Last week, you were the only singer who did not sing a ballad, thus distinguishing your performance in both tempo and style. This week, however, while the other singers sang upbeat numbers, you did quite the opposite and toned down your approach. How you manage to stay one step ahead of everyone is quite another story and I would love to hear it some day. It is true genius on your part.

What an inspired modification of this classic number! And, although I am certain that you were responsible for the initial idea, how classy of you to extend credit to American Idol arranger extraordinaire, Michael Orland, for his contribution to this finalized masterpiece.

Throughout this number, your voice sounded so controlled and so resonant, at times ringing with head voice clarity and other times reverberating with dynamically strong, muscular vocals. You are so knowledgeable in the manner in which you blend your head/chest mix - it allows you to explore vocal terrain rarely explored by other singers because you possess stellar technical accuity. You are a tremendously refined singer and your hard work and diligence is truly something special.

The emotion and the angst that you rendered throughout this number was so real, so genuine. We could hear it through your animated voice, especially when you expressed grief and unhappiness through your lamenting upper range vocals . For me, this was the highlight of the entire song. Your voice sounded so open and free, moving from pure head voice into a richer, fuller vocal sound. Ah - it was just so, so beautiful.

You can’t teach this -the technique perhaps - but not the emotion. It has to come from within the heart of a true artist who is not afraid to wear his emotions on his sleeve. All singers must learn that they must emotionally deliver a vocal number in the same manner as you would speak it; this is the way you extablish a powerful connection with your audience - by grabbing their hearts, their souls with their vocal passion and sensitivity.

Technique allows singers to stretch their voice and truly use it as a powerful communicative instrument. And, throughout your tenure on American Idol, Adam, you have never ever disappointed us in this respect. You are a sensitive, emotionally driven and, yet, extremely intelligent artist - exceptionally creative and unique.

In closing, I would like to highlight the little flirting you accomplished with your lower range - it was wonderful to hear the resonant depth and beauty in this area of your vocal range, as it provided such wonderful contrast to the ringing presence of your upper range. Next time, treat us to even more - your bottom voice is gorgeous, like velvet!

And, thank you so much for supporting your lower range -oftentimes this is not the case with singers. However, by accessing your diphragmatic support in a continuous manner, you were capable of creating a seamless segue in to your upper range. Your melodic line was flawless and centered throughout this number - sheer perfection, really!

Congratulations and standing ovation from MCL! Brilliant showcase!

Critique: Adam - you are released from a critique this week. You mouth was round, your jaw was relaxed, the emotional artistry was impeccable and the whole performance was a magnificent adventure. I think this means that it was an A+++++++, wouldn’t you agree? Bravo and congratulations on a phenomenal showcase."

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04-24-09, 08:02 AM (EST)
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16. "RE: Master Class Lady: professional critique of the AI performers"
I'm happy to read her comments on Adam this week. I was surprised, and continue to be surprised, by how many people aren't in love with it. I watched it several times again this morning. (I'm going to have to break down and actually by a video from iTunes, I guess, because I have to free up space on my DVR. As a matter of fact, I still have to go on there and download the studio version ~along with Kris'~) It still gets better for me every time. This performance is way up there for me. Like, at my number two favorite performance on this show ever (giving Bo's gorgeous "In a Dream" some competition... but you always remember your first and I have to respect that). I am blown away by Adam's "If I Can't Have You" every time.


"What he does is original, deliberate, and intentional. He knows what he's doing and why. He is so superior to any of the other contestants that he really doesn't even belong there." - Tahj

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04-24-09, 11:14 AM (EST)
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17. "RE: Master Class Lady: professional critique of the AI performers"
It wasn't him, it's the song, I've never liked it. The fact that I didn't immediately turn it off, and in fact listened to it 3 times is a testament to him. But I just don't like the song. I can't say I liked anything well enough to download this week, except maybe Kris, but once again, I don't like that song. There are some disco songs I like, but nobody but Danny did one.
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04-24-09, 12:26 PM (EST)
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18. "RE: Master Class Lady: professional critique of the AI performers"
Ah, Bo's performance. I agree it is the one that has yet to be surpassed.

Adam is a big fan of AI and IIRC has watched all the seasons. Bo did IAD at F3; it was his choice. I've been wondering if Adam will do an a cappella performance around the same time. I know he can pull it off.

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04-28-09, 10:32 AM (EST)
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19. "RE: Master Class Lady: professional critique of the AI performers"
I loved watching the emotion he poured out into the song. For me, that's what made the song brilliant. The song all by itself is just meh. I listened to the preview on itunes and wasn't drawn to it like I was others. I bought Danny's and Kris's songs this week.

"Mad World" is my all-time favorite of Adam's, and quite possibly, my favorite from any idol contestant. It ranks up there with Cook's "Billie Jean".

