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Steve Albini Hates on Cher
Old 19th November 2012
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godotzilla's Avatar
Steve Albini Hates on Cher

Here's a fun little read from the Onion's AV Club. They have a regular feature called "Hatesong" for which they ask a music industry professional (usually some indie artist) to explain why they hate a particular song.

The results are often very amusing. Such is the case when they asked Steve Albini to participate, and he does not disappoint in his takedown of Cher's "Believe."

His response is pretty spot on in terms of his use of historical context to explain trends in music and culture.

Steve Albini integrates the history of music fads into his hate for Cher’s “Believe” | Music | HateSong | The A.V. Club
Old 19th November 2012
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dlmorley's Avatar
What he says is true about friends actually saying it's cool.. I hated from the word go. Nasty, Nasty effect.
People would say have you heard it. It's a cool effect. No it isn't. It's a **** effect. It's unpleasant.
11 million singles later I was proven wrong as quality obviously equals quantity these days.
Old 19th November 2012
Karloff70's Avatar

Albini has a knack of saying things others only think......or at least know they should be thinking.
Old 19th November 2012
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Bob Ross's Avatar

Originally Posted by dlmorley View Post
People would say have you heard it. It's a cool effect. No it isn't. It's a **** effect. It's unpleasant.
I would argue that (in some hypothetical world where engineers & producers have absolutely no forensic listening/analysis skill whatsover, & don't all have access to exactly the same tools) if Cher's "Believe" were the only song to ever feature that effect, it would indeed be a cool effect and you wouldn't feel the way you do.

Unfortunately, it opened the floodgates for a ****-ton of imitators. Really poor imitators. You listen to the Auto-Tune deployment on a current (2012) pop song and compare it to "Believe" and the contrast is striking: People these days are lazy. The guys who engineered "Believe" actually put some work into that effect so that it made at least some musical sense.

iow, I think people are judging "Believe" in hindsight, based on everything that came after.

...which is not to say the song "Believe" is anything more than a vapid dance ditty. But blaming it for being the Evolutionary Eve of Auto-Tune misses the proper target for our hatorade: The lazy imitators.

Last edited by Bob Ross; 19th November 2012 at 06:15 PM.. Reason: misspelled "unfortunately"
Old 19th November 2012
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dlmorley's Avatar
Yes, the imitators are the real criminals, but I still hated the effect when it came out. Then again, I very rarely like anything in the pop/dance world.
Old 19th November 2012
Gear addict

I got a question for you all. I use Auto-tune but very sparingly and not as an obvious effect. And I have no interest in going down that road to even experiment. But I am curious - how is that really obvious effect best achieved? Do they set Auto-tune to the wrong key, or do they depend on the singer hitting wrong notes which are then corrected? Or does the singer more or less hit the right notes and Auto-tune is set to the same key, but the time is set so fast that the notes jump in that robotic way? Sorry, I'm a bit clueless when it comes to misusing Auto-tune. I'm just wondering what part of the performance or software has to be off enough that it sounds that way after being corrected.
Old 19th November 2012
Lives for gear
dlmorley's Avatar
You play the notes you want to control the autotune plug in via midi, so the pitch is decided by the midi track (I think! never done it and never will)
Old 19th November 2012
Gear addict

That sounds reasonable. With a good singer, I imagine they would already be singing a melody close to the one played via Midi, but I guess the Auto-tune would be timed to make the vocal jump to each note instead of sliding naturally. With a bad singer, I guess the result would be pretty much the same unless it was really bad.
Old 19th November 2012
I curse the person that invented the gun, nuclear bombs, pink slime, and autotune!
Old 19th November 2012
Lives for gear
edva's Avatar
Yeah, autotune sucks, but, as an ENTERTAINER Cher absolutely crushes most of the bands that have come and gone during her very long, profitable, creative, and ENTERTAINING career, including a lot of the ones Albini has worked with (not to disparage his considerable engineering skills).
Old 19th November 2012
Registered User

His first albums were filled with drum machines!

This is one of the most awesomely ugly albums ever. Sitar (triangular) strings on the guitars. And drum machine on every track.

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