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Topi Lehtipuu vs. James Labrie

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Poll Question: Fave... Obviously only vote if you know both reasonably well..
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10 [38.46%]
9 [34.62%]
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Logan View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Topi Lehtipuu vs. James Labrie
    Posted: May 23 2010 at 21:51
Two "opera-trained" singers, which singer do you prefer (not asking which is better, only preference)?

Labrie is best known at PA for his work in Dream Theater, whereas Topi Lehtippu is best know for his work with Hoyry-Kone (vocals and violin).  Unlike Labrie, Lehtippu followed a far more operatic route and has become a very successful figure in the opera world (and classical music world more generally)

Here is Lehtipuu's bio from http://www.topilehtipuu.com/2bio/bio.html

Appointed artistic director of the Turku Music Festival from 2010 to 2013, Topi Lehtipuu has gained international reputation as one of Finlands highly individual artists. In his concerts and stage performances of Mozart as well as contemporary and early music, he enjoys the intensity of working relationships with stage directors and conductors alike, such as Ivor Bolton, Emanuelle Haïm, René Jacobs, Paul McCreesh, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Riccardo Muti, Christophe Rousset, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen or Jean-Christophe Spinosi. Christopher Alden, Claus Guth, Dominique Hervieu, Nicholas Hytner, Yannis Kokkos, Christof Loy, José Montalvo, Laurent Pelly and Peter Sellars have been among his directors. A frequent guest in Berlin, Brussels, Glyndebourne, Helsinki, London, Paris, Salzburg, and Vienna, he has appeared in concert halls and opera houses all over Europe, as well as in Japan and the USA. Nowadays he spends an increasing amount of time with recordings.

Topi Lehtipuu was born in Australia from Finnish parents and grew up in Tampere, Finland. As a full time student  of the Sibelius Academy he perfectioned his musical education in piano, violin, choir conducting, and singing. At the same time he dedicated himself to an unusual range of artistic acitivities:
From 1993 to 1998, he was the vocalist and violinist in a Finnish progressive rock band called Höyry-kone ("steam engine"). Inspired by such models as young Genesis or King Crimson, with a large aesthetic scale ranging from gregorian chant to heavy metal, this band sang in Finnish, did two recordings and toured Europe. In addition with some theatre acting experiences, he trained his vocal expression in several years of dubbing, first singing in the Finnish versions of cartoon films and later acting and finally producing. He acted several roles and supervised the singing e.g. for Disney's Hercules and DreamWorks' Prince of Egypt. In plus, he worked as a full-time arranger and leader of the TV house band in a Finnish TV1 talk show.

Having had a permanent job as a choir tenor in the Finnish Radio Chamber Choir, young Lehtipuu finally made his opera stage debuts at the Vantaa Opera (Albert Herring), at the Savonlinna Opera Festival and at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées (Tamino). He subsequently took up residence in Paris.

Since 2004, Topi Lehtipuu has been artistic director of  the Joroinen Music Days - a festival of chamber music, covering most of the musical genres. Besides his widespread musical activities and a fulfilling family life, he spends his free time with theatre,  photographing, and tennis. 


..................................................

And LaBrie's bio from http://www.jameslabrie.com/bio.html

Kevin James Labrie was born on May 5, 1963 in Penetanguishene, a town in Ontario, Canada. James' parents say that when he was three years old, he would walk around the house singing whatever songs were on the radio. Although he didn't get the words right, he could sing the melodies. Inspired by his father, James started singing and playing drums at age 5: "My parents say I was tapping on everything so if they didn't get me a drum set, I'd ruin the house!" When he was six years old, he was very intent on replicating different vocal styles and techniques. It was obvious that his voice was very mature for a six year old. When James was in elementary school, his teacher put him in singing class to further his training. Meanwhile, his father, uncle, and brothers were in a barber shop quartet, which James was made a part of.

Yet James' real love was rock music which he pursued by his early teens. By fourteen, James was singing and playing drums in several bands. However, James knew that drums were secondary to his true passion, singing. At eighteen, James moved to Toronto, Canada.

At age 21, he began vocal training with the renowned vocal coach Rosemary Patricia Burns. After working with several Canadian bands, James became the vocalist for Winter Rose, which almost signed with Atlantic Records. Then Pierre Paradis, who managed the band Voi Vod, approached James regarding a solo project with Aquarius Records. He also told James about a New York based band called Dream Theater who were looking for a vocalist. The rest, as they say, is history.

