Wait…Austin Butler is doing his own singing in Baz Luhrmann‘s Elvis? He doesn’t sound like the Real McCoy. Lacking that unique vocal signature (smooth tones, purry phrasing, Memphis inflections), Butler is just another Elvis imitator.

I had presumed all along that Lurhmann would make a concerted effort for Butler to actually sound like Presley. Nope!

A biopic of a famous singer can’t work unless the singing voice sounds just so. Bohemian Rhapsody was a bull’s eye in this respect with Rami Malek sounding almost exactly like Freddie Mercury. (Malek did some of his own singing but was mostly dubbed by a Freddy imitator + Freddy himself.)

Butler’s Presley crooning is roughly on the same level as Taron Egerton‘s not-good-enough imitation of Elton John‘s singing in Rocketman (’19).

Jordan Ruimy: “Egerton imitating John was a big mistake, and so is this. Elvis’ voice was unique and unforgettable — a range and passion that can’t be replicated. It’s a fool’s belief to think that Butler’s voice could believably stand in for something this iconic. Didn’t they blend Malek and Mercury’s voice (as well as a Freddy imitator) in sound mixing for Bohemian Rhapsody?”