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04-28-09, 11:43 AM (EST)
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20. "RE: Master Class Lady: professional critique of the AI performers"
Exactly - the song itself is just okay, but what Adam did with it was brilliant. I wasn't wild about it at first, but I went ahead and bought the Itunes video and have since replayed it several times. It gets better the more I see it, convincing me more than ever that he's the only contestant who isn't just a 'singer', but an actual 'artist'. MCL had it exactly right.
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04-30-09, 08:58 PM (EST)
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21. "RE: Master Class Lady: Top 5 Rat Pack"
New MCL article up. Very nice to Adam and Danny, but she's making me worry about Allison. I want to hear more of her, but I don't want her voice to give out.

http://masterclasslady.com/2009/04/30/american-idol-season-8-top-5-vocal-masterclass-article-music-from-the-rat-pack-era/

Enjoy!

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05-01-09, 11:29 AM (EST)
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22. "RE: Master Class Lady: Top 5 Rat Pack"
I haven't had a chance to read her reviews yet but one thing that bugs me about Allison is that she mumbles some words, her enunciation could use some work, and she sounds like she is starting words with H's that don't start with H's.
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05-01-09, 01:32 PM (EST)
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24. "RE: Master Class Lady: Top 5 Rat Pack"
I'm no expert, but I think that when she puts what sounds like an "H" in front of words, especially words that start with vowels, I think she's trying to engage her diaphragm. One of her critiques from MCL is that she pushes too much from her throat. That may be what she's trying to curb. As far as her enunciation, you're right, it's terrible, but that doesn't seem to be a problem in the pop/rock world. I'm just a sucker for a good alto, and her lower register, when she pays attention to it, is wonderful.
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05-01-09, 11:35 AM (EST)
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23. "RE: Master Class Lady: Top 5 Rat Pack"
I think she really nailed Kris on this one--his technique needs work and I'm guessing he hasn't had much formal training:

"Kris Allen “The Way You Look Tonight”

Strengths: Kris - you chose a beautiful song for this evening’s Rat Pack showcase and one that romantically connects singer to listener. You established an intimate connection with your audience by nature of the light timbre of your voice and your sincere, heartfelt aura.

Although you do not possess a large, multi-dimensional voice, you do use it wisely within the confines of your developing technical skills, allowing the emotional core of the song to regulate and heighten the successful performance of your numbers.

You have a wonderfully pure voice, Kris, and, despite all the technical problems that need correction (see your critique), you manage to center your pitch remarkably well. I almost sense that you may have perfect pitch or, at the very least, relative pitch.

Additionally the natural head resonance in your vocal timbre is also beneficial to this important element in solid vocal delivery.

Therefore, as this songs calls for a quiet, subdued approach, I felt that this classic song choice was very well suited to your vocal style and substance. The sensitivity and warmth that we felt while you performed this number is testament to the strength of your communicative skills.

And I cannot tell you how much I adored the uptempo segue into the final half of this song, followed by the rallentando as you moved to close the song. This variation in tempo and mood added wonderful aural and visual dimension to the number. You moved closer to the edge of the stage, thus further solidfying your connection with the audience. Excellent call on your part and kudos to the band for creating this lovely arrangement!

Wonderful work, Kris!

Critique: Kris - drop your jaw and open your mouth, child! Once again, that mouth remained in a fixed horizontally closed position, thus disabling you from accessing the strength and power of your diaphragmatic breath support.

As a result, I felt that the phrasing was really fragmented - you were breathing far, far too often and the song lost a great deal of momentum because of this technical deficiency.

Also, as you ascended the melodic line during the opening portion of this song, you had a tendency to reach for those upper notes rather than singing over them. Mentally, you have to adopt a descending melodic line when singing an ascending melodic line, but you also need the diaphragmatic technical skills firmly in place to fully liberate and focus your voice in your vocal masque.

And, as in last week’s Top 7 showcase, the exaggerated pause at the end of this number allowed the song to lose momentum and intensity when you most definitely needed it.

It would have been a much better call to extend the sustaining process on the word “look“, perhaps adding a decorative note or two. By doing so, you would have increased the natural flow and intensity of the final phrase, making certain that the forward momentum was not compromised at this crucial point in the song.

And intensity was what I felt was missing from this performance - there was not enough nuance and inflection in your voice because you are yet so inexperienced in the proper technical delivery of your vocal sound. The full power of your natural voice was trapped in your throat and, thus, was produced in an emaciated manner.

And, it was for this very reason that you did indeed reveal a crack or two in your vocal armor as you moved through your vocal range, particularly when you moved into your head voice at the start of the uptempo portion of this song.

Also, from a visual perspective, I would have nixed the mike stand and encouraged you to travel the perimeter of the stage solely with the mike in your hand. This method would have been more conducive in heightening confidence and style in your performance.

