Popular Songs In Very High Voices


(permanent link) added: 2011-04-02 11:29:19 sponsor: captainbrass2 (last reply: 2011-04-02 12:48:22)

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This trope occurs where a song is performed by a group of male pop singers, frequently a Boy Band and the most noticeable feature of the performance is the falsetto part of the harmony. This is often heavily emphasised at points of lyrical importance or used as a hook in itself. It's a style that first became noticable in pop with mostly African-American "doo-wop" groups from the late 1940s on, was picked up by white singers and really reached a peak in the early 1960s, although it is sometimes still used. If you're singing a Boy Band-type of song and your first instinct is "I must sing it really high!", this trope may be in effect.

Can be Played for Laughs, as it is easy to make men singing in high voices look comic, especially if the sentiments voiced are fairly macho ("Walk Like A Man" by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, for instance). Also, the 50s-60s practitioners of the trope were prone to throw in "doo-wop" style bits imitating musical instruments which can be unintentionally (or intentionally) funny ("Who Put the Bomp?").

Real Life examples:

  • Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and consequently, the musical based on them, Jersey Boys.
  • The early surf songs of the Beach Boys have a lot of this in (see "Barbara Ann").
  • Later on, this style was favoured by The Bee Gees in their late '70s pomp. Their falsetto is all over the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever.
  • That was parodied by the Hee Bee Gee Bees, including a young Angus Deayton. Their best-known song was actually called "Meaningless Songs In Very High Voices", inspiring the trope name.
  • Male R&B bands haven't shied away from singing high either - for example, Boyz II Men.
Needs More Examples and, rather obviously, some fictional ones. I'd also consider another title.
replies: 1

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