Song of the Day #813: ‘Everybody’s Changing’ – Keane

Over the next two weeks, I’ll count down ten of my favorite male vocalists in popular music. Notice I wrote “ten of my favorite” rather than “my ten favorite” because I’m sure I’m leaving some people out and I want to stress that this group is far from set in stone. That said, these are the ten I came up with after some deliberation so that counts for something.

Many of my favorite artists are lacking in the vocal department. That’s not to say they don’t sing their own songs well — in most cases, I can’t imagine those tunes sung by anybody else — but I’m a fan for other reasons. Bob Dylan is a prime example, but you can throw in Ben Folds, Rufus Wainwright, Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch and many others.

I don’t want go so far as to say I listen to those artists despite their voices, but it’s fair to say I don’t listen to them because of their voices. And this list is for the singers whose voices are among the primary reasons I enjoy their work.

A couple of caveats: First, I’m not singling out voices that are technically strong (though they might be… I’m not a very good judge of pitch and range and things like that). I’m focusing on voices that I find interesting and inviting for one reason or another. And second, I am focusing primarily on modern singers, not reaching back too far into history’s songbook.

And following these two weeks covering male vocalists, I’ll do the same drill all over again with the women.

Kicking things off at #10 is Tom Chaplin of Keane. Chaplin is cut from the same cloth as Chris Martin, Thom Yorke and Travis’ Fran Healy — Brits and Scots with soaring, high voices who wring the emotion out of every lyric. I consider him the best singer of the bunch.

You say you wander your own land
But when I think about it
I don’t see how you can

You’re aching, you’re breaking
And I can see the pain in your eyes
Says everybody’s changing
And I don’t know why

So little time
Try to understand that I’m
Trying to make a move just to stay in the game
I try to stay awake and remember my name
But everybody’s changing
And I don’t feel the same

You’re gone from here
Soon you will disappear
Fading into beautiful light
‘Cause everybody’s changing
And I don’t feel right

So little time
Try to understand that I’m
Trying to make a move just to stay in the game
I try to stay awake and remember my name
But everybody’s changing
And I don’t feel the same

So little time
Try to understand that I’m
Trying to make a move just to stay in the game
I try to stay awake and remember my name
But everybody’s changing
And I don’t feel the same

Oh
Everybody’s changing
And I don’t feel the same

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #813: ‘Everybody’s Changing’ – Keane

  1. Dana says:

    I’ve liked much of what I have heard from Keane, including this song.

    Generally, it’s hard for me to separate the singer from the songs he or she sings. In other words, if I don’t really love the songs, I usually care less whether the person singing them has a great voice. Having said that, I can think of a few examples where, as strong as a song might be, it is taken to another level because of a strong vocalist, and I suppose that may be where you are heading with this list. I’ll hold back on naming some of the artists or examples that come to mind so as to not steal your thunder.

  2. Clay says:

    I agree with you about the songs themselves being the most important thing. Nobody on this list sings songs I don’t like. However, this list won’t include most of the artists I consider the best songwriters, because they happen not to have the best voices.

  3. Amy says:

    I don’t know this song at all, but I like it. I’m curious to see which artists you choose over the next two weeks, as I often think that the voices I appreciate the most are not necessarily the most technically strong – or even pleasing – voices.

    Today’s singer strikes me as having a fine voice, but he does infuse tremendous emotion into the words from the first note on. To me, that makes all the difference.

    It is definitely what makes me respond most to a voice.

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