Tonight's episode of The Voice was simultaneously amazing and a total snoozefest. How can that be? The answer is simple: Too many ballads.
Tonight's slower tunes included "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" performed by Aaron Gibson, "I Will Always Love You" by Ali Caldwell and Brendan Fletcher's rendition of "Angel." And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Now, we're not saying there's anything inherently bad about ballads. A good ballad can really showcase an artist's talents, especially if that singer happens to have a big, powerful voice. Also, ballads are naturally emotional. They get viewers worked up and more inclined to vote. Viewer engagement is always a good thing, especially when it occurs because the show's songs evoke strong emotions.
The problem isn't the existence of ballads on The Voice, but rather, their occasional excess. One ballad is powerful, but five or six? Not so much.
Another problem with ballads? They give viewers a false sense of confidence in certain artists. When a contestant sings one ballad after another, viewers never determine whether that person actually possesses any versatility or nuance. There's nothing wrong with doing what you do best, but you know what's even better? A musician who can kill it while performing a wide range of genres. The Voice does force artists to mix it up a little, but some get by coasting on the same style week after week — and the show's ballad powerhouses are often a culprit of this.
We're not asking for a lot here. We just want a few perkier, toe-tapping tunes that get us out of our seats. This season's contestants are definitely capable of delivering that and many already have. Even tonight's episode featured a few refreshing numbers, such as Ali Caldwell and Brendan Fletcher's version of "It's Only Love" and "Feelin' Alright" by Sundance Head and Josh Gallagher. More songs like this would be greatly appreciated.
The Voice is amazing when it strikes the right balance between power ballads and more lighthearted numbers, so it's time for the show to pick up the tempo.
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