If you’ve been hiding under a rock recently, let me give you a little insight into what’s absolutely raping the music industry at the current moment. No, this isn’t a Major v. Indie thing, it’s not about file sharing and it’s not about Chinese Democracy; it’s about the discovery of a piece of software generally called Auto-Tune. A some years back, engineers and producers would use this tool as a form of pitch correction on vocalists, improperly set up guitars, etc. The system worked, because there was still a small credibility to the artist’s ability to actually hit notes. In 1998, Cher released a song called ‘Believe‘, in which she purposely effected the vocals with the effect to give it a different sound. The single became a hit, and everyone saw it that song with that cool voice thing. Everything was fine until some hip-hop/pop/rock producers heard the results and got a huge hard on, knowing that they could abuse the effect to hide a vocalist’s performance under the manipulated sounds…
Fast forward to the modern age in the music industry. Producers like T-Pain and who ever’s been touching Britney’s last couple of albums have been exploiting the hell out of it, calling it their signature sound. One of these new Auto-Tune producers, Kanye West, has started incorporating it into his most recent efforts. It works well to get the records up the charts, but then all of a sudden you have to perform live… then this happens:
Kanye, being the ‘trend setter’ that he likes to think of himself as, decided to bring a mix of the effected vocals (as a backing track) and his strait vox when he sang on SNL this weekend. The results speak for themselves: Kanye can’t sing, and moreover made a complete ass out of himself for making the poor judgment not to know his limits… besides, it fucking sounds like bad karaoke.
On a side note, the more I keep watching this video, the more I realize this is the single worst/most painful performance I’ve ever watched from SNL, and that’s including anything with Jimmy Fallon and the embarrassing Ashley Simpson ordeal.