Kurt Cobain Singing Aged Two/Frances Bean Singing

It’s impossible to look at something like this without trying to ‘read backwards’, attempting to see the man in the child’s voice. And of course it’s an illusion, any fleeting similarities are pretty much in one’s own head. Ultimately, it’s a simple reminder that there are no set paths, one’s genetics only dictate so much of who one is or could be, but or does one float free of one’s origins in a bubble of pristine innocence.

So what is this? Well, it’s not an early attempt at a long-lost album; it’s not an evolutionary milestone in the development of an icon; it’s not even an insight into the pre-fame era. It’s just an unknown child, somewhere in the now distant past, one of millions who at some point sang into a mic and mimicked whatever the hits of the day were that appealed to a two year old. It’s authentic, but it’s simply a reminder that without the genuine intent behind it, it might as well be anyone…
…And that brings us to this.

Again, we’re faced with a shred of material barely worth a glimpse (not helped by the irksome commentary and the appalling quality.) In this case, we’re looking at a human being and trying to read backward to the person who came before them — just another space-filling “oh doesn’t she look like her father/mother…Oh look at the eyes, look at how she’s dressed today…” It’s a nothing really. Trying to read genetic singing characteristics, trying to seek a voice that had been honed and gristled by a decade of growling from the tones of a young girl who wasn’t yet two years old when that voice departed.

Hard not to look though isn’t it? There’s an air of importance provided because of who it is rather than what it is which partially obscures any question of quality or ability. It’s why the greatest album ever made probably lives in the bottom drawer of a dusty and abandoned desk unit and we’ll never see it — because greatness is as much a consequence of consumption and exposure as it is about innate aural quality or natural talent.


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