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An explanation for Britney's lip-syncing


Someone Who Knows

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Britney has always lip-synced -- let's face it. The overwhelming majority of her truly live performances are from her teen pop years.

But let's not forget that they gave ITZney-actually-singing a trial run. 

This is probably the most stripped-down live performance post-teen-pop Britney is ever going to give, and it highlights all of the strengths and weaknesses of her singing live:

 

She undeniably can carry a tune reliably. She's clearly nervous here, but even at her most nervous, she hits all her notes correctly, often with pretty inflections and runs, there is no moment at which she irredeemably ***** up, hits an off-pitch note, etc, but here is the thing: while there are good moments, this performance is uncomfortable, her voice is clearly strained, and it simply does not work as a whole. It's obvious that it feels unnatural for her to sing an entire song before a live audience using this style of singing. The voice she uses on her records is first and foremost a studio voice. It requires an enormous degree of relaxation and comfort to use consistently and pleasantly, simply because of the amount of breath control it requires. It is just not a good bet for Britney to attempt it live, and this performance shows why.

It's not a bad performance. But it's not what it should be -- it's one in which she seems out of her element. And she is. It's not intuitive for her -- for anyone, really -- to sing that way.

And the thing is: it's not that this tone 'isn't her real voice' -- used well, and cleaned up in the studio, it's a fantastic voice and adds a unique character to every song it touches. I think her studio voice is superior to her lower register-voice. And it is not even that she can't possibly sing well live in that voice -- again, this performance shows the positives as well as the negatives. It's that she can't do it reliably and consistently enough to make it through a single song, let alone an entire live act, especially when it requires such a high degree of comfort and relaxation to use effectively, as any singer can testify. So why bother? Her fans already know she can sing, the general public is going to be more attracted to a lip-synced show at the end of the day, and she gets to avoid all the unnecessary anxiety. 

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**For an example of a disastrous live performance that she wants to avoid, see 'Shadow' on the Onyx Hotel Showtime special

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Well I think if she can't sing in her studio voice live, then she should do covers of songs by other artists that suit her natural voice. It wouldn't hurt to throw a song or three just to show people that she can sing. I wish she would do something like that, I really want to hear her voice again. :) 

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You make some good points. Even though I love her voice in the video you posted I wouldn't want her to sing like that for an entire concert. It would stress her vocal chords too much. There's no reason why she couldn't sing one or two songs like this during a concert though—unless she just doesn't want to, which is something else entirely.

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The GP would not rather a fully lip synced show. In fact it's exactly that which has alienated Britney from so many people and why she isn't seen as a strong performer by much of the GP.

She sounds absolutely fine here, no worse than the Katy's or Rihanna's or the new pop girls today. A pop star doesn't have to be perfect anymore, they have to be real. And sitting on a stool miming along to a ballad is the least authentic thing in the world.

No one expects a pop star to sing every word, but sing along WITH the track, shout out parts, scream to the audience. The reason she is getting lukewarm reviews is because there is no connection between her and an audience.

So many of her songs are talk sung and would be so easy to sing along to. Hell, remix a track and do it in her deeper register or have an unplugged section to her show. Shout out 'WORK *****!' 'GET NASTY' etc. Even pre record things if she's that against singing live.

Fact is, her performances are not engaging or imaginative and I would rather see her sit down beside her guatarist and sing a stripped down version of Make Me or take the mic and really rock out to 'Do Somethin' than the underwhelming, stale routines she's shimmying through right now.

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I think her label should make a statement about her singing . I know that wouldnt happen but again people will be forever stuck with her lip syncing . At least we fans deserve an explanation. The sad thing is almost all of us got used to it 

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A lot of ppl sound pretty bad live but you know what they try and ppl still see them. If Britney could still dance I would understand but her performances are not good now not to sing.

She was the best vocally in her early years because she trained and used her voice. 

For four years she basically didn't sing before  ITZ that is why her vocals are weaker compared to Oops era. 

I'm  sick of the excuses at this point. Something has to give either in vocals her dancing 

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Agree with everything you said, except where you said the general public is more attracted to a lip-synced show. I think you're right to a point. The uptempo songs should mostly be lip-synced. The performances are just much better that way. But she needs to always have pre-recorded, new vocals like she had for the Femme Fatale Tour. Also, she needs to sing at least one slow song, or any song really, completely live during each future tour/residency she does. Doing those things would GREATLY improve her shows a ton!

