Auto-tune is the definitive movement of our time because it makes the human voice anonymous. And how weird is that at first? After close to a decade of American Idol’s elevation of vocal histrionics, here’s a popular movement that tears the advantage of skilled vocal histrionics out of the frame. It makes total sense though because communication has become so automated and dodgy with the advent of new technologies: In our dalliances with cold media we’re constantly giving and receiving messages that are flat and misleading. We send images that our dated, tweet notes that pretend to convey where we are in our lives. Auto-Tune sorta collects all our digital lies and makes music of the de-humanization we’ve embraced.
I can’t decide if I agree with this or not. But I’m thinking about it in terms of country music, which has been auto-tuning the fuck out of everyone for how long? And yet has been slow to the digital revolution in other ways. Is auto-tuning about making the human voice anonymous, indistinctive? And, if so, what does that mean for a form like country music in which stars are made, in part, not through talent, but through being distinctive?
2. Tom Crippen says, The past, like the poet said, is a fucked-up place. I guess the present, as a past in the making, is too.”