I didn’t even know what it was called until recently, but it has been annoying the crap out of me for years: that horrible mutated computer voice thing. First time I noticed it was with Cher’s “Believe” back in 1998. I hated it then, but I didn’t hear it too often, so I kind of forgot about it. Now it seems like every other song on the radio, and at least every third song I play on the Internet has it.
Turns out it’s a recording process called Autotune, which in my opinion is an evil that must be stopped. Most of the time it’s used to correct the pitch of “professional” singers who you probably thought were good, but in fact can’t carry a tune in a bucket. The rest of the time (especially in modern R&B thanks to T-Pain, a singer whose name I never heard of till I looked it up, but whose awful songs I heard when I got stuck listening to the radio in the gym and couldn’t change the station) they use it as an effect. If you change the pitch a lot, it produces that horrible robotic voice sound.
If you can’t sing on key, you probably shouldn’t be singing for a living. And if you think that effect sounds awesome, think again. It has run its course.
In my opinion, the only approved use of Autotune is this:
(The original video is funnier though.)