Monday, 4 May 2009

A Post-Glumbert Day Lift - Feeling Good (Studio)

According to an interview with Matt, Adam wasn't happy with his performance last Tuesday, which may have been why he had quite a stern expression on his face after he finished. He didn't look adrenaline-filled happy like he did after some of the other performances and seemed to be scanning the crowd, nervous about how the performance was received. I'm quite sceptical but there are unconfirmed rumours that the band screwed up, losing tempo during the live show but Adam managed to continue regardless. I had noticed that the vocals weren't as flawless as I've heard from him before, and I'd place it close to Tracks of My Tears in quality, but the performance still blew me away. I thought it was by far the best of the night and did not deserve to be landed in the bottom two (or three). That was before I heard the studio recording though, and afterwards, I could understand why Adam may not have been satisfied with the performance. Most of the studio recordings haven't done justice to Adam's vocals and I prefer the live versions much more because they sound rawer and you hear a lot more vocal variation. The studio versions have usually been cleaned up too much and Adam's voice is made to sound a bit sterile. Not to mention that I've disliked many of the instrumentals, especially on If I Can't Have You. But not this time. Feeling Good is simply divine. It takes me on an evocative and exhilarating journey which I'll describe:

It's been a dark period of feeling lost and detached with my stagnant life. The first peep of daybreak from a gap in the curtains stirs and caresses me out of my sleep. The light is cool and soft, and I wake up to the realisation that it's the weekend and for once I've not got a vice tightening around my head and I'm not wanting to throw my guts up from another vague night of pointless excesses and over-indulgence. Looking out the window there's mist floating over the landscape glowing in the mysterious half-light. I'm lured outside, wrapping a velvet cloak around my shoulders and I venture barefoot out into the dewy grass of the garden. It feels cool and refreshing. The silent world inhales deeply, carrying the scent of bygone days and a hazy yearning; long-forgotten memories buried in somewhere in the wind, perpetually enveloping and stroking long-forgotten dreams. I drift to the past in times where pain had yet to be conceived and the excitement of innocent hope expands in my heart, stirring and moulding into an intense, vivid vignette, filling all areas of my existence, my realm. The first bright warm shimmering ray of sunlight piercing through the mist eases me back into the present, and with an invigorating exhale, the breath carries away the final traces of soothing memories and those dreams return to their eternal slumber. I'm startled by my sudden awareness of the subtle exquisiteness that surrounds me. I open myself up, slowly contemplate, listen and absorb all that's around me. I'm feeling and connecting back to the present kaleidoscopic world with fresh, pristine, heightened senses. Inhaling deeply, I'm hit with the crispness of the air, the limitlessness of sky and the richness of the landscape brimming with life. I become immersed and feel a rush as the intensity and fragility and full dazzling beauty hits me all at once and I'm overwhelmed by the energy of it all soaring through me, swelling my heart. I become acutely aware that such preciousness lingers under the surface of the constructed illusion of life. I banish the illusion to reveal lush verdant shoots of rejuvenated optimism. I preserve the moment, my heart becomes light, I smile and venture further into my magnificent wonderland.

That's exactly how the recording makes me feel. As much as I loved Nina Simone's version, hers didn't take me on the same thrilling rollercoaster ride of contrasts. Adam's voice is given plenty of breathing space to unfold, develop, narrate then flourish. I love his riffs and what he's done with the melody. The band thankfully manages to be suitably restrained and seamlessly weaves into rock, winding down to the delightful sounds of the bass and piano of jazz. I'm amazed at the incredible control Adam has over his voice and how different and varied he can make it sound. I think it's a masterpiece showcasing so many different shades and nuances of his vocal repertoire all in one musical panorama: rough, smooth, rich, gentle, velvety, delicate, high, low, powerful belts, and for once they didn't clean it up too much so you can fully appreciate the beauty and resplendency of his awe-inspiring voice, from the spine-tingling enchanting falsetto of Sleep in peace when the day is done, to the gritty power of Freedom is mine. The way that glory note soars then descends sounds other-wordly, sending shiver upon shiver down my spine. If Adam was aiming to demonstrate the range and subtleties of his voice, he did well with the performance but he truly excelled when it came to the studio recording. It's sultry, stirring, anthemic, evocative and powerful, and my favourite studio track so far. In our man's own words, Wooh! Get it!


  1. What you said. It never occurred to me to translate Adam's voice into prose - but I must say you certainly did the man justice. Adam caught my eye (and ear) during Idol auditions. That first piercing note - followed by hearing he'd been cast in the musical 'Wicked' (I’d made my living in the theatre for over thirty years, so I knew what that meant). The music in 'Wicked' is, well, wicked. It takes a Voice (with a capital 'V') to handle the complexity (not to mention the range). It's not for nothing ‘Wicked’ was created to showcase two of the most vibrant (and phenomenal) musical theatre voices out there - Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel. The male voices needs must match - so for Adam to get cast in an Equity tour - he HAD to rock the Kasbah. I nudged the hubby and said, “that boy’s gonna win”. I must say I’ve been worried ‘other issues’ might prevent Adam from sweeping the board – but like the rest of America, I want to believe miracles are indeed possible. Maybe if we all clap really loud.....well – it worked with Tinkerbelle.

    Anyways.....didn‘t mean to natter on. Just wanted to stop by and say howdy – and to let you know you are not alone in your consummate obsession. Adam will forever be known as ‘The Voice’ on Idol. After him – no one will every quite measure up. And yes - the studio version of 'Feeling Good' is quite the best I've ever heard. It far surpasses his live performance - though I enjoyed that as well. Let us hope Classic Rock week with Slash from GNR will prove Adam's friend. I understand all the singers will have to perform a duet along with a solo. I wait with bated breath to see what our Adam has cooked up. Whatever his song choice - I know it will bring the house down. Let us pray one of the follow spots knocks Simon (or better yet Seacrest) on his ass!

  2. Wow! I felt so real when I was reading your story, and I must say that for me this is by far one of my favorite songs, I love Michael Buble's version, however; when Adam took it, it gave this edgy feeling to it to the point that every time I listen to it I get all these feelings and sensation that are hard to describe but that you were able to capture in your beautiful story. Well done!

    To conclude my comment, I have to confess that not other artist except for Celine Dion and Sarah Brightman who are my favorite female singers, Adam is the only male singer who has even brought me to tears. His voice has a mysterious effect on me, is like an addiction. Thank you for sharing such beautiful story. Have you had the chance to listen to his version of Kiss from a rose yet? Beautiful, I hope one day he can do the studio recording of this song. He sounds like an angel...