However, the good news is that you are here for another week, so, hopefully, you will have an opportunity to strengthen and deepen your technical skills. (fingers crossed, here!)

Congratulations, Kris! Best of luck next week!"

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05-07-09, 12:30 PM (EST)
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25. "Top 4"
top 4

Danny - well, this song should have been retitled “Scream On” because that was one wallop of a scream at the end. Usually I like to hear more vocal power mixed in with the scream and, after your hilarious comments during the results show, I expect you do too!

However, that being said, the dynamic range of this song is extensive and requires technical strength from the singer. So, we ran into some problems toward the end of this song.

What can you do? It was an ambitious song and, in retrospect, you should have chosen a rock song that would have allowed you to sing in your customary soulful style. The slower-paced song selection would have been a welcome respite from the high energy performances that were showcased by the others.

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05-07-09, 12:34 PM (EST)
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26. "RE: Top 4"
As usual, very spot on from MCL.
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05-11-09, 04:19 PM (EST)
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27. "RE: Top 4"
LAST EDITED ON 05-11-09 AT 04:19 PM (EST)

I'm finally getting to read MCL's critiques for the top 4--and thought her critique of Danny that you posted worth continuing with the rest because it explains what happens to some of the performers on the AI stage who don't understand their range.

" ...Also, the strong dynamic that this song required underlined your still developing technical skills. Technique enables a singer to create inflection and nuance in his or her voice without sacrificing the essence and core of the vocal sound.

And, although you are generally singing with a very good mouth position while sustaining the vowels, you are still propelling your sound forward though the constriction of your throat muscles. Why, Danny, why? Use the diaphragm – there is more power there than you think but it has yet to be developed and refined.

And, be very careful when selecting the key of your song – even a semi-tone can make or break a performance. You have to ensure that you are able to sing your song within the perimeters of your natural singing range. If you move beyond it during a song performance, especially for long periods of time, you will encounter a variety of problems, such as poorly centered pitch and instability in your vocal delivery. And this is exactly what happened to you during this week’s performance.

However, that being said, a song change rather than a key change would have been the way to go in your case. There is no way one can avoid the challenges this song presents to the singer and the technical strength to access both lower and upper range with confidence and precision is overwhelming to those who have not yet developed the full extent of their techncial skills.

Hopefully, next week’s song choices will fully capture the essence of your artistry. Good luck next week, Danny and please, please take care of your voice."

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05-16-09, 12:01 PM (EST)
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28. "RE: Master Class Lady: professional critique of the AI performers"
MCL reviews the top 3:

http://tinyurl.com/pr6vl2

Per usual, she has wonderful things to say about each one and critiques as well. I always learn so much from MCL!

A snippet from Kris's:

"First of all, how I loved the slow a cappella opening of this song that seamlessly segued into the gentle accelerated strumming of your guitar! This was the perfect way to add aural dimension to this song. and it also signaled to me what I have suspected all along – that you have a strong sense of pitch – be it absolute or relative.

I also appreciated your personal interpretation of this Kanye West song. You “kristened” this song with new life and excitement – the “Kris vibe” - which I have come to love and appreciate so much throughout this season of American Idol. It demonstrated how fully connected you were to this song and the complete extent of your artistic skills. As a result, your vocals were brimming with expressive nuance and clarity – just outstanding. "


Adam's:

"...But, let’s end on a positive note, shall we? Your first song was brilliantly performed – an artistic gem of the highest degree. And, given the technical issues that hindered the second song, the bottom line here is that you are an extremely strong, experienced and meticulous singer – all attributes that provide the foundation for your performances each and every week.

Congratulations once again! Exceptional work!"

Danny's:

"However, your performance of “You Are So Beautiful” by Joe Cocker was faultless – bar some technical issues that could not be erased in a span of fifteen minutes. However, I felt that you had more respect for and control of your technical resources and, depsite the raspy edge to your voice -which I feel actually contributed to the song -I sensed that you had meticulously paid close attention to every detail in this number.

This was a well-rehearsed and wonderfully adapted arrangement of a classic song. Also, unlike your first number, I heard nuance and inflection and a multi-tiered approach to the dynamics – all the good things that render a performance so very special."

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05-18-09, 12:17 PM (EST)
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29. "RE: Master Class Lady: professional critique of the AI performers"
Loved this comment about Adam's "Cryin'"....

The song started strongly enough and then – well, you know what happened. You had competition for the lead vocal from the back-up singer. However, I applaud you for removing the earphone and carrying on like the true professional that I have come to know and love over the course of this show.

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05-24-09, 09:26 AM (EST)
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30. "RE: Master Class Lady: professional critique of the AI performers"
MCL's review/critique of the F2:

http://tinyurl.com/pa3uxx

She is, as always, gracious.

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