My Favourite Male Voices, and where to find them


26 août 2006, 14h36m

Yesterday, in preparation for my going to see him live in October, I checked out the Patrick Wolf x-posure session on Xfm to see what he might sound like when not on record. And oh my, his voice is incredible. I hadn't really paid all that much attention to it on the few odd songs I have, as there's so much other weird stuff going on at the same time it's difficult to focus on it; but really, listen to the Gypsy King on there and you will understand my awe. He is currently the proud owner of my Favourite Male Voice.

But then I have always been pretty fickle about who has been able to hold this honourable title, so I don't know how long he'll be able to hold it. My head is easily turned by a man with a pretty voice- just as easily as I am turned off a man with an ugly voice, even if the songs themselves are pretty good (sorry Tom Waits, I do not like creepy bear/human crossbreeds.)

Previous owners of my Favourite Male Voice, in order, and a track which I feel shows it off to best advantage:

Paul Draper of Mansun- first 'rock' band I got into, and the first voice which gave me goosebumps. Apparently he only sang because none of the other band members could, which I suspect is bollocks as I don't see how you could keep that voice quiet. So much passion and intensity, and a great range, as Wide Open Space shows.

Roddy Woomble of Idlewild- With a name like that, he just has to be great. His voice is big and squooshy round the edges, and Scottish accents always get to me. American English is a gem.

Matthew Caws of Nada Surf- his voice is just the cutest thing in the world. I don't know why exactly, but it is. I wish it existed in human form so I could hug it- or, I could just hug him. Either works for me. No Quick Fix is almost too cute to be true (but not in a horrible sickly way).
'Don't go,
I'll never know,
when you're away
I sleep all day,
nothing works,
thinking hurts,
you belong to me

Rufus Wainwright- described by Phil Jupitus as 'the voice of an angel who eats naught but honey', which I think sums it up pretty well. Foolish Love is a great example of this, with bonus amazing piano playing action.

David Ford, formerly of Easyworld- As much as I loved easyworld, David's voice has improved with age. Effortlessly switching from high and soaring to low and bitter, as heard on I Don't Care What You Call Me. Absolutely beautiful. Or, you could listen to Bleach if you'd rather bounce around the room in an undignified fashion :)

Honourable mentions: Jeff Buckley (of course), Elliott Smith, Greg Gilbert of the Delays

Who owns your Favourite Male Voice?


  • MotherDear

    Jeff Buckley of course.. he could do anything with it.. it's oh so beautiful.. but there are others like: David Sylvian also.. who has this great deep charming voice. he has a song called Ghosts which is beautiful although I think it's a Japan original.. it was his band though. Rufus has specially a great singing! I love his interpretations! The Art Teacher sends shivers down my spine! George Michael does some preety awful career choices and does some really poor music but his voice is unbelievable! Jesus To A Child is a masterpiece! Tim Buckley.. wonderful.. I think he could also do anything with his voice and he explored it a lot! the whole Starsailor record shows him using his voice in a way I didn't think one could use. and then a great deal of rock'n'roll singers like Freddie Mercury who is god.. and Robert Plant who is also god! I'm pagan so that works out fine for me ;P PS - Johnny Hartman has an amazing beautiful smooth voice and his album with John Coltrane is absolute bliss!

    26 août 2006, 15h06m
  • gyco

    Tom Waits Devendra Banhart Elliott Smith Jeff Mangum All to me are very special voices. I'm sure i'm missing out some of my favourties, but they don't seem to be coming to mind at the moment. x

    26 août 2006, 15h12m
  • tippex79

    I think most of my favourites have been mentioned, but I do very much like Stephen Merritt (of The Magentic Fields fame). And my absolute favourite is Duke Special - he's the only guy I've ever found whose voice consistently makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

    26 août 2006, 17h30m
  • Hythlodaeus

    Wot no Spencer Krug? Consider me disgusted. The world would be a poorer place without his lupine (pun not intended) yelping.

    26 août 2006, 19h59m
  • kitefish

    I am not a huge fun of whining, yelping, shouting or screaming in my music, so you are lucky that Spencer Krug gets listened to at all. I forgot about Freddie Mercury! I am useless indeed. And thinking about it, I have always had a soft spot for George Michael; if you're not afraid to embrace the cheese completely, Darren Hayes (formerly of Savage Garden) has got a beauty of a voice as well. I find listening to Morrissey's voice like eating a big, gooey chocolate cake- rich and heavenly to start with, 'til it begins to make me feel slightly ill and I have to stop eating it. And when I finally get round to buying some B&S and some Duke Special, either could be the one to strip the Wolf boy of his title...

    26 août 2006, 21h57m
  • gyco

    Yeah, good point. Spencer is on my list also. Can not wait for Swan Lake.

    26 août 2006, 22h25m
  • covfan

    Totally agree with everything you said. State of the Union by David Ford is an absolutely amazing song. I love Out Of Nowhere by the Delays and Not Just Sometimes But Always is my favorite Idlewild song.

    26 août 2006, 23h23m
  • jimmy-jimmy

    Tom Waits is necessary, Elliott Smith, Jeff Buckley, David Byrne, Ian Curtis, Michael Stipe, Freddie Mercury, Andrew Bird, etc. But enough pussyfooting. We all know who the greatest male singer of all time is. Someone with a voice that could do anything, from Sinatra-esque crooning to amazingly percussive gibbering. Someone with such an incredibly varied body of work that their versatility and overall awesomeness is no longer subject to question. I am talking, of course, of motherfucking Mike Patton, the greatest singer who ever lived.

    27 août 2006, 18h13m
  • lofi_hero

    Chanced upon this and thought I'd add my two cents... Paul Draper, yes! Not the best voice technically I've ever heard but something warm, welcoming and... I dunno, different and unique about it. Matthew Caws, yes! Nada Surf will never be in my top ten bands or anything but something truthful, something heartful and interesting about his voice definitely. I met the guy after their gig in King Tut's in Glasgow and he was so..... normal. Not that I was disappointed, quite the opposite really. I'd like to add Jason Lytle of Grandaddy to this really. Most of his accent of any singer I know and the most achingly heartfelt voice I know. I've seen this guy cry for real in concert and I think that says it all. cheers.

    3 sept. 2006, 2h09m
  • martinhines

    pretty boring

    7 sept. 2006, 5h29m
  • martinhines

    just noticed someone mentioned Mike Patton, agreed,

    7 sept. 2006, 5h29m
  • mala4056

    I hate to sound typical (well i dont actually care really) but i have always loved Coner Oberst's voice. I love its brokenness and its vulnerability. How it sounds like hes going to break down and cry any second.

    10 oct. 2006, 8h47m
  • mala4056

    Gosh and Jens Lekman how could I forget. Talk about a croon.

    10 oct. 2006, 9h27m
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