Thursday, 14 July 2011

More ain't so bad really

Someone linked me a song this morning by a band whose singer is a dude but looks and sounds like a woman, and I ended up liking the song so much I checked out their other songs and they were all so catchy that I ended up spending all day listening to them. Anyway, the point is that, aside from being whiny angsty emo (Oh Vinnie, why do you listen to this crap? That's a topic for another post) its autotuned through the teeth and I found myself not really caring.

Y'know, Autotune isn't all a bad thing.

No, I'm not doubling back on my own opinion, I'm just making a few things clearer. Yes, I'd prefer if my music didn't have Autotune through the gills and all singers were trained and could hit their notes. Yes, I still hate Glee and most mainstream crap that is Autotuned.

See, the thing is that, barring the robotic warble that still sounds horrible on all but the crazy electro stuff, no amount of Autotune is going to ruin a good song. True, the song may benefit from a real performance by someone with heartfelt passion, but the thing that most people don't understand is that Autotune isn't a hard on/off switch. Most of the horrible modern pop production is treated with the 100% on setting, but you'd be surprised how much other stuff has it on just a teensy tiny bit.

Autotune can take the expression and passion out of a performance, but it can also leave it fairly intact. Back to the Androgy-emo band I mentioned at the beginning, all the whiny emo angst is still in the performance so to that degree, its not been taken out. This isn't a discussion as to whether whiny emo angst is a relevant form of 'performance', my point just stands that the performance, whatever contrived emotions were backing it, is still there.

So mainstream pop and Glee? Firstly, most of it is horrible songwriting, and in the case of Glee they tend to miss the point of most songs that they cover and either deliver no passion in the first place or tune it out flat. Either way, its an insult to singers. Autotune won't ruin a well written song, but it also can't save a horribly written piece of electro 'what-happened-to-a-good-topline-melody' excuse for pop music that you hear these days.

So in short, just making my stance on Autotune clear, in case I complain about it in the future. Its rubbish, but if you autotuned Jeff Buckley's album Grace, its not going to make it any less of a classic stellar album that you should all listen to because its the best album ever.

Keep loving music ;)



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