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Chris and music
Chris's taste in music is eclectic, confusing, and awe-inspiring. His favorite acts range from generic 2000s teen pop, to '70s hard rock. Pretty much everything Chris says he's a fan of comes from Guitar Hero, Rock Band, his parents' record collection, or stuff he's heard from television and film--and even then, Chris can't remember lyrics, melodies, or even the instruments used in his favorite songs.
Chris has often remarked that he likes "All popular music." While it's possible that he's just giving that answer to appear cool and easygoing, he really does seem to try to listen to whatever popular opinion tells him is good. Almost every song on either of his 3 horrible albums was a top 40 hit in America or another country, or otherwise a deep cut on a successful album. Additionally, in the past, Chris left his radio on during a few of his Mumble chats, for the whole conversation. This meant that he both enjoyed the background music and was totally inconsiderate to the other people in the chat.
Chris's favorite radio station is Z95.1 WQMZ from Charlottesville, which plays nothing but inoffensive popular songs you're likely to hear in the dentist's office. The station bills its offerings as "today's hits and yesterday's favorites, music for women." Chris listens to the John Tesh radio show on 95.1, and once won a set of tickets to a sporting event through a call-in contest.
The only specific artist Chris seems to truly idolize is Britney Spears. There is virtually no doubt that this is more because of her beauty than her music. In his date with Emily, he claims to like Louis Armstrong in an effort to look like a sophisticated jazz listener.
If his Rhapsody account (seen below) is any indication, almost everything Chris listens to has been in a Guitar Hero, Rock Band, or Sonic game. This adds yet more weight to the theory that Chris is spoon-fed pop culture from rhythm games and Family Guy.
Also, keeping with the theme of liking things that most kids are unaware of or would not enjoy, Chris has twice referenced Billy Joel's upbeat 1985 track "You're Only Human (Second Wind)", a dated but memorable reggae-pop song written specifically to stop teenagers from killing themselves. To date, Chris has referenced the song in a YouTube video where he says that relieving yourself from stress isn't a big deal, and again when asked by a fan whether he'd ever had thoughts of suicide. Chris replied, with no utterly elaboration at all, that he had "a lot to live for" and told said fan to go listen to the song.
Chris has also expressed a fondness for Insane Clown Posse, releasing two videos in which he paints his face and talks about being a Juggalo. Since fans of ICP are usually idiotic, out-of-shape, white-trash dumbasses who believe themselves to be outcasts of society, it is easy to understand why becoming a Juggalo would appeal to Chris.
On 2 February 2015, Chris revealed that he drew the artwork to the album Negative by L'eclipse Nue. L'eclipse Nue is an obscure harsh noise act, whose music largely consists of ear-piercing screeches and low rumbling sounds--quite inaccessible for our Britney Spears-loving hero. Given his more recent activities, one could assume that Chris has taken to a rebellious lifestyle that includes subjecting himself to a hugely divisive form of music that most people would consider audio torture. However, the far more likely explanation is that Chris was contacted by the artist, who wanted to
piggyback off Chris's online infamy give Chris a chance to shine during this low point in his life. Chris gave a brief review of the album, claiming that it reminded him of "Pinkie Pie playing a theramin [sic]", and stating that he could "sense the emotions and depressions expressed behind the music". Chris has almost certainly not listened to the album.
The cover booklet in the special-edition physical release of the album reveals that the entire album was focused around the cruddy picture Chris had drawn for them, along with a description of the piece.
| "I have seen into the torment of the deceased woman;
she may have had a life's career if posing nude for art, as well as offering herself to the numerous artists. Take from that what you will. And now she haunts the number of artists and photographers who did really wrong her in her life."
Dan states in the booklet that;
| "The sounds herein were created in order to illustrate that story.
This album is a soundtrack to Christian's art."
Therein this whole album, and every sound in it, is inspired entirely by Chris's art.
YouTube background music
Towards the fall of 2009, Chris began to include popular songs as background music in a number of his YouTube videos. Some videos, such as SHE IS MINE NOW, featured Aerosmith in the background, possibly in a sad attempt to appear intimidating and hardcore. For videos showing off his athletic prowess, Chris favored "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor. In light of Chris's virulent hatred of homos, this is a somewhat ironic choice, given the extraordinarily homoerotic overtones of both the training sequences in Rocky III and Survivor's own music video for the song. For videos intended to express his heartfelt love for Kacey, Chris employed REO Speedwagon's power ballad "Can't Fight This Feeling". The third time he announced his leaving from the internet, he chose, of all songs, Colbie Caillat's "Fallin' for You" as background music--although this most likely was just him leaving the radio on in the background.
