I don’t want to sound like I’m knocking Kayne West
, because if 808 and Heartbreak is a flop, it will be the kind of failure that will probably inspire a whole sub genre five years from now. That aside, ever since Cher
’s ‘Believe’, we’ve had to live with auto tune front and center in mainstream pop. It’s hard to think of instances where it’s been used well, and it’s at its most obnoxious when used discreetly (to obvious to ignore). The soulless perfection of machine pop from the eighties onward, tends to grate and demean the performer. There’s that ages old question, why pay to listen to a singer that can’t sing, especially when non traditional warblers, from Bob Dylan to Biz Markie, Louis Armstrong to Andre 3000, are often enthusiastically embraced and fondly remembered for their quirks?
Every now and then, though, overt vocal modulation is done right, in a way that enriches that enriches the song. For the list below, I’m choosing from obvious examples of vocal modification in song. …