Amazing voices wasted on bad/mediocre songwriting

In my mind, Lana Del Rey has one of the best currently active pop-style voices, being able to switch from that girly high timbre down to a lower sultry jazz voice and back to a falsetto with ease. She might use several different styles in one song, and the character of her voice is just mesmerizing to me.

Problem is, her two albums have a couple decent songs, but for the most part they’re filled with mediocre stuff like Blue Jeans. Lana’s voice elevates everything she sings, so even her worst songs are listenable, but her awesome cover of Chelsea Hotel #2 (originally by Leonard Cohen) gives a glimpse of pairing her voice with… something else. Since she’s still young, I can still hope that the variety in her tracks means that she (or whoever writes her songs) is still experimenting, and that the songwriting will get better over time. That’s how it works, right? (on second thought, don’t answer that)

What are your prime examples of amazing voice + lackluster catalogue?

Most of Rod Stewart’s rock career after he left Jeff Beck.

Great voice, lousy choice of songs. Nowadays, he’s choosing great songs, but not for his style of singing.

Any post 1979 songs by Aretha Franklin.

That’s generous. I’d say post-1972.

I’d add most of post-Thriller Michael Jackson.

The name that immediately comes to mind is Karen Carpenter. What an amazing voice, wasted on the crap that was popular in the '70s. And what’s even more amazing was that she considered herself a drummer who sang, not a singer who drummed.

Damn, she’d be 63 now.