Sunday, January 22, 2012

Too Much Stress

The problem for all those people in that commercial mis-singing "Rocket Man" isn't so much that Elton John is some kind of mushmouth, it's that he and Bernie Taupin can't get on the same page as far as which syllables to emphasize. In the line "Burnin' up his fuse out there alone," EJ's music stresses the syllable "there," which isn't the worst possible syllable to emphasize but is clearly in the bottom half. And then the music crams the entire two-syllable word "alone" into not much more than a single note.

One song that makes the words almost impossible to understand - although nobody cares, because it's such a fantastic song - is the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back." In the chorus, the first half of each line is punched out like Regis is singing it, only to force poor Michael to get four or five words onto a single note in the second half: "Won't! You! Please! Let! Me! Backinyourheart." Michael kinda survives that one, but if you say you understood "Now! That! I! See! Youinhisarms" the first time you heard the song, you're lying.

You know, those people in the TV commercial wouldn't need whatever product that ad is pushing if they'd just listen to the Shatner version. Among the man's many virtues, he sure can enunciate:


  1. I'm still fascinated by the Jackie Chan commercial (for V8) where he flies in (with V8) and delivers his line. For the first several times I saw it, I thought he was saying, "That's breakfast -- Becky style!" But we don't know this woman's name. I can only assume it's "veggie-style." It just seems like a multimillion-dollar ad campaign would aspire to be, you know, audible.

  2. I agree ... this commercial plagues me, primarily because I don't know what the hell he's saying. I've scoured the internet, but can't find a script.

  3. Hmmm. This is starting to bother me as well. Hopefully, we're not seeing a new irritating way of getting our attention.