Natalie Imbruglia (Photo by law_keven)

I was reviewing my list of album addictions since 1990, and although I’ve had a hunch that I’ve been leaning towards female vocalists over the past several years, I didn’t realize how strongly that leaning was until now. Here’s a female / male count comparison list, by year, color-coded for dramatic effect. Bands with a relatively even mix (or no vocals) are in the last column:

Year Female Male Mix or None
2008 0 1 0
2007 5 2 0
2006 3 2 1
2005 3 2 0
2004 5 3 0
2003 7 0 1
2002 3 1 0
2001 3 0 0
2000 3 2 1
1999 2 1 0
1998 4 1 1
1997 2 3 1
1996 1 5 0
1995 4 2 0
1994 4 7 0
1993 2 8 0
1992 2 2 0
1991 2 7 0
1990 2 4 0

Interesting, eh? Well, I find it interesting. Baffling. 😉

Since 1998, the totals are 38:15:4. 70% female.
Before 1998, the totals are 19:38:1. 34% female.

A complete turnaround. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why this should be. Is it a statistical anomaly, or a significant pattern?

It may be anomaly, or shifting personal tastes. It appears that the typical range of female vs. male vocalists in people’s music collections are much lower than the inverse of these percentages. And it’s getting harder to find female singers on the charts.

I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been ignoring the charts and subconsciously giving female artists more of a chance, or if it’s because I’m ignoring male vocalists because I’m growing tired of them. Or are most current male artists sounding like post-grunge monotony or whiny adolescent punks?

Is it that female artists are just not getting their due? Are they just bubbling under? Is it that they’re not getting enough airplay, and the reason they’re so hard to find in music collections is because of a lack of marketing?

I’m not sure what it is, and I don’t have the answers yet. All I know is that I’m completely addicted to female artists lately, and find myself listening so often I begin to question if I’m missing out on the male-dominated bands.