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Jennifer Hudson's America



If you missed this, you probably should put down whatever it is you're doing, and watch.

There's a lot going on here for me. I have to take note of the moment before Hudson opens her mouth.

I'm a big one for Moments Beofre things happen. I actually find those moments, the moment right before something occurs to be the most fascinating.

Her entire Shape changes. There's a huge exhale of breath and the look in her eyes as she begins the first note of the song is almost transformational. This isn't a planned moment, This is her, the little girl from Chicago, breathing in her life at that particular moment. And with all that's happened to her in the last year, I don't think any of us can even begin to comprehend what that means.

Then there's the song itself. The arrangement is gorgeous. It has a distinct flavor to it that is slowly becoming synonymous with Hudson and her voice. I love that she was brave enough to mess with this song. That's rare. And it's really rare when you can actually back it up.

And then there's that voice.

It's almost indescribable. It's huge, mammoth, it opens up and bellows outward toward the tips of the Universe. It's other-worldly. There are great singers in the world, and she's one of them. Her body also follows that. There's a moment when she's singing about the air, and her Shape and her Gesture upward simply happens. It isn't over done, it isn't false in any way, it isn't forced or rehearsed, it's done because it HAD to be done. She simply had no choice. The song was that powerful.

Anyone who doesn't believe in anything more powerful than themselves simply has to listen to Hudson. Her voice isn't from here. It just isn't.

And finally, I have to say something about these football players.

Football isn't a game I watch or enjoy. However, I know some men who play it and love it. I also know some women who play it and love it. But these men, these young, massive boys all padded up with helmets and cleats and things are humbled by the sound that's coming at them. You can see it in their eyes, and the way their own personal Tempo takes them over. Some of them bow their heads, some of them are compelled to put their hands over their hearts, and some of them simply sway...slowly...rhythmically...back and forth.

Before this war begins, this war millions of people gather to see every year, here comes this little girl from Chicago bringing the toughest guys on the planet to their knees.

The whole clip is gorgeous. I've watched it now almost a dozen times, and every time I see it, I see something new.

What a treasure Jennifer Hudson is. I don't want her to ever, ever stop singing.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Feb. 4th, 2009 10:35 am (UTC)
Treasure is right.
Oh Alex, the players, I'm so glad some else noticed their faces and the swaying.
This anthem, always stirs me in an emotional place. Jennifer Hudson sang it like I feel it. No one has ever done that for me before, not even Whitney. God bless her.

Jackie
bigsteviebear
Feb. 4th, 2009 02:12 pm (UTC)
A beautiful and magnificent rendition by the beautiful and magnificent Jennifer Hudson. After all she's been through and all we've been through as a country, to watch her proclaim in a real and personal way, "Our flag was still there . . . " yup, somehow it's still there. Thank you. xxx Stevie
(Anonymous)
Feb. 4th, 2009 04:45 pm (UTC)
Lip-Synched
Does it change any of your perception of the performance knowing that she was lip-synching?

http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1604041/20090202/hudson__jennifer.jhtml
aaronchgo
Feb. 4th, 2009 05:21 pm (UTC)
Re: Lip-Synched
Nope. Because vocal habits are vocal habits, meaning she looked the same way when (and if) she "pre-recorded" it.
abillings
Feb. 4th, 2009 08:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Lip-Synched
I actually did know that. Having watched the clip so many times there are a couple of breaths she takes live that aren't in the lip sychned version. I'm actually fine with that.

If you look very closely, the very first breath she takes in:

"Proud-ly"

is live, but not on the recorded version.

It's also one of the reasons she keeps the mike so close to her face.

But no....it didn't matter at all to me. Because if you look at her neck, you can see the veins popping out occasionally. She IS singing along with herself, unlike some pop stars who merely move their mouth.

I still maintain this is an extraordinary version of this song, and it still continues to move me.

I'm gonna watch it again. Like...right now.
(Anonymous)
Feb. 4th, 2009 08:56 pm (UTC)
....also....
...I just have to say one more thing, I think she would have been insane to sing that live after all she'd been through. I thought it was smart of her. Really smart.

Remember, she was offered this gig before her tragedy, and finally accepted it only months ago.
ext_134056
Feb. 5th, 2009 05:01 am (UTC)
I was in tears watching her sing this. I didn't notice until the very end that she was only slightly off with the vocal track.

Still, it's still her voice, and it took some serious guts to get out there. I have NEVER felt the power of the anthem during a game sung quite like it.
noextrai
Feb. 5th, 2009 11:27 pm (UTC)
i'm sorry. You do not spend close to $2500 on a pure remy, bleached knot, swiss lace front wig and put it in a FUCKING PONYTAIL.
that being said. sing, heifer, sing. damn.
the outfit doesn't work though. She looks like she kinda wanted to do a Revolutionary war re-enactment special for B.E.T.
ext_128056
Feb. 7th, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC)
impressive
I was also taken with her performance. The way she wobbled a bit on her heels, the breath, and then...bam. She nailed it. I wasn't even a fan of hers, but she impressed the heck outta me.

And you described it beautifully.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )