I don’t know about you, but I’ve never really been a fan of Christina Aguilera’s singing. She clearly has a great voice, but every time I listen to her all I can think about is, “Wow, nice range!”
And so I find this rendition of Etta James’ “At Last” that she delivered at Etta’s memorial kinda depressing and lacking in anything that might be described as “soulful”.
Amazing how “praised” this performance has been since it aired. Also a testament about how marginalized the music sometimes referred to as “soul” has become. She loses me about thirty seconds in when she hasn’t even completed the first verse because of her vocal histrionics. She did the same thing at the Super Bowl recently, just sucked any trace of emotion out of the song because of her need to flex her vocal gymnastics. Want to grab the girl and just yell into her face, “Just sing the fucking song, sweetheart!”
So as a pick me up I offer a version of the same song from the woman that originated it, Ms. Etta James. It’s kind of a weird recording from a movie I think, but Etta is clearly singing it live. Her vocal control, even at her age, probably sixties, and the emotion she communicates is truly remarkable.
About the Author: COLIN MITCHELL: Actor/Writer/Director/Producer/Father, award-winning playwright and screenwriter, Broadway veteran, Marvel comics scribe, Van Morrison disciple, Zen-Catholic, a proud U.S. Army Brat conceived in Scotland and born in Frankfurt, Germany, currently living in Los Angeles and doing his best to piss off as many people as possible.