Lets be honest: 90% of popular artists working today use auto-tune in some capacity. Modern listeners are so accustomed to hearing pitch-perfect voices and flawlessly rendered instrumental arrangements that anyone who doesnt employ auto-tune and other digital touch-ups during the production stages of their music might as well take themselves out of the competition. Weve come to associate "perfect" records with professionalism, and any artist hoping to score radio airplay needs to play by that unrealistic set of rules. Still, theres a difference between artists who use digital tools to polish their sound and artists whose songs are entirely built from computer wizardry. Someone like Adele may hire expensive music producers to make her songs sound "professional," but you know shes got chops from the way she wails at live shows. However for every Adele who can back up the studio albums in the live arena, many other artists use auto-tune and digitisation because they have no musical chops to speak of. These computerised tools have made it possible for just about anyone to make a hit song, but theres a catch: you can usually spot someone overusing them from a mile away. Indeed, when auto-tune is overused, songs go from sounding like music to something more akin to a carnival attraction. Its a phenomenon that has taken the human factor out of quite a few hit songs, and a trend that has us wondering exactly which artists out there have officially stopped being people and now resemble simple computer programs? From out-of-this-world robot bands to artistically bankrupt hit-making machines, we hope youll enjoy our list.
Craig is a Chicago-based freelance writer who like to talk incessantly about music on AbsolutePunk.net. He also does writing for marketing companies to "pay the bills," but his true passion lies with the pop culture sphere.