In more recent videos, Chris has taken to playing sappy 1950s orchestral music in the background, stuff you'd likely hear on Sirius XM's Spa channel. This appears to be an attempt to garner sympathy given his recent difficulties in life, or it could just be yet another acquired taste from his parents.
—Chris, being sadly mistaken.
It is impossible to overstate how much of a terrible singer Chris is. It is similarly impossible to overstate how deluded Chris is about his ability to sing. He's so deluded, in fact, when trying to confront Liquid via artistic competition, he lost a challenge that he nominated himself.
Despite claiming to have a "deep bass voice", Chris's voice is unusually high-pitched, and often louder than appropriate. He also tends to speak in an odd, emotionless monotone. These issues with his voice become even more obvious when he tries to sing. In both his Christian and the Hedgehog Boys albums, as well as the only album from Robee Sonee and the Tomgirls, he doesn't actually "sing" so much as desperately yell over the track in an attempt to drown out the actual words of the song (as he never bothers to look up karaoke/instrumental-only versions of anything he sings). This is painfully obvious when he attempts to sing "Sonichu Zip", a song that uses the Japanese theme song to the anime Sonic X, "Sonic Drive". The fast tempo and lyrics of "Sonic Drive" result in Chris rapidly dissolving into screaming gibberish. When he does try to actually vary his voice away from the standard monotone, it becomes very obvious that Chris is almost completely tone-deaf; his voice fluctuates in pitch with little to no regard to the background music, or even the original artist he's shouting over. Occasionally he's barely managed to carry a tune, though. If Chris could sing at all, his voice type would be at best a spieltenor (used for comical roles) pushing towards countertenor, a pitch range octaves above the bass range he claims to have, and a tessitura (note range) too high for many women.
Chris also has a lot of trouble with tempo and entries. While the songs he's written usually manage to match the originals in terms of lyrical rhythms, Chris often pushes ahead or pulls back from the tempo of the song. This is sometimes done deliberately by singers and is called rubato, but in Chris's case it is generally the result of messing up lyrics or having too many or few words for the rhythm (usually the former), and Chris's tenuous sense of pulse means that once he gets thrown offbeat he struggles (usually in vain) to recover. This could probably be avoided if he took the time to practice or revise, but since this entails work it is flatly out of the question. Also owing to this nonexistent practice ethic is Chris being completely terrible at remembering the actual words to the song he's singing. The only part he tends to know is the chorus of the song, likely because the repetition makes it the only part of the song he pays attention to. Between choruses, however, he often forgets the words and improvises lyrics, which invariably consist of mumbled incoherent nonsense.
A capella is a musical technique which entails using nothing but the human voice (and sometimes the body) to produce music. In the Official Videobooks, Chris will occasionally break out into a capella renditions of what one can only assume is supposed to be Sonichu's theme music. These bizarre freestyle musical interludes drive home exactly how childish Chris is. There's something uniquely terrifying about a man in his mid-30s (who looks like he's 45) showing us his Sonic/Pokémon crossover and shouting "dun dun dun." Chris also occasionally does this in his normal videos. He also performed a poor rendition of "The Final Countdown" by Europe while showing us that he can still pick up a chair, and an equally-as-awful version of Q Lazzarus's "Goodbye Horses" while pretending to dig up his dead dog and wear it as a coat. And let's not forget "Lovin' You", where he attempts to do a capella, but thanks to a sheer lack of practice, simply ends up massacring a Minnie Riperton classic by singing it completely out of tune (and tempo).
Despite his frequent use of a capella, Chris clearly doesn't understand the full meaning of the word. During the PaRappa the Rapper Contest, a frequent source of rage from Chris was the "music" in the background of Adam Stackhouse's video, which Chris vehemently claimed was a violation of the rules regarding backing tracks. However, since the music was simple beatboxing, it would be considered a capella by most.
With the popularity of artists like Eminem, Macklemore and Jedi Mind Tricks, plus the odd continued existence of nerdcore, white guys rapping on YouTube is not unheard of. Some of these individuals demonstrate impressive talent in their ability to flow on a beat. Chris is not among them.
