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Author Topic: Opinions On Jeff’s Falsetto?  (Read 3164 times)
rab2591
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« on: October 10, 2017, 04:57:57 AM »

http://petsoundsforum.com/thread/1876/start-day-smile?page=1&scrollTo=43197

Apparently opinions “mysteriously” changed about Jeff’s vocals when he left Brian’s band (I guess people actually liked his voice until he switched to Mike’s band?). To clear up any confusion, I gotta ask: did anyone ever like his falsetto?

I think I’ve always held the belief that I liked his voice when it was low in the mix, that includes to this day (live or studio) no matter what band he’s with. When his voice is mixed low in the song it’s actually listenable. As an example, here is the Rolling Stone anniversary acoustic version of Surfer Girl. And here is Barbara Ann live. That being said, I don’t think I’ve ever seen any consistently positive comments regarding his vocals...ever.

Btw, the rest of that thread is cancer, read at your own risk. Apparently RangeRover is a halfwit and maroon for expressing an opinion on this forum. To steal a line from Bob Corker, it’s like an adult daycare center over there.
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« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2017, 05:47:34 AM »

I always thought jeff sang better in his non falsetto voice. Plus that researcher only looks up odds these days....
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2017, 06:15:13 AM »

I don't know how much opinions "mysteriously changed" about Jeff's vocals after he left Brian's band. But I know for me personally, I can easily challenge anyone to go all the way back to 1999/2000 and the old Usenet archives where you'll find that I was calling for (more wishing for) Matt to sing the falsettos in Brian's band. I've always preferred Matt's voice to Jeff's.

I've often questioned a lot of the weird things involving Jeff exiting Brian's band and joining Mike. But what I can't deny is that musically Matt is preferable in every way.

I don't think anybody, apart from Al's 60s falsetto, has come super close to "sounding like Brian." But Matt is as close as it's ever gotten, and one of the things I vastly prefer in Matt's falsetto over Jeff's is something I've been pointing out for ages, which is that when Jeff reaches for a high note, he bends the note up into the high note, whereas Matt more often just sings the high note without bending.

I've also found Matt to be a more versatile singer, singing both "Brian parts" and "Mike parts" (more so in Al's band).

Some people complain about this guy or that guy sounding too nasal, and the fact is that all of them *have to* sound a little bit nasal, especially considering Matt's about 50 and Jeff is around 60 and they're trying to sing stuff Brian sang when he was like 22 years old.

I've always found Jeff's non-falsetto voice, his "regular" voice to be fine but nothing memorable. I've tried his "solo" stuff, and it has never done a lot for me.
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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2017, 06:34:10 AM »

I'm fine with Jeff's voice about 75% of the time. The worst he's ever sounded (the only time where I really couldn't listen) was here---
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_xSfwGc5Qw

Jeff's falsetto at the beginning is just so rough on the "I hear the sound" part. The rest of performance went fine--- UNTIL THE AUDIENCE CONTINUED CLAPPING AND IT WAS OFFBEAT AND F*CKED EVERYTHING UP! ... But that has nothing to do with Jeff...


Anyway, I usually don't mind Jeff's voice. I'd take him over Adrian Baker ANY DAY! Here's the worst clip I've ever heard of Baker--- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGt30M7yqlI&list=FLjLWTx2xziJVn8NZOaLBz5Q&index=1

Scott was doing the falsetto great, but Adrian was so nasal, it sounded like a Beach Boys parody.

I love Jeff's non-falsetto voice and in an ideal band, he'd be singing mid range parts with Matt on top with Brian's parts.
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« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2017, 06:45:22 AM »

Jeff is fine in a vocal stack, as long as he's *one* voice. Think of stuff like "Kokomo."

But as soon as you start adding two or three Jeff voices to the stack, his voice cuts through too much. That's how you end up with some of the TWGMTR songs that sound like "stack o' Fosketts" with additional guest stars.

Granted, anybody who is stacked multiple times is doing to be prevalent. But there's nothing soft about Jeff's voice; the timbre of his voice and nasality cuts through more than a typical harmony vocal.

