Music has always been a glue binding cultures, races, religions and countries together.
It has the unique quality of allowing new ideas to slip past people’s current paradigms and cause significant changes to the way we live. The influence that music can have on different generations of people is unparalleled. It’s fair to assume that life would be something of a drag if music wasn’t there to console us, energize us and bring us together.
However, recently there has been a growing number of artists and bands who have discovered a trick, allowing the untalented technocrat to sing “well” and in tune, both in the studio and live in concert.
Auto-Tune — the audio processor used to correct pitch and disguise mistakes in music recordings — may very well be the biggest cop-out of modern popular music.
Taking a look at top 10 music charts such as the iTunes music store, the Billboard chart, Rolling Stone magazine and Saskatoon’s very own C95, it quickly becomes apparent that not only do the artists not give a shit about musical integrity, but neither do the masses, who devour this revolting noise.
Each one of these pop music lists contains at least 25 per cent of this computerized clamor. For example, The Black Eyed Peas’ lame excuse to bring people to the dance floor with Will.i.am’s tone-deaf voice magically becomes harmonized in the song “I Gotta Feeling.” Likewise, The Stereos summer hit aptly named “Summer Girl,” which epitomizes what a rock or pop song should never be: sung by someone who needs computerized help to stay in key and written with pseudo-gangster lyrics like, “You know my game is tight / Gotta take advantage of this one summer night.”
I’m fully aware that people enjoy this music for other reasons than the lyrics but when you couple artificial melodies with poorly crafted poetry, it really makes you question whether the public chooses this music or some round-table marketing team is steering modern-pop music straight into hell.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m fully aware that music in the last three decades has always lacked a level of originality. Its existence is solely dependent on the instant-gratification generation that was ingeniously crafted by the mass marketing of wealthy businessmen and their foray into psychological commerce. But enough is enough; this has to stop somewhere, right?
Who says it can’t be our generation that decides to revolt against this terminal case of auto-tuned racket. Just because the merchandising of music has become digital, doesn’t mean that the vocals of the artists we listen to have to follow suit.
So, next time you’re on iTunes or another medium of downloading music, take a step back and think about all of the legitimate artists out there today who don’t need a pitch-correcting software to solve their talent issues.