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  • Brittney Williams

BOOK REVIEW: THE SINGERS TALK BY JASON THOMAS GORDON

Updated: May 10


 

 

The Singers Talk is a book delving into the topic of voices, particularly voices from the perspective of professional and famous singers. It was written by a musician himself, the frontman and drummer of Kingsize Jason Thomas Gordon. He came up with the book's concept after meeting Eddie Vedder at a Toronto Bar shortly after becoming the Kingsize lead singer, and he chatted with him about everything except voice. Something that Vedder - with his hollering from rafters vocals - you'd think would be the first thing asked. So, in case you are like Thomas Gordon and wound up forgetting, The Singers Talk covers that ground for you. This informative collection is well over 400 pages and is quite the deep dive into the mind of the singer-songwriter, and it helps that Thomas Gordon has tapped into his resources as a well-connected artist to talk to over fifty different singers from varying genres, which allows for some diversity and perspective. While it is also worth noting that the questions given to each artist don't change, so for some that might be a bit monotonous, I felt it evened out the playing field. Some of The Singers Talk highlights included Thomas Gordon's chat with Nile Rodgers on David Bowie which happened to be his first meeting with him, or his chat with one of the Avett Brothers, Seth Avett, which without giving away too much shows just how hard creaties can be on themselves no matter how successful you get. Belinda Carlisle was fascinating as well because it showed how much she had grown and pushed herself beyond The Go's Go's. While most of the artists come from the Rock and Alternative worlds, There's also a dip or two into the world of Hip-Hip & R&B realm with conversations from Chuck D from Public Enemy, Smokey Robinson, and Mavis Staples. Exploring Rap through the lens of questions that Chuck D received also made for one of the more intriguing interviews, lastly, surprisingly (or unsurprisingly, if you're a fan like me) Davey Havok of AFI/Blaqk Audio/Dreamcar fame was one of the more extended interviews in the book, his discipline to his craft and to stay healthy vocally unmatched. While many of the interviews in the book are engrossing as they delve into the oft-unveiled psyche of the lead singer, all masterfully done with just several expertly crafted questions. The book overall reads something like a middle-ground anthology or compilation. Seemingly the only thing binding everything is the fact everything is done in an interview format and with musicians. Although many of the interviews are expertly executed. I, as a reader am left feeling, that something like this might have been better suited to another format, such as an online series or maybe even a podcast. Yet, for anyone whose main instrument is their vocals, or someone who loves to nerd out with music and music facts. Then ‘The Singers Talk’ is for you, as there are plenty of fascinating anecdotes, and there is an ease within this collection if you’d like to skip or pick your favorite interview to go back to.

 

Favorite/Highlight Interviews: Seth Avett, Nile Rodgers on David Bowie, Andy Wallace on Jeff Buckley, Belinda Carlisle, Chuck D, Britt Daniel (Spoon), Patty Griffin, Davey Havok, Eddie Kramer on Jimi Hendrix, Brittany Howard, Simon Le Bon, Karen O, and Robert Smith.

 
You can pick a copy of The Singers Talk anywhere books are sold.
Now you can you also check out the offshoot podcast of The Singers Talk out now at Volume.com/TheSingersTalk and everywhere you get your podcasts.
 

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