Chester's vocals then and now

Discussion in 'Linkin Park Chat' started by Broman, May 11, 2014.

  1. #1
    Broman

    Broman Well-Known Member

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    I know this is a topic that is brought up and mentioned every now and then, but I thought it'd be nice to have a discussion on how everyone feels about the evolution of Chester's vocals. Its evident that he started off with very powerful vocals (and that is something that cannot be stressed enough), tho he sometimes did lack in singing the proper pitch because he would be out of tune.

    Nowadays, its quite the opposite, where Chester sings in the right tone, but just doesn't sound as great as he used to (Examples being Breaking The Habit, Crawling, From The Inside, etc). In some cases, he still sings very nicely, but I often find myself commenting on how Chester's vocals are......cute and chipmunkish? To a certain extent, Chester's voice has become rather squeaky (to the point where some of my friends comment on him sounding like a bitch...).

    NUMB 2003
    [video=youtube;rJ6LlgjO-JY]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJ6LlgjO-JY[/video]

    NUMB 2013
    [video=youtube;41c06S_ufLM]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41c06S_ufLM[/video]

    NUMB THROUGHOUT THE YEARS
    [video=youtube;1lzPCCt_iPA]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lzPCCt_iPA[/video]


    Singing aside, Chester has always had an exceptional way of screaming both in studio and on stage. From songs like APFMH to Faint to Given Up, Chester was able to belt out yells, growls, and screams similar to that of his studio performances and often times exceed that. There is always the argument that Chester can still do that today, which is true, but he can't do it as much as he was able to Pre-2008 I would say. The best example would in fact be Faint where he would give immensely powerful growls during the bridge following up with the last line, "I won't be ignored!!!", which he no longer does, as my friends have pointed out along with the way he screams the bridge now which was more of a whining-ish yell up until just this year where he has just been singing the bridge).

    FAINT OVER THE YEARS 2003-2011
    [video=youtube;r1ZCOASD9_M]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1ZCOASD9_M[/video]

    FAINT 2014 (GO TO THE 2 MINUTE MARK)
    [video=youtube;O2vxMT_J13I]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2vxMT_J13I[/video]

    Overall, I don't think Chester's voice will manage another decade, but he's gotta do what he's gotta do and obviously singing and composing songs are one of his many passions. To this point, I believe his best vocal year has been 2007, which to me had an amazing combination of singing in the perfect tone and maintaining powerful screams, something he seemed to keep consistent throughout that year.

    BREAKING THE HABIT LIVE 2007
    [video=youtube;i4GPI7O-fN8]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4GPI7O-fN8[/video]

    Any thoughts you guys have on his vocal evolution or era preferences for when he sang?
     
  2. #2
    Sasuke

    Sasuke Purity Ring fanboy LPA Super Member

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    Waiting until the whole THP drops then you can judge.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
  3. #3
    Arachnids

    Arachnids The way out is through...

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    Chester certainly seems like he needs some rest. Him joining Stone Temple Pilots isn't going to help either, which was why I kinda had mixed feelings about him joining STP.
    Anyway, I think he does sound pretty good now too. He sounded amazing at the Telekom Street Gigs 2012, which is one of the more recent concerts that was recorded in high quality, definitely check it out if you haven't.

    I've always liked his vocals, I can't really pick a favorite period since every year had its ups and downs. But his screaming has watered down over the years, and that's not a problem, I feel. His voice is still intact, and he could be probably go for another 8-10 years I guess. If not, he'd have to start singing in ranges he finds more comfortable, and not too high. I have a feeling that in another 10 or so years, they'll probably lower the key of certain songs for him to be able to sing live. That's inevitable if they want to keep going.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
  4. #4
    Astat

    Astat LPA Super Member LPA Super Member

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    Chester's best vocal period was the second half of 2004-2006, IMO. His voice had already started changing by the end of the Meteora touring cycle, and I think his best "balance" between the two eras of his voice was around the time of the Summer Sonic shows in 2006.

    How he sounds on THP isn't going to be a good indicator of what shape his voice is currently in. You can always make a singer sound good in the studio. Take a look at Paul Stanley and Brian Johnson, two classic rock singers whose voices are absolutely SHOT these days, yet they've still managed to pull off serviceable performances in the studio over the past few years. I think the fact that Chester couldn't even sustain the last scream on the studio recording of Until It's Gone (they put a ton of reverb on it and then overdubbed a second scream after the initial one) shows that he's getting to the point where they CAN'T fix everything in the studio anymore. The fact that he recently responded to an interview question about how long he plans to keep going with "as long as my voice allows me to" also probably indicates that he's aware things are going downhill. That's the first time I've ever seen him acknowledge the possibility of his voice failing him one day.
     
  5. #5
    Brandon

    Brandon I was Ree's 100th follower on Twitter.

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    Yeah, you can definitely hear how the grit in his voice has eroded. His voice doesn't sound as full as it used to. But he's also better at consistently singing in the right key now-a-days, as those Numb videos show. I wonder if there's any way to combat his vocal decline? Or if it's just all downhill from here.
     
  6. #6
    Knt.Slbs

    Knt.Slbs K E N T

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    As long as Chester can do it until 10th album, I'm fine with that... Age is inevitable..
     
  7. #7
    Broman

    Broman Well-Known Member

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    Yes, there is reverb incorporated on the track, and perhaps even an echo around the vocals (definitely the group vocals), but I believe it's overdubbed with a second and third scream. This is going off the time on the iTunes version of the track, the scream begins at 3:33, the second scream follows up with a fade in at 3:34, and the final scream comes in at 3:35 which is probably the most distinguishable one because you can clearly hear him starting it off with a growl.
     
  8. #8
    Evan

    Evan Well-Known Member

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    I've been wanting to post my own thread about this but here it goes: Chester's singing voice started taking off in 2007, but still had the same aggression as in the Meteora era, which is awesome. Coincidentally, however, that's when his screaming performance started getting inconsistent. He would sound ridiculous on Faint and No More Sorrow, but weaker on One Step Closer for whatever reason. Then in the second half of 2008 his screaming began to take a nosedive and his voice lost that overall aggression. However his singing voice (or his "clean" vocals) reached an all time high IMO. Then the ATS touring era was the worst for his voice because he was pretty weak on both the singing AND screaming ends, but finally with the LT touring era his screams have gotten ridiculous! His singing voice declined a bit further though. I mean just listen to the 2014 performance of that OSC video you posted, and it's no secret Chester's been half-assign Faint since the second half of 2008.
     
  9. #9
    Wizardofozil

    Wizardofozil Well-Known Member

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    Chester still sound like he did in 2008
     
  10. #10
    Alexrednex

    Alexrednex Well-Known Member

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    A voice changes.
    When you have been singing for a living for the last 17 years it is going to change.
    And if you add the fact that not only does he sing - He also screams, then you can see how it will have an effect.
    So the fact that he can't sing the songs he made 14 years ago the way he used too doesn't mean "that he has gotten worse"

    Your idiotic friend stating that "he sounds like a bitch" is really just commenting on the fact that technically Chester's voice is now able to reach higher notes(look at TLTGYA, WFTE, I'll be gone, Give me your name.)
    His singing register/pitch has become higher, which means he isn't able too sing/scream the lower tones anymore.
    Chester in 2003 wouldn't have been able to sing some of the notes like he does on newer tracks.
    And it really is just a natural evolving,


    I honestly see Chester as one of the greatest singers of this decade, so of cause some periods stand out as being really extraordinary. 2006 and 2007 was amazing years both for his screams and his singing voice.
    I actually feels like Chester's vocals nowadays is less consistent. Sometimes he sounds amazing, other times he sounds just alright.
    But again it really depends on what he is singing.

    When it comes to screams then you can't really argue that he used to scream better(live).
    That's why i thought their sixth album would be less harsh on his voice - but it seems like they have gone in the opposite direction.
    So Chester must still feel good about screaming which I think shows that he is still able to do it pretty well.

    I think in the future Chester's singing voice will still be strong but we will slowly hear less and less screaming from him(like on ATS).
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
  11. #11
    lime treacle

    lime treacle You are not alone Über Member

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    Was better, is worse. :)
     
  12. #12
    Qwerty19

    Qwerty19 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, there's no way you can deny Chester voice has lost some of his power. It's obvious. Now, on the bright side, Chester range has been getting wider and wider over the years, and the guy's better now at singing on-key.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
  13. #13
    EastGhost

    EastGhost Banned

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    His range definitely has improved. Every song on ATS shows a different Chester. That album alone highlights his range and vocal improvements over the years.
     
