09/23/2009 06:30 PM
Ann Powers is the music critic of the Los Angeles Times, and is the first major newspaper critic to write about Susan Boyle seriously.
However, I disagree strongly with her following quote:
"Boyle has something Americans have sought in popular music for more than a century, even as they also seek its opposite: the mask of sincerity."
Mask of sincerity? What on earth is that - is she saying that Boyle is faking sincerity?
If so I couldn't disagree more. It is her utter and total sincerity that has won Boyle the heart of millions.
If she was faking her original introduction to show business when she confessed she had never been kissed and looked like a deer in the headlight, then she fooled me.
If she made it through the most incredible prime time fast forward introduction to fame that any singer in history has ever experienced while faking it, then she fooled me again.
If the down-to-earth, no nonsense person we have seen since is not the real Susan Boyle, then double down on fooling me.
Susan Boyle is not faking sincerity - she personifies sincerity. She can no more change the real person within than the average person out there, which is such a part of her charm.
There has been no botox, toy-boy, night club-hopping, there has been no tabloid scandals other than invented ones. She has retained a dignity and sense of self that is incredible given the pressures on her.
Now I do agree with the following Powers quote:.
"We root for Boyle for reasons that have nothing to do with the way she sings. It is heartening to see a not-quite-50-year-old woman who'd never previously caught a break find success, even if at times she seems more traumatized than fulfilled by fame.
But to be surprised by her singing is, frankly, an unfair response. Boyle has trained hard to sing the way she does; she is as careful as a singer comes. We should stop being startled by her performances and respect her for the qualities she's cultivated: scrupulousness and dependability."
Now that is the Susan Boyle I recognize.