I am very critical about the female playback singing voice quality. Looking at the entire spectrum of the female singers in the indian music industry from top to bottom, I find their voices either too shrill, too flat, too loud, too nasal, or too linear. I can talk through each and every female singer and find something that bothers me about their voice quality. I feel like there are many many more male voices best suited for playback singing than there are female voices. IMO, i rarely find a male voice that I do not like. Setting aside the singers that are just unable to carry a note, every male singer I found has a uniqueness that they add to the song. Their voices are more fuller and make for great listening experience than female voices do. I cannot get through some songs because of the way the female voice has been handled.
Shreya ghoshal is probably one singer that gets the most points for getting it right most times. Even her voice I heard cracking in some songs. I also feel like they use higher notes for her than they should. I think Sunidhi has amazing talent but her singing style is extremely typecast. Neeti Mohan and Jonita Gandhi have magical voices in the latest lot of singers but they don't have a volume of work enough to comment on their capability. Lata Mangeshkar is the best talent our country could ever produce but I feel like she never owned the songs. At one point, one could move from one song of hers to another without noticing the difference in content of the song. There was also a certain restraint in her singing that limited the song from surpassing from the ordinary song level to the soul-touching level. Chitra, great singer but shrill voice.
Don't get me wrong, I am not questioning any of these singers' talent. All of them are supremely talented. I have a fundamental issue with their voice quality. Sadhana Sargam had very good playback voice quality but it was not explored enough. I am still trying to figure out what about the female singers' voice quality bothers me so much. Some day I might find out and let you know. Too much expectation? I dunno yet!