Of course, his most notable foray into rap is his entry for the PaRappa contest. While his motivations and the drama it caused are covered extensively in that article, the video itself is characterized by a complete lack of rhythm or flow. The result can best be described as sounding like a drunk Muppet being startled every 30 seconds; Chris slurring his words together constantly and periodically yelling lyrics for no reason.
Before he starts the song in earnest, Chris does a little bit of freestyling in the beginning. Needless to say, it's not promising:
—Chris, almost rhyming.
This, however, was nothing compared to a later foray into the genre. Playing Aerosmith in the background instead of a breakbeat, Chris basically just shouts a lot of random short sentences with no regard as to how they flow, or if they even rhyme at all.
In December 2009, Chris would rap once again to Insane Clown Posse's side-project Dark Lotus. As usual, he made no attempt to learn the lyrics and appears to be reading them off a piece of paper to unconvincing effect. During a portion of the video he simply mumbles to himself, rocking back and forth and fondling his ample breasts not once, but twice. He also refers to himself as a Juffalo, a term apparently used by Insane Clown Posse aficionados to describe the noncommittal poseurs who aren't good enough to fully appreciate the world of clown-related glam rap.
Two days prior to this he made another awful freestyle rap. The point of this is unclear, although he apparently visited a doctor, who suggested that he take over-the-counter vitamins. He likens the effects of these vitamins to Viagra, and then compares himself to a tiger raping a panther to produce tiger-panther cubs.
—Blanca, acting as a proxy for Chris to espouse his flawed beliefs on music
Chris seems to have a very tenuous grasp on what constitutes a musical instrument. Notably, in several videos, Chris tends to treat his Guitar Hero controller like it's a real instrument. This seems outright foolish, even for Chris, until you consider his mindset. All of Chris's "creations" are copies of other things, yet are still somehow completely original. So by "playing" someone else's song on Guitar Hero, his autistic mindset dictates that he is actually playing the song, no matter if the song is a cover of the original, which necessitates a legitimate instrument on which to play it.
As further proof of his madness, Chris equated Liquid's actual musical skill to him playing Guitar Hero, to such a degree that he felt it necessary to outlaw both in the SingStar Challenge.
—Chris, inspiring the hatred of people who like music everywhere
It is also telling that not only does Chris lack any sense of pitch in singing, but with melodies in general. This is evidenced in the Wedding Anniversary Special, where he claims to be playing the original theme to Sonic the Hedgehog, but ends up with some wildly unrecognizable tune that only vaguely resembles the Sonic theme rhythmically. This proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Chris is actually tone-deaf, instead of simply lacking in vocal skills. This may be a symptom of autism, as subtleties in tone and intonation indicating emotional and social cues are beyond his grasp, which in turn would affect recognition of pitch changes in music.
Chris's idea of accompaniment is putting the original song playing on the background using his PS3 and the near-$1,000 Sony LCD HDTV, and the most expensive speakers his tugboat could tug in, while he sings with his unique voice. The singing, of course, is dutifully recorded with the long-suffering PSEye camera. The implications are staggering:
- There's always a huge quality loss when music is played on speaker and then re-recorded from a distance, because the acoustics of the room distort the sound and the air itself blocks low and high frequencies, leaving you with only a distorted fraction of the original sound. Chris, of course, believes that everything he does is perfect on the first try and never has to be redone, just like his art.
- The original lyrics are still on the song. At least on one occasion, Chris even screwed up harder than this, and got a cover of "Never Gonna Give You Up" from Family Guy, clobbered by dialogue and other sounds. While lyrics often can't always be removed from a mixed song entirely, it's at least worth a shot trying lyrics removal software. Or, it might pay to look for an instrumental version/cover.
- When you have one go and one microphone to record everything, there's no way to correct the errors if you flub anything. The result is obviously perfect...d'oh, who are we kidding?
Chris is, of course, unaware of the incredible leaps and bounds that music recording has advanced in recent years, and hasn't noticed that there are plenty of good multitrack sound editors available for free, many of which come with lyrics removal plugins.
Chris also demands this sort of weird screwy setup from others; one might assume, for example, that the Brown-Striped One, with actual musical talent, would have more technical know-how on how to record music properly, but the SingStar Challenge was done on Chris's strange terms.
- A list of Chris's MyCokeRewards Rhapsody purchases (Note that those within "indexGREGGbought.html" were, obviously, purchased by trolls who had hijacked the account.)
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