Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Love of Voices

Awhile ago I was reading one of those twenty-something websites on my list and the author observed that Gwen Stefani was his favorite beauty. The name sounded familiar to me, and a bit of research reminded me that she's the lead singer of No Doubt, a rock/ska/reggae band from Orange County, California. Looking at pictures of Gwen, I can see how a young man might find her attractive, but she's not my cup of tea. She reminds me of a young Madonna, who never thrilled me.

However, I was listening to my one album by No Doubt, Tragic Kingdom, and experienced love again. I've had this experience before, with singers such as Stevie Nicks, Natalie Merchant (formerly of Ten Thousand Maniacs) and oh my god, Kristen Hersh! I can't believe I almost didn't think of her! But there it is. I knew these singers by their voices, from the radio, albums, whatever, before I ever saw them, and those voices, they were so fine, so angelic, so unique and special, that I just fell in love.

In fact listening to Tragic Kingdom again has led me to add two more of Gwen's albums to my Amazon Wish List, and I think I'll be doing the same with Kristen Hersh soonest. I'm sure there is an element of sexuality to this, as I don't experience the same intensity listening to, say, Leonard Cohen or Nick Cave, even though I think they are wonderfully textured singers.

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