Do You Believe in Life After Autotune?

Auto-Tune may be the most divisive effect in music. Artists have protested it publicly at the Grammys, and critics have derided the effects for its inauthentic reproduction of the voice. And yet, nearly a decade since Jay-Z prophesied the death of Auto-Tune, the sound is alive and thriving in contemporary pop and hip-hop. Journalist Simon Reynolds has written a definitive history of Auto-Tune for Pitchfork that fundamentally changed how we hear this sound. This deep dive criss crosses geology, technology, and the evolution of pop as we know it.

Songs Discussed:

  • Cher – Believe
  • Katy Perry – Firework
  • Rihanna – Diamonds
  • Future – F*ck Up Some Commas
  • Emma Robinson – Stay (Cover) 
  • Imogen Heap – Hide And Seek 
  • Zapp & Roger – Doo Wa Ditty (Blow That Thing) 
  • T. Pain – Chopped N Screwed ft. Ludacris 
  • Lil Wayne – “How To Love”
  • Kanye – “Heartless”
  • The Black Eyed Peas “Boom Boom Pow”
  • Jay-Z – Death Of Auto-Tune
  • Elvis – Mystery Train
  • The Beatles – Tomorrow Never Knows
  • Whispering Jack Smith – Baby Face
  • Kesha – Tik Tok 
  • Bon Iver – Woods
  • Future & Juice WRLD – Jet Lag ft. Young Scooter 
  • Shek Wes – Mo Bamba
  • The Carters – Apeshit

Further Reading: