Thinking about the former too much can lead you into a trap.
I was recording vocals yesterday and it’s the best vocal session I’ve ever done, simply because I felt I had mixed technicality with personality in a way I’d never achieved previously.
Besides having figured out ways to use my voice technically in a way that suits me over the last few years, I’ve written songs to that as well and yesterday I was able to engage with that rather well, courtesy of the guidance of my engineer. (Always record vocals with someone there who can get the best out of you).
However, one trap I fell into was thinking far too much about diction and pronouncing words correctly. If I was reciting something that needed to be heard clearly, I would be correct in needing to consider this but in the instance of my songs which needed some genuine feeling in it, I had to sometimes disregard diction for sake of expression.
It’s a constant, careful balancing act involved in knowing what is needed of you technically but that’s in service of achieving what you need to do artistically.
There’s no exact right way, but there are ways to make it better.
Mark Hollis of Talk Talk mumbles his way through words so convincingly, it pulls me in.
Whatever it is you are trying to express, the question should be, what do you need to do to express it in the best way?
Technique plays a part in it, but so does, context, interpretation and sincerity.