Madonna

Have you heard her first album? She was literally described as “Minnie Mouse on helium” when she first started out.

But her voice became bigger from True Blue, so there's really no point saying she had a "baby voice" since day one because from 1986 to 2003 she had a bigger voice (and basically different on each album). Of course there are songs on American Life where she used a "baby voice" for a purpose. Confessions was basically baby voice for each track (aside from Like It Or Not).
 
I think her voice might have been slightly manipulated in the first couple of albums. Regardless, she definitely had more range through the mid-80s until the late 90s when she started singing in a really high register again, possibly to evoke nostalgia and possibly because her voice started getting thinner?
 
I think her voice might have been slightly manipulated in the first couple of albums. Regardless, she definitely had more range through the mid-80s until the late 90s when she started singing in a really high register again, possibly to evoke nostalgia and possibly because her voice started getting thinner?

She had voice lessons before True Blue and for I’m Breathless. Then for Evita, and that was her biggest change since her “raw” voice from the the early ‘90s went away for good.
 
I think her voice might have been slightly manipulated in the first couple of albums. Regardless, she definitely had more range through the mid-80s until the late 90s when she started singing in a really high register again, possibly to evoke nostalgia and possibly because her voice started getting thinner?

Listening to Nothing Fails and Hung Up in succession is a little jarring.

I always wondered if the shift in her singing style on her albums was an attempt to take her age out of the casual listening experience. To become something “ageless” in order to extend her commercial viability.
 
Yes, her voice is the 90s was same voice she had in 1983. NOT.
I was kidding. It’s stupid to discuss Madonna‘s „baby voice“ anyway. What exactly is a baby voice?
She has always experimented with her vocals. The vocals in the chorus of Beautiful Stranger for instance are totally different to her post Evita vocals she used during the Ray Of Light era.
The versatility of her voice and the production choices of her (sometimes good, sometimes bad) pitched vocals have been part of her entire career.
Next!
 
Listening to Nothing Fails and Hung Up in succession is a little jarring.

I always wondered if the shift in her singing style on her albums was an attempt to take her age out of the casual listening experience. To become something “ageless” in order to extend her commercial viability.

I just think the "thin" voice she used on most of Confessions was just what was working with that style of music, but after her voice hardly went back to the pre-Confessions days. At the same time, on a song like Looking For Maercy she has her full "Evita voice" back on the bridge. In the end, I think it's just a style choice and nothing more than that. In a way biggest vocalist like Mariah and Celine lost more voice than Madonna did for obvious reasons.
 
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he/him
Her vocals on Confessions were heavily treated, pitched, smoothed, vocodered – probably more than any album before or after, so I don’t really consider those vocals to be the Madonna “baby” voice. Best way I can describe them is they are the voice of her hologram, which is kind of cool and eerie to think about when you remember one actually exists on a harddrive somewhere

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The real baby voice came out during Hard Candy, when (according to Madonna) Pharrell essentially trained her to sing in a higher key for the songs they were making. It wasn’t done in an attempt to make her sound younger, but actually meant to be a tribute to The Bee Gees. It did stick, however, through MDNA. I feel like she’s started using her natural voice more again with Rebel Heart and Madame X, which is probably why she sounded so good on those tours.
 
Yeah the way M’s voice is layered and pushed and pulled across Confessions makes it as much of an instrument as the rest of the production on any given song - it feels like it’s part of the soundscape. It’s fantastic, but it’s also very Stuart Price, and not particularly natural.

His best work might be the vocal audio on the Confessions Tour DVD/CD though.
 
Her singing on the last two albums has sounded as though it's coming from a more natural place. But I can't help but notice this like... glaze poured on top of her voice, coating it and blurring it. It's not exactly auto-tune, but it seems like it's there to dull the edges. Does anyone else hear this? Joan of Arc is a great example.
 
I make mixes for drag queens, and I was asked to come up with something for a virtual show next week. And thanks to my newfound obsession for Confessions, I easily slotted Like It Or Not in there.
 
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he/him
I have to admit that at times I do miss hearing the warmth and texture in her voice that’s so present on Music and especially American Life. The way her vocals on the latter album are very intentionally so prominent in the mix and treated as an integral instrument in their own right, providing the beating heart of an otherwise very bristling and electronic record, still fascinates me.
 
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