So the Taylor Swift vs. Whitney Houston debate is hot in the streets. Not to go all middle man Dan, but I see both sides. Taylor Swift is a 5 tool talent. Plays guitar a little bit, writes (has written?) a lot of her songs, takes risks, has some BANGING jams, yada yada. Everybody knows T-Swift's life story at this point.
On the flip side, Whitney Houston is inarguably one of the greatest female vocalists of all time. I haven't dug TOO deep into her life and we all know she had her struggles, but from a pure singing standpoint, nobody can argue if someone stated she's the best to every do it. She may not be YOUR favorite singer and she's not my favorite singer, but it's an objective fact she's one of the GOATs. She has 80 grade pipes and is... I don't know... 50 across the board with the rest of her tools?
Taylor Swift is more well rounded. 60 grades across the board. All star, dominant player. Just doesn't have that other worldly tool. Whitney Houston has that 80 grade tool, and that 80 grade tool is her voice.
I don't know what the argument is here. There really isn't one. Whitney has a better voice, Taylor more polished in most other aspects of music and the music business. I think that's a fair stance.
Anyways, I have largely been avoiding the debate because I just don't give a fuck too much about it, but I was taking a dump this morning and stumbled on this Gaz tweet:
To which I opined with this:
and to which Brandon Walker opined with this:
I wanted to fly to NYC and punch him in his inbred face. For one, there is ZERO argument about Bonnie Raitt being one of the all time greatest female vocalists. Her spin on John Prine's "Angel From Montgomery" is still one of the greatest covers in the history of music and that is a take I will die with and bring to my goddamn grave.
That, and not that it matters for the "best singer" argument, but Bonnie Raitt is one of the greatest female guitarists in history as well. It makes sense in my dumb brain and I think it'll make sense in at least *some* of your dumb brains as well, but her being able to rip apart a guitar makes her voice that much hotter. I know how that makes sense, but it makes senses.
But Brandon's reaction to my tweet was enraging for the sole fact that Bonnie Raitt was a chalk pick for the most part. Everyone knows she's up there with the female vocalists/musicians ever and because of that, I have no choice but to assume Brandon was criticizing my Norah Jones drop
Now, I fully understand Norah Jones is different. Def a more obscure pick. Even so, I am VERY on record as loving everything about her. Her soothe, sultry voice, her looks. Her skills as a pianist. She was one of the first celebrity crushes I've had. But her voice is what matters for this discussion. Listen to like... anything she's ever sang... and tell me that me saying she has a better pure voice than Mariah Carey is some hot take?
Here's a full album of hers; perfect music for a cold, overcast fall day chilling next to the Yule log with your significant other over a cup of boozie hot coco:
How can anyone argue her voice isn't up there with the all time greats? It simply does not compute in my head whatsoever. No editing, no computers, no nothing. Just pipes of an angel. Sure, you can say she's not THE best. But to respond with this...
…like her voice is completely busted and it's some hot take is BANANAS to me. There's a reason she's won 9 Grammy Awards to Mariah Carey's 5 in spite of the miles of separation they have in overall popularity. Sure, Mariah Carey has a more famous and celebrated all around catalogue including that fucking Christmas song and she'll be on all of those clickbait ranking lists, but in terms of pure vocal talent, I contend Norah Jones is better than Mariah Carey. It's the exact argument Brandon is making for Whitney Houston vs. Taylor Swift.
Norah Jones' voice is incredible. For me, she's EASILY in my top 5 ever. Brandon Walker can fuck right off with his response. It's disrespectful to me, which is fine since I hate myself, but to disrespect N-Jones? Those are fighting words.
Looking forward to Brandon F. Walker's rebuttal.
Also a few names not being thrown around this discussion that deserve nods in no particular order off the top of my head:
1. Janice Joplin
2. Amy Winehouse
3. Dusty Springfield (she could groove like no other)
Open for other suggestions off the top of my head: