Reason #73: Women Singing Songs by Female Artists
I’ve made this argument a number of times on this blog, but to review, I feel one of the biggest and most frequent missteps by all-female groups make is to not do battle on their own turf. Sure, an all-female group might cover Jason Mraz, Billy Joel, or Coldplay as well as their male counterparts given the right arrangement, soloist, and circumstances—particularly if they opt to reinvent the song in a meaningful way to make it their own. Just the same, its all the more difficult for all-male groups to touch them on Florence and the Machine, Adele, or Sarah McLachlan songs.
When all-female groups capitalize on uniquely feminine material, add their own flavor to it, and execute it to the best of their abilities, phenomenal things can happen. It’s the 2006 Syracuse University Mandarins singing “Hail Holy Queen” from Sister Act, The University of South Carolina Cocktails’ Lady Gaga medley at SingStrong 2012, or, perhaps the most iconic act of all, The Florida State University AcaBelles closing their 2012 set with Shakespeare’s Sisters’ “Stay” and Florence’s “Shake It Out.” Such acts have a capacity to intertwine all-female power moments with a real vulnerability that, generally speaking, only women in a cappella can really pull off. This isn’t to say there’s not a place for cross-gender song selections (the first half of the aforementioned AcaBelles set proves that nicely), but when female groups connect most organically with their source material, the results can be simply outstanding.
I love it!