Like many of you, I sing along when I’m listening to music. It’s not pretty, but I do it anyway.
There are a lot of singers I can’t keep up with—their voices are either too high or too low for me. Usually I get around it by going down or up an octave. Or if I’m feeling fancy, I’ll harmonize. But sometimes I feel stupidly ambitious and try to hit the actual notes. The other day I tried to match Pat Benatar. That was a mistake. I sounded like I had my ovaries caught in a vise.
I don’t fare any better when I try to match someone with a really deep voice—Elvis Costello at his deepest, for instance. I sound possessed, and it makes my vocal chords itch.
But there are some singers with vocal ranges that I can almost always match perfectly. I call them Goldilocks Singers: Not too high, not too low. Juuuuust right. For a chick, I have a relatively low-pitched voice; I’d most likely be a contralto if I were a legitimate singer (I have no problem singing comfortably well below middle C). And for whatever reason, I find that I sing along best with Michael Hutchence from INXS (RIP, sir). Most of my Goldilocks Singers are men but there are women on the list as well. Sadly, the vast majority of my favorites aren’t Goldilocks (Geddy, honey, I’m so sorry but you often sing too high for me).
Here’s a partial list of my Goldilocks Singers:
Billie Joe Armstrong, Green Day
Peter Murphy (except when he hits those basement-level notes)
Elvis Costello (ditto)
Richard Butler, Psychedelic Furs
Dave Gahan, Depeche Mode
Shirley Manson, Garbage
Okay, I’ve showed you mine. Now you show me yours.