James' musical tastes are quite varied as he names Metallica, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Journey and Judas Priest as well as classical composers Mozart, Vivaldi and Beethoven as favorites. Influential vocalists include Steve Perry (formerly of Journey), Freddie Mercury, Sting, Paul Rodgers and Nat King Cole. James continues to practice with Ms. Burns and encourages other vocalists to pursue formal training.

Throughout his musical career, James has become one of the most well-respected and admired vocalists in progressive rock. As the voice of Dream Theater and guest performer on numerous side projects, James has helped to define the sound of progressive music for the next millenium. His incredible range and distinctive, intense vocal performances have earned him accolades from fans and critics alike.

In addition to Dream Theater's numerous studio and live releases (Images & Words, Live at the Marquee, Awake, A Change of Seasons, Falling Into Infinity, Once in a LIVEtime, Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory, Live Scenes From New York, Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, Train of Thought, Live At Budokan, and Octavarium), James has also appeared on releases by Fates Warning and Shadow Gallery, Trent Gardner's Explorer's Club and Leonardo the Absolute Man, the first Frameshift album (Unweaving the Rainbow), Ayreon's The Human Equation, as well as tribute albums to Rush, Emerson Lake & Palmer, and Queen. In 1999, James completed and released the first MullMuzzler cd, Keep it to Yourself to much critical acclaim. The followup, James LaBrie's MullMuzzler 2, was released on September 11th, 2001. In 2005, James dropped the MullMuzzler moniker and released Elements of Persuasion, the third and arguably greatest of his solo efforts. A fourth solo album is already in the works so stay tuned.

When not on the road, James enjoys camping, downhill skiing and reading. His favorite authors include Anne Rice, Dee Brown, Robert Utley and Forest Carter. James currently lives in Toronto, Canada with his wife Karen, daughter Chloe, and son Chance Abraham.

--------------------------------------------------------

Some prog music from both:




Note, I prepared this before the other Labrie poll and before the other poll that inspired that one, but hadn't posted it (had noticed a remark about Labrie being compared to Wilson in a thread and it was noted that Labrie was opera-trained, and Lehtipuu is my favourite opera trained male vocalist in Prog -- actually, he's my favourite to have performed in Prog.  I did a poll before that compared them but in a different context (something about who would be better as lead singer of Rush or Metallica or something).  A silly poll, but having gone to a  fair amount of trouble....

  Don't vote unless you know them both or have at least listened to the tracks in this poll (and please leave a comment as I'm more interested to hear people's thoughts than see their votes).  If somebody thinks of better tracks at youtube, feel free to post them. And please post impressions of both artists, thanks.


I prefer Topi Lehtipuu -- nobody beats him for me, but would pay good money to see both of these vocalists perform together on stage (in an opera, rock opera, metal opera or anything).  I've come to appreciate DT, and Labrie's vocal stylings more. Please post what you think of as the best performances of either.


EDIT: Just a little thought:  I wonder how it would have been if Labrie had become an opera singer and had Lehtipuu decided to pursue a career in prog metal, or how DT would have sounded with Lehtippu as lead singer and Hoyry-Kone with Labrie as vocalist?  A DT/HK tour would have been interesting.



Edited by Logan - May 23 2010 at 22:20
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Post Options Post Options   Quote SaltyJon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 23 2010 at 21:53
Ever since I first heard Beata Viscera and the sample of HK here, I've loved Lehtipuu's vocals.  I've never really been able to enjoy LaBrie's vocals very much, they're not bad but they're not exactly a style I enjoy.  
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Pekka Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 23 2010 at 22:21
I like LaBrie quite a lot, but still gotta show some love for Lehtipuu. Huono parturi is one of my favourite prog albums, big thanks to him.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Triceratopsoil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 23 2010 at 22:36
Dream Theater would have been so much better if they had been Liquid Tension Experiment
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Post Options Post Options   Quote fuxi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2010 at 04:45
I've seen Lehtipuu on stage with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants, taking the lead role in Rameau's flamboyant opera-ballet LES PALADINS a few years ago. (The entire show is available on a very generous DVD, and it's magnificent.) He has a ravishing voice (he didn't use a mic, of course!) and the good thing about him is that he can sing virtuoso arias AND dance at the same time. (Beat that, Michael Jackson!) I'd vaguely heard he was in a rock band but I had no idea what kind of music; will need to investigate now!!!

