By Ashley Hoffman
June 24, 2016

Of all the ways to describe Rihanna’s singing voice, perhaps Chris Martin proves he is the best weirdo for the music critic job.

Speaking to the Guardian about Coldplay, emotions, and emojis, he fanboyed all over Rihanna with very specific praise.

“She is the Frank Sinatra of our generation. She can turn anything into gold with that voice,” he said, and then he got technical. “Here’s the thing: if you speak to a good singing teacher about great opera singers, they will talk about consistency of tone. Or there’s a book by Alfred Tomatis about why some people like certain people’s voices and other people hate them, like Bob Dylan or me or whoever, some people say, ‘Oh, I hate that voice’, so there’s a thing about people’s frequency responses – what they are pleased by. Rihanna has this thick tone, so it’s very hard to annoy anybody. It’s like a beautifully squeezed tube of toothpaste. When you think of Rihanna’s voice you think of this whole, rich thing, solid like a tree trunk, and Drake is pretty similar. But Rihanna’s voice is just delicious for your ear. Sinatra had the same thing; anything he sang sounded pleasing to most people.”

Though Martin is consciously uncoupled from Gwyneth Paltrow, the woman does know a thing or two about how to squeeze toothpaste better than other people, as we saw when she recommended this $244 toothpaste squeezer. Anyway, just like Sinatra, Rihanna’s is the great equalizer of voices, and its thickness is best described as a masterfully finessed teeth-cleaning substance.

Write to Ashley Hoffman at Ashley.Hoffman@time.com.

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