Go ahead, try to think of a better one.
You’re going to fail. Every band you name short of the Jonas Brothers is a crossover from either rock or R&B. Like Hall & Oates before them, Maroon 5 was a pop band right out of the gate – rock radio will only give them credit in retrospect. They’re muscular, flexible, and just raunchy enough to be a little transgressive.
Does Adam have The Voice? I don’t know. I once (very recently) swore he sang like a duck. Given how drop dead sexy he sounds on most studio songs, he sometimes has a surprising thin, nasal quality that can sound unrefined. And like a duck.
Is he a good coach for The Voice? Abso-freaking-lutely. Occasional quacking aside, I have no doubt of Adam’s technical chops, his influences are a Hall of Fame of pop singers, and he has an ear for solid gold singers and singles. It all showed through in how he landed the three absolutely memorable auditioners.
Adam is also devilishly charming and clearly the breakout star of the show. His comedy and cocksure attitude might be scripted, but they also seem like an accurate characterization.
What’s so great about Team Levine? Let’s take a look.
- Javier Colon – “Time After Time”
Is this the best reality show audition I’ve ever seen? His voice is stunning. Stunning. I would have rang in after a single line, maybe thinking he was a woman. There’s nothing else to say, aside from that I can forgive him the one over-the-top melisma near the end. If he can maintain this quality on non-ballads he is one of two men to beat, and the other one is on his team. (Which, if I understand the rules of this show, is actually more dangerous than if he was on someone else’s team.)I loved the sheer excitement on Adam’s face as he listened. I seriously cried every time they showed Adam’s reactions. I’m actually crying right now relistening to this. Damnit. Give me a minute.(It should surprise no one that Javier has an established music career. He got his start touring as the lead vocalist for Derek Trucks Band. Then he was tapped for two solo albums with Capitol Records, which he followed up last month with an indie EP on CD Baby that’s
going to be sold out real darn soonalready sold out (but still available in MP3). He has a home page with some cool-looking merch that’s about to become collectors items. Finally, he seems to be allowed to maintain his existing Facebook artist page, where he has done some responding since the broadcast.)
- Jeff Jenkins – “God Bless the Broken Road”
You don’t have to like country music to hear that Jeff has an absolutely golden, effortless voice. I’m a little incredulous he’s not a professional singing background vocals or jingles or something. But, there’s the bias-busting of The Voice at work – if I listened blind I would never assume he should be in the background because his voice is that gorgeous. I’m with Adam and Blake – he doesn’t need much help, and he can do whatever genre he wants to do. I really hope he’s versatile, because I want to see him go far in this competition. And life.Oh dear, I’m crying again. Hold me.
- Rebecca Loebe – “Come as You Are”
Chills. I got absolute chills from this. Rebecca’s voice is not flawless, but the quality of it. The intention. The restraint. The phrasing. She is a natural born singer and she is going to come out of this with a record deal one way or another. Does that make her The Voice of the competition? Maybe not on sheer power, but interpretation counts for something – note that Christina was floored by her. I would have hit the button hard and fast to get her on my team. It’s a testament to Adam’s lineup that I have her at number three – she is my personal favorite of the entire show so far. Hopefully she doesn’t retreat into reductive singer-songwriter-isms in future rounds – she needs to think big if she’s going to slide past one of the boys ahead of her.(Clearly from her bio reel Rebecca is a touring songwriter. Her page has a slew of LPs for sale and describes her genre as “post-brontosaurus indie folk/crunk.” Maybe a bit too weird for America, but I am quickly falling in love with her. Also? Adorable in her video blog.) [Read more…] about Grading The Voice – Team Adam