I don’t know too much about Adele and I haven’t heard all of her music, but I just love her unforced delivery. Every song I’ve listened to so far has struck me as beautiful, unforced, emotional, simple, direct, truthful and authentic.
I love what she doesn’t do with a song. She obviously has the chops to go all “diva” on anything she sings, but unlike so many of today’s singers, she doesn’t over adorn or show off all her vocal pyrotechnics every chance she gets. This is because the most important thing to her is the SONG, not the singer. At least that’s how she seems to me. Her skills are submitted to the song, not the other way around. She seems to be looking for what the song needs, not what her ego needs. This is so refreshing to me. So many singers seem to see a song as simply a structure to lay vocal tricks and emotional gestures over. Almost all pop singing these days leaves me with this “false” feeling, like the only thing the singer wants from me is worship. Adele seems to have something in her heart that won’t sit still, that must be expressed or she will literally start to die inside. I feel like she’s sharing not just taking…
Here's a link to her singing "Make You Feel My Love" on Letterman.
And so, in this spirit I would like to send out a thought request to Adele to please cover the song, “Fever”. I know it’s been covered a million times but they’ve all been self-indulgent miscalculations in my opinion. I only like one version, the original version by Little Willie John.
So many singers that I hear doing “Fever” do not sound to me like they are singing with their own authentic voices. All their quirks and mannerisms, I've already heard ‘em elsewhere, and many, many times. Or they seem to think that the trick is to find a new quirk that no one else is doing, or they try to buy one with the latest technical vocal effect. But to me the key is to do less, not more. Drop the quirks and let your actual voice and feeling come out.
If you don't trust the song, why are you singing the song? You want to know how to sing a great song? Trust the song and just sing it. Only embellish when the emotion you feel for the song makes you do it. Most people are too afraid to sing “Fever” without tarting it up.
I love "Fever", at least as Little Willie John sings it. To me, it's just a simple, heartfelt, "You make me hot. I'm the one for you.", kinda tune. I don't think the song tries to be anything it's not and totally nails what it is does try to express. When I hear modern singers, usually women sing this song, it's like they're the strong one, the hero, and the star of the song. They kind of strut the thing. But this is not really what the song is about. To me this is a song about the power of the other person, not the singer. It's a song of feverish devotion, almost begging, not strutting. For this song to work for me, the singer has to sound like they're singing to someone they want and want bad. It usually sounds to me like they're singing it into a mirror.
So have at it Adele! I can’t think of another singer who could even approach Little Willie John’s version…