So why is it that their singing can grate on my nerves at times?
It has a lot to do with "oversinging," or melisma, or a term that I've used myself that I didn't know anyone else used until I found a reference to it on Wikipedia -- "vocal gymnastics."
I have nothing against vocalists showing they have the ability to hit a wide variety of notes. But do they have to hit so many of them on one word? After all, can't it be just as powerful -- if not more so -- to hit a handful of notes at the most with emotion, the right use of vibrato, those kinds of little "touches."
Or are we resigned to this "vocal gymnastics" style continuing to assault us with reckless abandon, "American Idol" style?
For an example of this craze, I give you how the notes might look when a classic song is performed by the likes of Mariah and Christina at a sporting event.