  14. #14
    Delicious Dave

    Delicious Dave I'm gonna drive you into your own anus.

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    I hope they change their style before his voice gets even worse. If he sings more like he does in Burning In The Skies and Iridescent, he'll do fine.
     
  15. #15
    Qwerty19

    Qwerty19 Well-Known Member

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    If one day LP decide to only use clean vocals, I hope they will find ways to still make it a diverse and interesting experience. I like BITS vocals, but an album with nothing but that singing approach would definitely sound flat/ bumbblegum/ soapy to my ears.

    There's plaintly of ways of using softer vocals: more saccaded, more funky, more hypnotic, more atmospheric, more soul, more bluesy, etc...
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
  16. #16
    Atticus

    Atticus Bullets lance the bravest lungs

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    Wasn't that 2014 performance from a show where Chester was confirmed as sick? Kind of a poor choice of an example. I'd agree that his screaming voice had faltered between 2008-2012 but I'd argue some of the Living Things shows like Summer Sonic 2013 would have sounded right at home with his best days.

    The way I see it is if Chester didn't feel confident with his voice at this stage in the game, the band wouldn't have created such a heavy 6th album with him screaming on most of them, as this should have a direct correlation with the live set lists, meaning the sets should incorporate a large amount of their heaviest material. I can see this album cycle being a definite test for Chester's vocals.
     
  17. #17
    Evan

    Evan Well-Known Member

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    Excuse me?[video]Linkin Park - Rock am Ring 2007 - Breaking the Ha…: http://youtu.be/8aWId8Xs1EA[/video]
    [video]Linkin Park - Numb / Breaking The Habit (Live @ S…: http://youtu.be/a97lMVM1jug[/video](skip to BTH)
    [video]13. Linkin Park - Breaking The Habit (Live @ Aren…: http://youtu.be/xrQbtMx8dAU[/video]

    Chester's voice has changed substantially over the years. Hopefully you guys can see what I'm talking about.
     
  18. #18
    Lotus

    Lotus LPA VIP LPA VIP

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    I think his singing is MUCH better than back in the day. Like others have said his range has gotten wider and he still surprises me every now and then with his vocal abilities. I mean, I really didn´t expect him to be able to do such a great Adele cover for example. His screaming used to be better (esp. on Faint) but he can still pull of some pretty intense screams (see LPTV Apaches / Battle Axe ). But honestly, his screaming matters less to me than his singing. I'd rather have his singing sound great and his screaming a little less, than his singing sounding mediocre and his screaming sounding great.

    Chester is still one of my favorite vocalists. I just love the mans versatility :)

    Btw, if you want to hear some of Chester´s best performances you should watch some of the Camp Freddy shows he´s done the last few years.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
  19. #19
    deadbysunrise

    deadbysunrise Well-Known Member

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    I love Chester's voice and he's one of my all-time favorite vocalists for sure. With that said, I'm sorry I have to say this, but he totally fucked up his voice. There were years when he was a beast live (I'd probably go with 2004-2007 as my favorites), but since then he has been one of the most on-and-off singers I've seen. His 'on-times' sounded just as good as his best years, yeah. But his off performances have become more and more frequent to the point where almost every live performance today doesn't remotely sound to his best years. It's not only the power in his voice that he lost - he goes out of key so often that I've almost grown not to notice it.

    And saying that his clean singing compensates for his lack of energy is wrong on so many levels. Listen to Gray Daze's discography - I doubt he can sing half of that shit anymore. Which is completely natural, don't get me wrong - he was 18 back then. But it's wrong to say that his clean singing is better than it has ever been.

    It's kind of sad, but I'm fine as long as he sounds good in the studio. I really enjoy the vocals in GATS - yeah, his voice may sound strained, but I think it only adds to the song. I also like UIG's final scream, even though it actually consists of two screams. I just hope things like the vocals in GATS and the scream in UIG are done on purpose, not because they've already lost the ability to fix his voice in the studio. If that's the case, things are definitely not very promising for the band's future and even Chester himself acknowledges it in the interview Astat mentioned.
     
  20. #20
    Snail

    Snail LPA Super Member LPA Super Member

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    His aggressive approach has definitely wavered. It is indeed a shame, but I'd say it was expected since Hybrid Theory.

    In any case, this is definitely one of his finest moments captured on video:

    (scroll to 4:45)

    [youtube]O_Et0L_4vJU[/youtube]
     

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