I was never a big fan of Jeff's leads during the BB days. I've *always* been utterly perplexed why the one time Ringo Starr got on stage with the band, they left it to Jeff Foskett to sing "Back in the USSR." I dunno, maybe none of the other guys knew the words. But stuff like that, or years of Jeff singing "Little GTO", just kind of reeked of "tribute band" singer status, and indeed he ended up in "Papa Doo Run Run" after he left the BB touring band in 1990.
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« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2017, 06:56:55 AM »

I prefer Jeff's mid range vocals particularly those on his solo albums most notably cool and gone. I was never a big fan of his falsetto. Matt jardines is so much better. And in regards to TWGMTR way too much Fosket on that album where most of the Beach Boys seem like guest stars on their own work
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« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2017, 07:16:15 AM »

I did read that thread title but didn't click it, figured it's some random video with BBs music in the background. I usually read "Discuss BBs song" there. Yes, I like Adrian's falsetto better than Jeff's (who, btw, I still said is "good singer") - so what? To put some people's minds to rest, if we bring up the other falsetto singers, I'd rank them Matt, Randell Kirsch, Adrian, Jeff (who did I miss?). But the point was to compare Jeff & Adrian. I said who I prefer. Big deal. Some people at PS really bring down its reputation - apparently, they don't just "welcome any opinions". Tongue

Reading this board many years, I'll say that indeed Jeff's voice didn't exactly get much liking when he used to be in Brian's band.
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« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2017, 08:09:19 AM »

WAY better than Adrian Baker, not as good as Matt Jardine
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« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2017, 08:49:15 AM »

If people's opinions were more positive about Jeff when he was in Brian's band, perhaps it was because it was just nice to have a reliable singer to take Brian's parts, allowing Brian to relax and sing in his mid range. Or maybe Matt replacing Jeff was a revelation to a lot of people, who thought Jeff was pretty good...until they heard Matt. I think that was the case for me.

I remember taking my father and stepmother to see Brian when Jeff was still in the band. They were crazy for Jeff's voice. "Brian's voice isn't too great anymore, huh? But the one who sang falsetto...Wow! What a voice." And I found myself sort of... "Oh, really? I mean, he's OK. He's no Brian in his prime."

So, yeah. I guess my feeling is that he's good, but there are better falsetto singers out there. There's something about his voice that lacks... soul? Character? I can't quite pin it down.

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« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2017, 08:59:26 AM »

Matt has simply owned the stage every show I saw him with Brian, especially his solo spots. He was the perfect addition to the group. It goes beyond just hitting the notes, there is a component of the groove and the feel of the songs that Matt seems to do instinctively, which is not surprising since he grew up with the music. But he nails that vibe which many try and few can actually do. I still can't get over hearing I Get Around on the NPP tour and just being blown away by the blend, especially the Jardines...I did close my eyes and it sounded as close as I've heard a live band get to what was on record 50+ years ago. It was the blend and the feel above all.

I think unfortunately with some circles of fans, it's like a sports figure. If he's on your team, he's an ace. If he's on another team, he's the goat. Such is life and such is the way BB's fans of certain mindsets have taken their opinions of Jeff. I noticed it too. When Jeff was with Brian's band, there were people regularly critical of him and his vocals...yet some of the same are now full of praise and accolades since he's Mike's right hand man. Again, such is life...but it's the same guy doing essentially the same thing.

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« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2017, 09:15:08 AM »

The mystery for me is what ever happened to Brian "Ike" Eichenberger...

He leaves Brian's band after getting the falsetto spot when Jeff walked away. Then he joins Mike's band, ostensibly as the falsetto singer in Mike's band since Randall Kirsch was out, then Jeff joins Mike...as the falsetto singer. And Ike is now in the backline mostly playing bass and not doing much in terms of falsetto singing after Jeff pretty much came in and took over.

As a musician I had a lot of admiration for Ike's musicianship as I wrote here when it was announced he had joined Brian's band to do falsetto. Ike of course led the touring/licensed version of the Four Freshmen, and was essentially playing the Bob Flanigan role for the group. He's an accomplished jazz guitarist, and he could simply *nail* that Bob Flanigan falsetto timbre...which, no accident, is also perhaps the closest to that classic 60's Brian Wilson falsetto voice. Brian modeled the vocals after Flanigan, not just the arrangements but the actual singing style too.

So it's kind of a mystery to have an accomplished musician who was brought in on the surface to sing falsetto and can sound almost exactly like Brian's main influence Flanigan and therefore Brian himself, yet he's hardly doing any of that with Mike and instead spends most of the show playing bass in the back while Jeff Foskett sings falsetto.

In terms of Mike's falsetto singers, I like Ike's voice better, if I had to give my opinion. Always wondered what kind of dynamic happened to find him not throwing his musical fastball within the band.
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« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2017, 09:30:56 AM »

Ike coulda been a contender in BW’s band.....
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« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2017, 09:50:41 AM »

I couldn't agree more than Ike is way underused in Mike's band. 
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« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2017, 10:02:16 AM »

A glance at my post history will show that during the C50 I stated that this was the only time I enjoyed Jeff's voice
 I hated when he'd double Brian, because it would always throw Brian off-key almost without fail.

The mystery for me is what ever happened to Brian "Ike" Eichenberger...

