(This review of mine has come into its own as "art", in terms of people's reaction. You may notice many tidbits and ideas "reused" in the subsequent 5-sonnet pentameter poem posted here. Composers do it all the time.)
(Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:27 pm )
I think Jessica has it right -- no words are needed, but, being me, I found some anyway; I've thought about this all day since I was able to get Flash Player 9 d/l'ed at work and was able to view this citizen-journalism vid.
What I don't understand is why this thread isn't overflowing with verbal bouquets, why the media's phones are not ringing off hook, and the NY Times publishing a special edition
FORMER 'IDOL' CONTESTANT CHANNELS POWER OF HEAVEN
DOOLITTLE OPENS NEW WORLD IN UNIVERSE OF SONG
To compare this performance to other performers' renditions of the same song, or even Melinda's dizzyingly eclectic canon as we know it, is all beside the point (although the stately harmonies of Carole King's ode very much supported the miracle I beheld).
What I saw as I heard the singing which so awed me last night was a young woman robed in such majesty, such resplendent dignity, luminescent grace and regal poise....radiating in mien and song confidence and power that proclaimed an inner faith in God and herself that humbled me to the floor. I have never witnessed such a revelation in a popular vocal performance. This is the promise of MFV
fulfilled: Melinda has shed the cocoon of American Idol.
I thought of Jimi Hendrix playing the SSB
at Woodstock, Eric Clapton playing Crossroads
with Cream, or the young Dylan singing Visions of Johanna
in Manchester (in Scorsese's No Direction Home
of two years back) --- this performance is the icon that answers the question, "Who is Melinda Doolittle?" Not the sit-down on Results Night, not MFV
or any other AI scene, not Melinda being Albert Schweitzer in Africa. If a soul breathes within you, this performance, as stutteringly related by this illicit video, ought bring you to tears in seconds, as it did me.
Oh, the singing? I suppose I discussed that already, her chiaroscuro tones of roseate vesper sunlight setting aflame the kaleidoscope of the cathedral's stained-glass window to the tones of the pipe organ's plenum, all proclaiming "to God alone the Glory!
": She is a completed virtuoso, a cuddly Paganini with the God-besotted soul of Bach. No one can tell her how or how not to sing -- she is the best singer. Alive. This video is the "proof-text".
Oh yes, the fashion note. I don't think I've ever seen her look more fetching, more awesomely beautiful. "Cute" was turned down to turn "gorgeous" to 11. Her waistcoat/dress reminded me of MFV and did well by her idiosyncratic figure; her hair, albeit borrowed (why should this make a difference?) in its wild luxuriance just underscored the unspeakable gravity whose subtext was "I am the most serious of musicians." Her hand-gestures and body-language, now all so familiar to her fans, were like cherished verses of a beloved poem. It was like seeing MFV for the first time, but with total knowledge of "who on earth is this young woman?", and what she can do.
And this is just one side of the cutie who "headbanged" with Sanjaya, made a silly frog-noise when Blake tried to teach her beatboxing, and who has nothing but love, praise, and kindness for a young protege terrified of her mentor's incomparable gifts.
Melinda, how could it be possible that we could love you more? God bless you, Melinda. May your glory shine whithersoever you choose.