As for James Labrie, well, I'm afraid Dream Theater have never convinced me.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Falx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2010 at 05:00
Höyry-kone were an amazing band, if you like the instrumental bits you should check out Alamaailman Vasarat as well.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Kashmir75 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2010 at 05:16
Labrie.
Hello, mirror. So glad to see you, my friend. It's been a while...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 19 2010 at 18:12
Sorry bumping an old poll of mine, but I'm surprised since I talked about opera that no one mentioned TSR.

True Symphonic Rockestra is an opera-oriented project founded by Dirk Ulrich featuring Dream Theater vocalist James LaBrie accompanied by opera tenors Vladimir Grishko and Thomas Dewald.

The idea, dating back to 2000, was to get three world class singers to perform rock versions of the "best of" repertoire of the original Three Tenors combining the operatic elements with metal elements. Finally, in 2006, this idea became a reality, as the recording for the first TSR album was completed in July.

Their first album, Concerto in True Minor, was released on March 28, 2008 on a new label, a cooperation between Brainrox Records (Germany) & Marisound Records (Russia), with Sony BMG taking care of the distribution in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It contains 21 songs.

See if you can tell who is Labrie:



There are more at youtube.

Here's some Topi Lehtipuu:







Edited by Logan - August 19 2010 at 18:15
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Icarium Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 19 2010 at 18:27
I like Dream Theater but if I could change something it would be the vocal department, I live some LaBrie parts, but he is (almost) tone deff and don't know to restrain himself, he is somehow similar to Bobby Kimball in  vocals Soulfull but lacks a nice soundig voice, but hes vocals on Metropolis Prt I is awesome and Take the Time

Edited by aginor - August 19 2010 at 18:27
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2010 at 14:37
I find Labrie, pardon the pun, very cheesy quite often. I find that True Symphonic Rockestra project very cheesy, but fun (I don't think it was meant to be taken seriously).  I love the touch of the vocal reverb for Labrie's vocals in the album.  I think they could call it Hair Opera.  He does have pitch problems, is off-key, in various live performances I've seen of his -- the best way to judge is by live performances. He can hit the high notes.

He's not terribly consistent.



Even the mightiest must fall sometimes



He's not bad, but I do think Lehtipuu has much better vocals. It would have been neat if Lehtipuu had appeared in True Symphonic Rockestra, not that I would expect it, nor that he would want to (as he takes opera very seriously and I expect that he'd look at it as pastiche (which I guess it is), but then he had lots of fun singing with Hoyry-Kone, and there's a sense of humour there -- fun with operatic vocals, so I may well be wrong).


Edited by Logan - August 20 2010 at 14:40
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JonteJH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2010 at 17:55
James Labrie! 


http://www.lastfm.se/user/JonteJH
http://soundcloud.com/jontejh
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 11 2011 at 16:37
I just thought of this topic due to a  comment in the Finnish Prog band singers, and thought I'd bump it.  A year after posting this, it's still a very tight race.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Prog Geo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 11 2011 at 16:41
Labrie!
Mikael Akerfeldt for fans of Opeth who don't like his growls (and generally the growls): If they don't like it then they are pussies.

Extreme prog metal rules!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Horizons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 11 2011 at 16:56
Neither.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote OT Räihälä Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 13 2011 at 18:14
Labrie is ok but nothing special, whereas Topi is one of the really outstanding singers in prog.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote digdug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 16 2011 at 12:10
both are annoying to me
Prog On!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote wilmon91 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 16 2011 at 18:24
Lehtipuu! (what a strange and fun poll!)
 
When I first heard Dream Theater in the 90's, I thought the vocals was annoying and too energetic and high pitched. Then I started liking the music more and got used to the vocals. But my appreciation for their music waned with time, and I still feel that Labrie's vocals is not to my taste. It's like the power metal way of singing (Rising Force comes to mind) which in the long run becomes a little tiring.
 
I have to add though that I havent heard much of their material from their recent 10 years.
 
What I like about Lehtipu is that his singing, like the music, is playful and very dynamic, from whispering to powerful operatic singing. I have to say I'm not a fan of the finnish language though, but it's still cooler to sing the original language rather than english.


Edited by wilmon91 - May 16 2011 at 18:26
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jake Kobrin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 16 2011 at 19:41
 Lehtipuu isn't bad, and anything is better than LaBrie. 
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