So the Auto-Tune…yeah, it’s not cute any more

So, while listening to the Owl City album recently (and truth be told it gets more and more grating with each listen) we were struck by the overuse of Auto-Tune throughout. We think it’s officially time to say: enough. No, seriously — ENOUGH. It’s become so ubiquitous you’d be hard pressed to find an album that doesn’t abuse the tool. And while it’s convenient to blame T-Pain (and yeah, we kinda do), the tool goes back a long way, well before Mr. Pain (or “T” as we call him; we’re tight). The glorified vocorder, in fact, goes back decades before T and Lil Wayne and their like. The Auto-Tune variant of the vocorder has been used for a number of years as a vocal correction device (we noticed it first when listening to Britney Spears’ “Lucky” on the radio while it was on the charts a yonk’s age ago, it seemed odd how…”robotic” her vocal sounded when you actually listened to it). And all power to those who used it in the studio as a corrective. The studio is all about trying to get the best sound you can, and whatever tools are at one’s disposal should be employed. Electric Light Orchestra used a similar effect and it became an integral part of their sound (Listen to “Alive” or “Calling America” and hear in all its glory). But since “T” and “Lil” began using it like oxygen it’s been everywhere. Bands of every genre have been breaking it out and putting it front and centre and it’s time to declare: we’re done. When every god-damned song from every god-damned artist across the board is using the damn effect like some kind of desperate crutch it’s no longer unique, or clever, or fun. It’s just enormously tired.

Just stop it already.

(For great perspective on the tiring phenomenon…)

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One Response to “So the Auto-Tune…yeah, it’s not cute any more”

  1. This post needed more Jay-Z.

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