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the general public is attracted to a nice voice for uptempo tracks, which often means lipsync or Ariana Grande goes off the script and makes her runs instead of singing front vocals that maybe true. But POM lipsync is so blatantly done and I don´t necessarily mean Britney not knowing when, how or sometimes what words to mime. 

You cannot lip to almost 20 year old studio vocals, nobody in their freaking mind would do that if they wanted to gain fans, or keep them. She is an artificial something on stage, sexualized more than ever with less clothes on than most of the performers these days. And she has become the thing that she always despised. A blonde girly puppet.

In POM there is no vision of her, no heart and no soul. It is a lifeless recreation of her biggest hits that even Britney doubles would have more fun to perform and give their all than the actual Britney has. 

Watch other shows Beyonce, Ariana, Bieber, Madonna even Rihanna sings live and quite good in the meantime. Sure they use prerecorded vocals and do not sing whole songs live, or maybe not even a word, but it is accurately done and therefore the vision they want us to have is persistent for their shows.

And yes call me non-fan but POM/non prerecordney is a mess and I get it she is happy and all but can´t she give us something in return for still streaming her music and knowing she is releasing stuff after all these years we have suffered with her? Maybe I am selfish and a coward to expect something in return than a little happy birthday every 5 or 6 years.

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5 hours ago, Hypnotherapy said:

The GP would not rather a fully lip synced show. In fact it's exactly that which has alienated Britney from so many people and why she isn't seen as a strong performer by much of the GP.

She sounds absolutely fine here, no worse than the Katy's or Rihanna's or the new pop girls today. A pop star doesn't have to be perfect anymore, they have to be real. And sitting on a stool miming along to a ballad is the least authentic thing in the world.

No one expects a pop star to sing every word, but sing along WITH the track, shout out parts, scream to the audience. The reason she is getting lukewarm reviews is because there is no connection between her and an audience.

So many of her songs are talk sung and would be so easy to sing along to. Hell, remix a track and do it in her deeper register or have an unplugged section to her show. Shout out 'WORK *****!' 'GET NASTY' etc. Even pre record things if she's that against singing live.

Fact is, her performances are not engaging or imaginative and I would rather see her sit down beside her guatarist and sing a stripped down version of Make Me or take the mic and really rock out to 'Do Somethin' than the underwhelming, stale routines she's shimmying through right now.

This. All she does for interaction is yell "how y'all feeling! I can't hear you! Let me hear you how you guys feeling!"

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I think it all has to do with her team being so cheap, or if you want to call her lazy too. The thing is, when the show first started they were still doing BJ, they had no time to go and record the over 20 songs again to have pre-recorded vocals. She also would've had to rehearse with the new vocals, and if she can't even remember the lyrics of her latest songs, I think it would've been even more disastrous to have what would be basically more than 20 new songs at once.

She could easily sing over the track in some parts, but I guess her mentality is that if she sings just some parts, it's gonna be even more noticeable the playback so it's like either she has to sing over the whole track, or not sing at all, so it sounds uniform, especially in songs so autotuned like Womanizer or 3. Or they could've cut out the parts where she was supposed to sing live, but again, it was so rushed, they didn't take the time to prepare none of that.

I don't think there is a particular reason why she lipsyncs, like, I don't think she explicitly demands the lipsyncing, but it's just something that happens without discussion. Maybe she is supposed to sing over the tracks as they've stated many times, but she just chooses not to. It's like Lillie from Pokémon anime who says she could technically  touch Pokémon, she just chooses not too, it's not like she's afraid of Pokémon or anything :giggleney:

Screenshot-268.png

Singing live would be Britney's version of touching Pokémon lol Ya'll may call her lazy, and maybe you're right. I think it has more to do with wanting to give a "perfect" show, as ironic as it sounds. I totally understand when the GP wouldn't be interested in watching a Britney show, but as a fan I don't mind the lipsync at all. When it comes to other artists, who show off their talent, at the end of the day it doesn't matter what song they sing, they're showing their talent and people would appreciate it. They can totally change the lyrics of their songs, or do a different arrangement, and it's ok. When it comes to Britney Spears specifically, her songs are the protagonists by themselves, and are perfect the way they are. Singing them live and not sounding like the record, would kinda take away from their magic. So I agree at least the ballads should be performed live, but I also get that feeling she may have of, if she's not gonna sound great the whole song, there's no point in destroying it.

I know ya'll say she's a singer, and that's what she should do. I just think her shows are a different kind of shows, not a vocal concert. I would be mad if she was lipsyncing on a talent show, like a live competition or something, when people IS supposed to show their true voice, but in her show, this is just the way she does it. britney_spears___yeah_definitely_by_poke

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