It blows my mind how some people actually think Chris is a better singer than Darren. You want to talk about Darren’s weak range? At least Darren actually sounds like a man and not a prepubescent 12 year old girl.
What a laughably ignorant statement this is. So hard to decide where to start tearing it apart.
First, let’s go with the fact that Chris’s vocal type is called “countertenor” and it is an accepted and widely recognized male vocal range in classical singing. There are very few true countertenors, but they were so prized that there were numerous opera roles that were written specifically for countertenors. They are noted not just by the range of their voices (which would be comparable to a female mezzo soprano), but by the bright quality of their tone (very apparent in Chris’s voice). And since countertenors were so few and far between, it became necessary to create singers who could achieve by artificial means what a trained adult countertenor is capable of (the castrato - which ended up creating a completely different vocal style). Chris does not sing like a girl - he sings like a countertenor.
Then we have the wide range that Kurt is able to sing in. On Glee we have heard him sing 3.1 octaves. That is a huge range for a male singer and one of the broadest ranges of any singer on Glee (including the female singers). They don’t use his lower range nearly enough, but he has sung as low as a D3 and he is able to sing with a great amount of power using his chest voice. Chris came onto the show with little formal vocal training (by his own admission because most coaches were waiting for his voice to change when he was a teen and weren’t sure what to do with him), but since being on the show his technique has gotten stronger and he’s one of the technically strongest and cleanest singers on the show. He has gained more power in his upper range (where he previously sounded a bit thin on his highest notes) and has a purity of tone that comes from both natural gift and good training.
When Chris sings and slides from his lower to upper register, he does so seamlessly. That is evidence of how much control he has over his total range, from the lowest end to the highest. When he performed Le Jazz Hotand sang the final slide going from F#3 to F#5 without any strain. His breath control is flawless and you never hear him grasping for notes. Low or high, he hits them cleanly and smoothly. He has good vibrato and uses it effectively. And he has a voice that can carry a wide range of songs, from rock to classical to Broadway. If Chris ever decided to focus on operatic training, he would have a phenomenal career because there are just so few singers who can do what he can, and almost none who sound like him. He is completely unique as a singer.
And when it comes to grasping the emotional tone of a song, Chris has absolutely no match on Glee. Looking at As If We Never Said Goodbye, I Want to Hold Your Hand, Blackbird, Defying Gravity, Being Aliveand Bring Him Home, Chris is able to deliver the emotional message of the song without depending upon the lyrics to do the heavy lifting, nor is he dependent upon the vocal tricks and performance faces that other singers are more dependent on the give the emotional punch.
Darren’s range, on the other hand, is only one octave and one semitone, and while his voice has a nice dark quality (that contrasts with Chris’s bright tone), his vocal technique is poor. You can hear him straining anytime he tries to sing above a G4, and he resorts to sing-shouting to make up for the lack of vocal flexibility. His voice has absolutely no vibrato, which tends to make him sound somewhat flat when he sings and forces him to resort to vocal tricks to make up for that deficit. He does quite well on pop and light rock numbers, but he is too often given songs that are vocally far more than he can handle (such as Fighterand Don’t Stop Me Now). He is also one of the performers who is dependent on vocal tricks and facial expressions to give his songs emotional weight, which gives his singing a superficial quality that lacks true emotional depth. What Darren does have is a commercially accessible voice that is readily marketable, but he lacks anything vocally that makes him stand out as a unique singer. There is nothing about Darren’s voice that you don’t see in dozens of other singers currently performing.
Non-dear troll confessor: slam!