Seth MacFarlane: The Toony Crooner
Beat it, Buble! There's a new animated singing sensation in town!June 19, 2015
There’s a new velvety-voiced singing sensation in town, and he’s got your numbers!
Tackling vocal jazz, swing, big band, and easy listening with kickass aplomb, crooner Seth MacFarlane has proven time and time again that his versatility is a damn force to be reckoned with.
Perhaps you’ve heard this golden-tongued singer on his various albums, the 2013 Oscars, or popular television program, “Family Guy.” Today, we showcase some of the essential vocal performances that will make you ask, “hey, is that the guy who does the voice of Quagmire I hear, or a choir of angels?!”
1. “The Freaking FCC”
Before he blasted onto the music scene, MacFarlane cut his teeth by singing in various animated programs. Here’s an example of one of the finest tricks of MacFarlane’s trade: self-harmonizing. As the voice of Peter, Brian, and Stewie Griffin, MacFarlane dazzles by maintaining perfect intonation while singing in three distinctly different styles. Marvel for yourself!
2. “Prom Night Dumpster Baby”
It may sound odd, but MacFarlane was Family Guy’s secret weapon…at least where his singing voice is concerned. Variety is MacFarlane’s forte, and no matter what subject or genre requires a song, he can be counted on to deliver any time. Case in point: “Prom Night Dumpster Baby.” MacFarlane lends his velvet pipes to this adorable little guy, and elevates what could have been your cliche dumpster baby tune into something truly special.
3. “It’s Easy to Remember”
Back in 2011, MacFarlane finally released his first solo album – “Music is Better Than Words.” Steeped in MacFarlane’s affection for big band and standards, “Music” remains a feast for the ears. The album was a collaboration with “Family Guy” composer/orchestrator Ron Jones. The album was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album category, and it’s not hard to see why based on this performance of Rodgers and Hart’s “It’s Easy to Remember.”
4. “Ya Got Trouble”
Starting in 2009, MacFarlane appeared several times at the BBC Proms with John Wilson and his orchestra. There, he sang a variety of tunes ranging from MGM musical selections to Christmas songs to Broadway tributes. Here’s a particularly fitting performance of “Ya Got Trouble” from “The Music Man” from his appearance in 2012.
5. “Baby It’s Cold Outside” with Sara Bareilles
In September 2014, MacFarlane took the next logical step in his crooning career by releasing his first Christmas album, “Holiday For Swing.” The collection, recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London, featured a 65-piece orchestra and Frank Sinatra’s original bassist Chuck Berghoffer. The yuletide joy keeps on coming as Christmas classics are interpreted by MacFarlane with gusto, making you forget Bing Crosby was ever a thing. The album contained some irresistible collaborations with Norah Jones and Sarah Bareilles, as performed here at 2014’s Christmas in Rockefeller Center.
6. “We Saw Your Boobs”
Above all, Seth MacFarlane is an old school showman, and that was never more evident than during his polarizing 2013 Oscar hosting gig. As far as we’re concerned, Billy Crystal can step aside because a new standard for Oscar musical numbers was set with the now-iconic ode to cinematic nudity, “We Saw Your Boobs.”
7. The Hits of Cyndi Lauper
Now he’s just showing off. On a recent episode of “The Graham Norton Show,” MacFarlane displayed his full formidable arsenal by performing the hits of Cyndi Lauper as his “Family Guy” characters (while sitting right next to Lauper, no less). Check out what are now surely the definitive versions of “Time After Time” and “True Colors”
Be sure to check out this swingin’ singin’ sensation on your digital music service of choice! Or see him sing in person:
July 16th: Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
July 18th: Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Philadelphia
July 24th: Cincinnati Pops Show
Aug.21st: Ravinia Festival Orchestra in Chicago
Sept. 18th: Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Oh, and check out another one of Seth’s non-musical projects, Ted 2, opening this weekend in theaters everywhere.