Frieze Magazine has published a article that takes a contrarian look at the musicality of Auto-Tune.
Author Jace Clayton first recognizes the fact that many musicians hate AutoTuned vocals:
Vocal purists hate Auto-Tune. They hear in its robotic modulations some combination of sugar-rush novelty, bulldozed nuance, jejune synthetics, loss of ‘soul’, disdain for innate vocal talent, teen-optimized histrionics, emotional anemia, and/or widespread musical decline. It’s ugly.
Discussing US R&B singer T-Pain’s Auto-Tune-aided hits in 2007, music critic Jody Rosen declared that, ‘T-Pain represents a kind of symbolic severing of African-American music from its traditional emotionalism […] the impassioned melismas that have powered black popular singing for decades are smoothed into synthetic gasps.’
Clayton goes on, though, to suggest that Auto-Tune is leading to a Man-Machine hybrid vocal style:
In an era of powerful computers that allow one to audition all manner of effects on vocals after the recording session, recording direct with Auto-Tune means full commitment. There is no longer an original ‘naked’ version. This is a cyborg embrace. In Cyborg Manifesto (1991), Donna Haraway notes that ‘the relation between organism and machine has been a border war.’ Auto-Tune’s creative deployment is fully compatible with her ‘argument for pleasure in the confusion of boundaries and for responsibility in their construction.’
What do you think? Are there artists that you think are using Auto-Tune to create cyborg art?