Music: Spoken word - the new singing


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The Independent Culture

Lauryn Hill this week debuted a new single, "Black Rage". But those looking for something like "Doo Wop (That Thing)" might be slightly disappointed to hear the new track is a spoken-word missive on race, capitalism and America; a re-working of "My Favourite Things". "As artists we have the opportunity to help the public evolve, raise consciousness and awareness," she said.

And she's not the only one eschewing actual singing. For their Late Night Tales compilation, Friendly Fires hired Benedict Cumberbatch to lend his voice to a spoken-word track called "Flat of Angles", based on a story written by author and poet Simon Cleary. Somewhere William Shatner must be gearing up, no doubt thrilled his performance art of choice seems to be having a moment.