He leaves Brian's band after getting the falsetto spot when Jeff walked away. Then he joins Mike's band, ostensibly as the falsetto singer in Mike's band since Randall Kirsch was out, then Jeff joins Mike...as the falsetto singer. And Ike is now in the backline mostly playing bass and not doing much in terms of falsetto singing after Jeff pretty much came in and took over.

As a musician I had a lot of admiration for Ike's musicianship as I wrote here when it was announced he had joined Brian's band to do falsetto. Ike of course led the touring/licensed version of the Four Freshmen, and was essentially playing the Bob Flanigan role for the group. He's an accomplished jazz guitarist, and he could simply *nail* that Bob Flanigan falsetto timbre...which, no accident, is also perhaps the closest to that classic 60's Brian Wilson falsetto voice. Brian modeled the vocals after Flanigan, not just the arrangements but the actual singing style too.

So it's kind of a mystery to have an accomplished musician who was brought in on the surface to sing falsetto and can sound almost exactly like Brian's main influence Flanigan and therefore Brian himself, yet he's hardly doing any of that with Mike and instead spends most of the show playing bass in the back while Jeff Foskett sings falsetto.

In terms of Mike's falsetto singers, I like Ike's voice better, if I had to give my opinion. Always wondered what kind of dynamic happened to find him not throwing his musical fastball within the band.

Gotta add one slight correction...Ike may have "officially"  joined Mike first , but "someone who should know" was already dropping hints about Jeff beforehand.
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« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2017, 10:17:35 AM »

A glance at my post history will show that during the C50 I stated that this was the only time I enjoyed Jeff's voice
 I hated when he'd double Brian, because it would always throw Brian off-key almost without fail.

The mystery for me is what ever happened to Brian "Ike" Eichenberger...

He leaves Brian's band after getting the falsetto spot when Jeff walked away. Then he joins Mike's band, ostensibly as the falsetto singer in Mike's band since Randall Kirsch was out, then Jeff joins Mike...as the falsetto singer. And Ike is now in the backline mostly playing bass and not doing much in terms of falsetto singing after Jeff pretty much came in and took over.

As a musician I had a lot of admiration for Ike's musicianship as I wrote here when it was announced he had joined Brian's band to do falsetto. Ike of course led the touring/licensed version of the Four Freshmen, and was essentially playing the Bob Flanigan role for the group. He's an accomplished jazz guitarist, and he could simply *nail* that Bob Flanigan falsetto timbre...which, no accident, is also perhaps the closest to that classic 60's Brian Wilson falsetto voice. Brian modeled the vocals after Flanigan, not just the arrangements but the actual singing style too.

So it's kind of a mystery to have an accomplished musician who was brought in on the surface to sing falsetto and can sound almost exactly like Brian's main influence Flanigan and therefore Brian himself, yet he's hardly doing any of that with Mike and instead spends most of the show playing bass in the back while Jeff Foskett sings falsetto.

In terms of Mike's falsetto singers, I like Ike's voice better, if I had to give my opinion. Always wondered what kind of dynamic happened to find him not throwing his musical fastball within the band.

Gotta add one slight correction...Ike may have "officially"  joined Mike first , but "someone who should know" was already dropping hints about Jeff beforehand.

Ahh, most likely from an "impeccable source"?  Grin

Seriously though, that adds another layer to the whole saga of Mike's falsetto singer. I do think Ike is underused because not only is he a solid musician with credentials, but he can nail that early 60's BW falsetto...and instead Jeff is doing most of not all of those falsetto parts and leads with Mike. It doesn't make sense unless there is more to the whole deal.
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« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2017, 10:19:02 AM »

I always liked Jeff's voice.  But I think Matt Jardine really breathed new life into Brian's band.
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« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2017, 10:25:16 AM »

Also, not to get off-topic but AGD's attack on RangeRover is really uncalled for.  She's entitled to her own opinions.
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« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2017, 10:29:19 AM »

I always liked Jeff's voice.  But I think Matt Jardine really breathed new life into Brian's band.

Aye, there's the rub as they say: Matt did indeed bring tons o' goodness to Brian's band, not just the solo falsetto leads but in the blend too...nothing can beat family blending their vocals, and there's Al and Matt singing in a terrific group vocal blend.

And it goes back to when it was announced Ike was leaving Brian and joining Mike's group...I thought as perhaps many fans did that it was to breathe new life into Mike's band and get a falsetto singer who can sound pretty damn close to the Brian falsetto on all those early hits that Mike tours behind. Mostly because it was announced and assumed Ike would be replacing Randall Kirsch. But instead Jeff comes in and all but takes over, and is in the frontline of the stage doing all those falsettos which (opinion here) Ike could do better or more authentic if authentic sound is the goal. Now it turns out the impeccable sources were whispering that Jeff was going to join Mike *before* Ike joined Mike? Odd.
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« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2017, 10:31:33 AM »

Also, not to get off-topic but AGD's attack on RangeRover is really uncalled for.  She's entitled to her own opinions.

