Could They Make It? Entry 4: Susan Boyle
A few weeks ago, I started a series of posts about soloists and groups from other genres, asking if they had what it took to make it in this one.
Part of my original plan was to get around to Susan Boyle, who became an overnight Internet sensation thanks to this video, eventually on a slow news day.
The announce of her debut album, entitled (to nobody’s surprise) I Dreamed a Dream, has pushed this up the priorities list. Sound clips, up on her website, show that the track list will include “How Great Thou Art” and “Silent Night.” Just yesterday—oddly—the track list also included, and included a clip of, “Amazing Grace.”
So . . . does SuBo have what it takes to make it as a Southern Gospel soloist, to stand alongside the likes of Ivan Parker and Mark Bishop, in the unlikely event she should choose to try?
Pros: Stylistically, her choice of instrumentation isn’t that far off from what our genre uses—piano-driven reflective songs, and big orchestrated ballads.
Cons: I can’t think of any besides, perhaps, her personality. She cracked under the stress of the Britain’s Got Talent final in a pretty public way. Granted, there is nothing quite so stressful in our genre, but an NQC mainstage meltdown is not what our genre needs! Other than that, I don’t see her use of vibrato as a drawback; after all, our genre has had its share of singers who employ vibrato extensively, notably James and Jimmy Blackwood.
So what’s your call?