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-   -   In praise of Nick's vocals (http://www.foreverdelayed.org.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=62878)

Phil C 24-06-2018 07:54

In praise of Nick's vocals
 
I'm told that in the various 'survivor' threads, the tracks Nick sings are getting something of a kicking. To a degree I can understand this - James has a phenomenal voice after all - but I strongly disagree with it. Nick's voice might not be classically good but it has a vulnerability to it that James' doesn't and suits some songs better than James' would. Also, I think when the two of them sing together, it adds an extra dimension to the songs.

And on top of all that, most of the songs Nick sings are great.

So, the point of this thread is to talk about how much we enjoy the songs Nick sings. Personal favourites of mine;

Intravenous Agnostic - James might sing the lead, but Nick's singing it with him, which gives the vocal a bit of gravel in the mix, entirely fitting with the rough production - and on the final chorus Nick's voice is actually turned up higher in the mix than James'.

Ballad Of The Bangkok Novotel - the Manics go full-on punk. The seeds of the recent 'No Feelings' cover are here.

Dying Breeds - beautiful and haunting.

William's Last Words - especially the Underworld remix. Nick captures the vulnerability of the narrator perfectly.

The Future Has Been Here 4-Ever - who needs James? Nick's vocal and Sean's trumpet make this track a bit of a hidden gem that doesn't get the credit it deserves.

As Holy As The Soil (That Buries Your Skin) - did I mention trumpets? Who'd have thought that gospel piano, mariachi trumpets and a Nick vocal would go so perfectly together? A highlight of 'Rewind The Film'.

The Left Behind - easily one of the best songs on RIF, Wire's resigned vocal sums up many of the album's themes, but it's also the most conventionally good singing that he's ever done, suggesting either practice or age has matured and developed his voice.

roi 24-06-2018 08:24

Quote:

Originally Posted by Phil C (Post 2674451)
Also, I think when the two of them sing together, it adds an extra dimension to the songs.

Heís there on My Little Empire too, not that prominent, but that was probably the most vocals he had on a song at that point.

Quote:

The Future Has Been Here 4-Ever - who needs James? Nick's vocal and Sean's trumpet make this track a bit of a hidden gem that doesn't get the credit it deserves.

Yep, I really like this song.

Suicide Aldi 24-06-2018 08:30

I really like it when you hear Nick singing a bit of the chorus on Tsunami ( live at the o2 version ). Theres just somthing about it that makes my hairs stand on end.

Son of Stopped 24-06-2018 10:37

He's clearly had lessons! Compare the vocals of Bangkok Novotel to The Left Behind and there's a huge improvement.

Phil C 24-06-2018 11:19

Quote:

Originally Posted by Son of Stopped (Post 2674459)
He's clearly had lessons! Compare the vocals of Bangkok Novotel to The Left Behind and there's a huge improvement.

I like his vocals on 'Ballad' - they're supposed to be rough and punky. A better comparison I think is with Wattsville Blues - mind you, he sings that better on Louder Than War than he does in the studio but you can definitely hear the improvement.

PaulTMA 24-06-2018 13:05

I generally like his vocals later on but the initial stuff like Bangkok and Wattsville I thought was ill-advised, to be honest. He does a great job on The Left Behind and especially Williams Last Words. I do feel that perhaps he jumped the gun by singing before he really worked up to it much, although he does sound good on My Little Empire.

Dac X Lee 24-06-2018 21:20

Watsville would literally make no sense for anyone else to sing it. It's a very personal song of Nicky's.
I remember when I first heard it, yeah, my puberty/adolescent self preferred James, but I did like the change.

A few years ago, when Digital Ghost came out, I was in one of my sensitive moods, I was crying. This song felt kinda consoling. And that's how Nicky's voice sounds to me in general - like a warm hug of comfort (yep, even when he's swearing).

junkymotown 25-06-2018 06:08

I really like Nicky singing on William's Last Words - it's quite understated, it never lifts off and goes anywhere, but it fits the words so perfectly, and the mood of the track.

I tend to skip Wattsville Blues more often than not

Dancing Kirby 25-06-2018 09:45

Fran Healy of Travis was on Absolute yesterday after the Manics set. He said itís difficult to sing along to Manics songs because of JDBís voice.

I think this is why festival crowds generally donít, just as they didnít with ADFL yesterday.

Anyone can sing along with Nicky.

UEF 25-06-2018 10:49

Quote:

Originally Posted by Son of Stopped (Post 2674459)
He's clearly had lessons! Compare the vocals of Bangkok Novotel to The Left Behind and there's a huge improvement.

The lesson of experience, I think.

Borderliner 25-06-2018 12:01

I like Nick's voice a lot. So unique and instantly recognizable. Sure, James's voice is stronger but I like them both XD

James/Nick duo is awesome in Futurology and Sex Power Love and Money. That 'Obsession Possession Confession Recession' moment is priceless!

Dying Breeds, Ballad Of The Bangkok Novotel, Concrete Fields and Lady Lazarus are all badass tracks. One can clearly hear that Wire 'feels' what he sings.

Porco 25-06-2018 12:05

He has got better and I enjoy some of his vocals. More the interjections and stuff than the full lead vocals on Manics tracks. I would love to have JDB versions of the Nicky-vocal songs though.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dancing Kirby (Post 2674490)
Fran Healy of Travis was on Absolute yesterday after the Manics set. He said itís difficult to sing [....]

... siiiii-iii-iing...sing ... sing sing sing...

(sorry)

UEF 25-06-2018 13:10

Quote:

Originally Posted by Porco (Post 2674493)
He has got better and I enjoy some of his vocals. More the interjections and stuff than the full lead vocals on Manics tracks. I would love to have JDB versions of the Nicky-vocal songs though.

Off the top off my head, Some Kind of Nothingness is the only time where he's taken a Nicky line himself.

The other way round, there is a clip of Nicky singing a bit of From Despair to Where, but I can't remember him doing any other MSP covers

hummingbird 25-06-2018 15:06

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dancing Kirby (Post 2674490)
Fran Healy of Travis was on Absolute yesterday after the Manics set. He said itís difficult to sing along to Manics songs because of JDBís voice.

I think this is why festival crowds generally donít, just as they didnít with ADFL yesterday.

Anyone can sing along with Nicky.

Eh? I can't sing a note but I still sing along at gigs ... the band drowns me out. More likely festival crowds don't sing along cos they don't know the words

centralscrutiniser 25-06-2018 17:26

I dint generally sit there awaiting a new album thinking ‘man, I hope there’s a few Nicky tracks on here’ but I can’t imagine James singing his songs now, and they do feel more personal and meaningful for his singing them.

That said, anyone know why he chose not to sing Liverpool revisited?


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