After everything that happened, is that any surprise? What's that old saying about a leopard not being able to change its spots? That's who they are, that's how they act, that's what they do. No surprise.
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« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2017, 11:04:26 AM »

I love Matt's vocals in Brian's band, however I have never liked his lead vocal on WIBN. I wish Al would do the lead like he did for so many years, and even on Brian's PBS show. On WIBN, Matt's voice sounds a little thin to me, where Al's voice has a roundness to it .
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« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2017, 11:27:56 AM »

Christ. Internet is an ugly place. Anyway, seen both Jeff and Matt live, I wouldn't badmouth Jeff. He's a fine singer, but something in his falsetto didn't quite blend as well Matt's. I'm not saying it stuck out like a sore thumb, but... A healthy thumb, maybe?
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« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2017, 12:31:53 PM »

To my ears, Jeff's falsetto is hit or miss. I do think there's too much of him on TWGMTR, and it tends out like a sore thumb. Maybe we're talking about two separate things, though:

1. The falsetto alone
2. The falsetto in the blend

It's tough for me to say whose falsetto I like alone, because nothing-- absolutely nothing-- compares to Brian's soaring, unabashed and overpowering falsetto in the early to mid 60's. That can never, ever be recreated or even approximated.  Speaking just about the falsetto part on its own, I judge them based on how well they fill that Brian slot.  Given those parameters, I'll take Jeff because it is more rounded. Listen to Jeff's "Through My Window" and tell me that's not Brian-esque.  Jeff's standalone falsetto is generally good, regardless of whose band he's in.

But... blending well into the vocal stack is a whole other thing. Jeff's falsetto in harmonies sticks out pretty badly in most cases. For falsetto in the vocal blend, I'll take Matt. (I never really saw or heard any of the others enough to make a judgment on them.)

Thus, if I'm putting together a fantasy Beach Boys band and 60's Brian isn't available, I'll take Jeff on the standalone falsetto vocals and Matt in harmonies.
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« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2017, 12:41:46 PM »

To clear up the Foskett/Ike (and related band moves) chronology, I think it goes like this:

Late 2013/Early 2014: Jeff is no longer in Brian's band (full story yet to be told on that one)
- Brian's band hires Matt Jardine as a replacement

Spring/Summer-ish 2014: Jeff joins Mike's band
- Christian Love is the person whose exit makes room for Jeff

Mid-late 2014: Matt Jardine is unable to do some Brian gigs. He's replaced for one gig by a guy from the Fendertones (if I'm recalling correctly), and then Brian "Ike" Eichenberger. Ike does the rest of the very small number of 2014 gigs Brian performs. Matt Jardine joins Ike for the PBS "Soundstage" gig.

Early 2015: "Ike" is announced as having joined Mike's band.
- Randell Kirsche is the member who exits to make room for "Ike"
- Matt Jardine comes back full-time to replace Ike in Brian's band.

So Jeff was there in Mike's band for quite some time (mid-2014 to early 2015) before Mike hired Ike. The fact that Mike didn't seem to *need* Ike in his band (both because Kirsche seemed to be doing a fine job and because Mike already had one and arguably several falsetto guys) seemed to contribute to the perception/appearance that he poached Ike from Brian's band just to be a dick.

Musically, I think this all made things better. The only person who probably got the shaft was Randell Kirsche, who doesn't appear to have left Mike's band by his own choice. I think Christian Love was rumored for quite some time to want to leave full-time work in Mike's band, so presumably he wasn't literally booted to make room for Jeff.

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« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2017, 12:53:01 PM »

I think Jeff's main strength is as a high mid-range lead singer. For example, he does an awesome job on the videos I've seen of him singing Darlin' with Mike's band, likewise with Good to My Baby. But when he switches from head/mixed voice into falsetto for the really high notes, the tone can get a little bit weak. I think I prefer Matt as a general-purpose falsettist.

Agreed that Ike is way under-utilized (again, only speaking from what I've seen on YouTube).
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« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2017, 01:54:11 PM »

I have never cared for Foskett's voice. There have been shows where he's sounded better than others but all in all, I've never cared for it.

One thing that needs to be clarified, is that Mike's band has never had a sole "falsetto guy". They all rotate this role around the band from Foskett, to Totten, to Ike, and even Bruce still sings a fair amount of the top line. It would seem the key to staying in Mike's band is versatility (wide vocal range/multi-instrumentalist) OR...be Bruce Johnston.  LOL
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