Roots, Toots n' Hoots Blog
Chris Robinson, Taylor Swift - they're probably not BFF
Jeffrey Remz | September 1, 2010
I'll admit it. I'm not Taylor Swift's biggest fan (TS fans - read on!). I've questioned her singing abilities a number of times quite openly on this web site, although I did think her singing on "Fearless" was way way better than previous efforts.
Her new single, Mine, finds the superstar also turning in a good vocal performance on a song that sounds similar stylistically to what she previously has released.
Swift may improve over time and mature as an artist. She strikes a chord with teens quite well in writing about problems - often social relationships - that they face.
Today came the news that Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson dissed Swift big time. Robinson apparently told Nylon Guys magazine "I find it embarrassing that adults are like, 'Taylor Swift is very talented.' She's not. She might be cute, but she's horrible."
Robinson acknowledged not listening to much by way of new music because the acts are manufactured. "They have stylists who dress them, they make records with producers who play a chord into the computer and it all comes out the same...When you have computers doing it all for you ...there's no individuality. Singing isn't always about being on key; it's about emotionality (sic)."
Robinson does have a point because singing - especially live - is something that must come from the heart. All too often, we do see artists who are so staged with a zillion costumes and shtick that it takes the heart out of the show. I can't say with certainty that Swift is guilty of that as I've never seen her live. I have seen the Crowes on a number of occasions and usually liked them, but to be honest found Robinson to be incredibly self-indulgent and downright boring when he played the Bank of America pavilion in Boston last summer
But why does Robinson have to needlessly go after Swift? I've never thought it was very intelligent for an artist in a totally different genre to go after someone who is easy pickings (I'm also not sure it's okay if they're the same genre either though).
That is not a knock on Swift. However, what do you think the chances are of a fan of Robinson and the Crowes liking Swift? What is the likelihood that they've even listened to her?
The point is that Swift's an easy, disposable target for folks like Robinson. In years past, I've heard Britney Spears be the butt of negativity on stage. That did not require any amount of courage whatsoever to do that, and neither did Robinson (I'm not equating Swift with Spears either just to make it clear. It's to the point that they both were needlessly trashed).
And while I take big issue with Swift's singing, I do think she has proven herself to be a very good songwriter.
Robinson, of course, is entitled to his viewpoints right or wrong. He may not like Swift as a performer or artist, and that's okay, but sometimes it's better to keep a lid on your thoughts.
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