Friday, December 13, 2013

A Review of Carrie Underwood in The Sound of Music

Hey everyone, Dana here. Once again, I apologize for the lack of blog posts. Last week I was preparing for presentations, final papers and final exams, and the week before was Thanksgiving, so blogging was rather minimal. Well, I'm back! A few weeks ago, I put in my two cents on Disney Princesses and how they affect the self esteem of young girls. This time, I got another review! Last week Thursday, Carrie Underwood participated in a live performance of The Sound of Music on NBC. I shall once again put my two cents into it.

Okay, so around Thanksgiving, I was watching TV one day and saw coming attractions of a live performance of The Sound of Music on NBC...with Carrie Underwood portraying Maria von Trapp. Personally, I'm not a fan of Carrie Underwood. And no, it's not because she's not a rock artist. No, it's not because I'm "closed-minded." I just personally don't care for her voice. I watched American Idol when I was thirteen, and I vividly remember her as a contestant on Season 4 of American Idol. I remember she was just a typical twenty-year old girl who lived on a farm in the middle of nowhere and auditioned for American Idol and ended up winning at the close of the season. After that, I never paid much attention to what she does or when she performs. So, since I happen to love The Sound of Music, I was somewhat interested in how she portrayed the musical governess for the von Trapp kids. I may not like Carrie Underwood, but I'd give her a try.

So, after viewing The Sound of Music featuring Carrie Underwood, I was not surprised to find myself not thoroughly enjoying it as much as I thought. I may not care for her voice or country/pop music, but I must say I can see why she became the American Idol finalist in Season 4. She's got something going for her, but she's personally not for me. But acting isn't for her either. I think singing is what she should stick with instead of acting. She's no Julie Andrews, no one can compare to her as Maria von Trapp; but she didn't seem very motherly towards the kids portraying the von Trapp children. I felt like I was watching an older sister or a baby sitter singing with them. She seems a bit young to be a motherly type character. Give her a couple more years and maybe try again, but I wasn't too thrilled with her as a motherly-type character.

As for singing wise, I wasn't impressed with her singing "The Sound of Music," "Do-Re-Mi, "My Favorite Things," etc. As a ex-chorus student, I was taught to sing with vowels that sound more vertical than horizontal.  For example, when Carrie Underwood sang the lyric "the hills are alive with the sound of music,"she did not make the lyrics sound like someone that was chorally trained to sing it. Let's look at the lyric "The hills are alive with the sound of music," for instance. The words "alive," "sound" and "music" have vowels in them. If vowels are in  your lyrics, you need to enunciate them thoroughly in order to make it sound beautiful. The word "alive" needs to sound more like "" instead of "uh-lie-ve." The word "sound" needs to be pronounced like "psalm," instead of "sow-nd"(like sour) and "music" needs to sound like "m-oo-sic" instead of "m'you-sic." She failed at that.

The song "Do-Re-Mi" is another perfect example to analyze her singing. The syllable "do" is actually not supposed to sound like "dough" or "d'oh!" It's properly sung like "d-aw-oh" as if you had a Lifesaver candy held up vertically in your mouth. The syllable "re" is not supposed to sound like "ray." It's properly sung like "reh." The syllable "mi" isn't supposed to sound like "meee,"(as if you're saying the word cheese) but supposed to be sung like "me" with your mouth shaped as if  you were to sing "you." Try it. Say the word "me" but shape your mouth as if you were about to say "you." You'll see the difference. Carrie Underwood obviously  didn't. Her syllables were not very good, to be honest.

Now, my opinion may be different from the ones who gave her nothing but praise. Other people may agree with my views and opinions of Carrie Underwood's portrayal as Maria von Trapp. This, ladies and gentleman is called "constructive criticism." Every artist gets it and needs to learn from constructive criticism. I'm nowhere near close to getting anywhere towards the music scene and I get constructive criticism in almost everything I create; whether it's a research paper for school, a song I sang, or heck, even a blog post. I didn't take any of those things personally. Constructive criticism is supposed to help you. Carrie Underwood, on the other hand, was clearly hurt and felt personally attacked by the negative feedback. 

According to Twitter, she tweeted "Plain and simple: Mean people need Jesus. They will be in my prayers tonight...1 Peter 2:1-25" Uh, what? Constructive criticism is considered "mean?" Okay, if they were deliberately insulting her with insults and petty curse-words, alright, I understand if she thought that those critics were mean. But seriously? Lady, you're a pop artist in the music business. Not everyone is going to fall over you and love every single performance you do. Just because you won American Idol, a popularity singing contest, doesn't mean that every single person in the world is going to love everything you do. There was no need to put up a passive aggressive tweet about constructive criticism being "mean." Take the constructive criticism as a learning experience and move on. And no, I don't "need" Jesus in my life, nor do I need to be prayed for. 

Carrie Underwood's portrayal as Maria von Trapp wasn't her best performance, but I'm sure if she performed in a musical as a character that was closer to her age, I'm sure she'd nail it. This just wasn't for her.

Thanks for reading, and look for posts in the near future! Have a great weekend, everyone. 

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