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erichw1504's avatar

What is up songs that have a background chorus/singer going "Ooohh whoOOoa!, Ooohh whoOOoa!"?

Asked by erichw1504 (26329 points ) December 11th, 2009

Some examples of songs that do this are:

Kings of Leon – Use Somebody (Check out the lyrics to see what I mean)
Three Days Grace – Break
Lady GaGa – Bad Romance

What is it with having background singers saying “WooOoohha” or “OOooOoohh” while the music plays and the lead singer sings? Does it add to the song in hopes of making it awesomer? Do you think it’s cool or more of a distraction?

What are some other songs that do this? What are some other things artists add to their music to enhance it?

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17 Answers

J0E's avatar

I think it’s actually meant to make the songs worse.

of course they do it to make it better.

timothykinney's avatar

I thought it forced in the eighties when they would say “baby” for no reason at all. Or “yeah”. But rock and roll doesn’t always make sense.

AstroChuck's avatar

It worked great on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.

stratman37's avatar

It’s like sex, when it’s done right, I love it.

CMaz's avatar

Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers – Why do fool fall in love

spontaneous_adjective's avatar

Reminds me of that song on the new Jay-Z album that has Rihanna yodeling in the background.

absalom's avatar

@spontaneous_adjective: “Yodeling” had me laughing. My mom loves Rihanna and that’s her favorite part. It’s pretty overdone.

Sometimes I like it (@AstroChuck has a great example) but in the case of Rihanna on “Run This Town” it starts to get silly.

jfos's avatar

@AstroChuck That’s different though.

Randy's avatar

Music is about expression. It’s an art form just like painting, sculpting or photography. When there are several people in a band, they all throw in different things and compromise to express all of them equally. Maybe someone in the band wants to throw in some “Ooohh whoOOoa!, Ooohh whoOOoa’s”. Or maybe they all agree that it would just sound good to add in there. I don’t mind it. The voice is an instrument just like a guitar or drum set. Someone is just using it to create more sound for their track in this situation. It’s the same deal with synth’s and voice boxes. Some people hate the way they sound but they’re an instrument that some people like to use.

This question to me is like asking “why do bluegrass players throw a banjo into their songs”... They like it and feel they can express what they feel through song with it. It’s pretty simple really.

aidje's avatar

As Randy said, the voice is an instrument. Much of the time words are used, but sometimes it makes sense for the voice to make music without singing actual words. Does it bother you that pianos and guitars never play in English? Of course not. They’re making music.

erichw1504's avatar

@Randy & @aidje I understand that. It just seems to be over used lately.

Randy's avatar

So are auto-tuners and electronic drum beats. It’s selling in “big business” music and like most things in “big business” music, they’ll use it until we all probably hate it.

@aidje- Thank you! You got across what I was trying to say much better than I did.

KitKat's avatar

Sometimes it enhances the music. Other times, I think it is just a fill in. But I think it has been done for many years and used by many bands/singers. Even Bing Crosby used to sing: “Boo boo boo boo boo”, or something like that.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

It’s reminiscent of an a capella sound.

YARNLADY's avatar

It is a form of voice jazz. In other words voices used to jazz up the song. Even Josh Groban uses that form of vocal instruments. It is a time honored tradition, dating back well beyond the Gregorian Chants that use only voices and no instruments.

JLeslie's avatar

@ChazMaz took mine.

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