Archive for May 11, 2006

Don’t fake it.

[ music | Badly Drawn Boy – Say It Again ]

The imminently talented (and cute as a button, redheaded) Neko Case was interviewed by Pitchfork back in April, I just now found it thanks to fak3r. In the interview she goes off on the rampant cheating of both artists and audiences by the prolific use of pitch-shifting and autotuning in modern pop.

Now, frankly, I think modern pop is crap anyway, but the point here is rather than actually working on their vocals, the artsts are both being cheated, and cheating their audience, by letting producers tweak the recordings with the equivalent of sonic Photoshop. Why is this cheating? Because these singers aren’t writing their material to start with, the lest they could do is actually learn to perform it, but they don’t. And you can hear the difference. It’s no longer even anything close to art, it’s just artificial. In the course of my life so far I have spent incredibly amounts of time practicing my singing, and it shows. I remember in high school I worked for weeks just to hit a single note in a song for an audition rather than change the key. And it paid off. I was a better performer for it.

You see, this cheats the audience too, because on tour these performers are just lip-synching to recordings, they’re not actually singing, because they can’t do it without the help of post-production. They didn’t put in the sweat-equity to be able to actually do the material justice, they faked it, and can’t back it up. So when you go to see a show, you’re being stiffed because you’re not getting what your’e paying for, you’re just paying to see them fake it for two hours.

And other artists who have put in the time and energy to better themselves get shafted because it no longer takes talent to break into the business, it just takes good marketing. And who wants to invest in creating a new brand when the old one can just be repackaged and autotuned into shape again?

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