Wednesday, March 9, 2011

NPR 50 Great Voices on Spotify

The human voice is the most expressive instrument in the world, and the one with the most universal appeal. I've seen people who hates the sound of the violin or piano, but I guess everyone has a soft spot for a particular singer, or at least a loving grandparent or lifelong friend's voice. No you are not tone-deaf, otherwise, congratulations! You won't be able to tell the nagging of your wife from the tender moment when she said "I will".

On January 18th last year, NPR launched a series called 50 Great Voices. "Over the next year, we'll hear profiles of 50 singers who've made their mark internationally and across recorded history." And today this series is finally completed. Amazingly all 50 vocalists but one (Radmilla Cody) is available on Spotify. I collected them in one playlist. To round up 50, and to make up for the absent of East Asia in NPR's world map, I put in my favourite, and arguably the greatest Chinese pop singer Teresa Teng. Her core repertoire including Mandarin, Japanese and Southern Min songs. Since I don't think the western audience could understand the full meaning of Chinese songs without knowing the language, I put in a Japanese song. I don't know the meaning of the lyrics either, but though her voice I hear the perpetual longing for all the things that most of us mortals cease to dream of after we, supposedly, grow up.

Here's the Spotify playlist: NPR 50 Great Voices (50 tracks,total time: 3 hours) I tried to use the NPR picked tracks, if unavailable, then I put in the vocalist's most popular or representative song. Read more on NPR's series portal, and A-Z list of the greats.