Saturday, May 18, 2002

"IT'S TIME TO RECLAIM THE ANTHEM FROM THE DIVAS," writes Tunku Varadarajan, referring to "The Star Spangled Banner." Greg Hlatky of A Dog's Life, who knows much more about music than I do, agrees: "Nothing irritates me more than having hearing some hideous arrangement, full of breathy inflections, sung by some pop diva instead of just having the music played for the crowd to sing." Equally irritating is the anthem's rendition by country pop singers -- the same "breathy inflections," only done in an affected, syrupy country accent (think Reba, i.e. "REE-buh").

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