It should come as no surprise that Britney Spears uses auto-tune on her songs. For starters, there’s no way that electronic voice comes out of a flesh-and-blood human. We’ve also heard bits of her raw voice before, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less painful to listen to a new example. This leaked recording of Britney singing her song “Alien” without all the clean-up is amazingly awful. As bad as you’re imagining it, it’s probably worse than that.
It actually hurts me to categorize this post as relating to music, because wow is this bad. I’m of course obsessed with it, don’t get me wrong. I love hearing bad singers. That’s why I was so delighted the other day when Wendy Williams tried out karaoke on the Today Show and caused Savannah Guthrie to fear for the health of her unborn child. If I didn’t know that this was an actual recording of Britney Spears, I’d say for sure that some prankster just recorded their college roommate singing when they thought no one was around. There are just so few notes being hit, and it sounds like Britney is hurting herself trying to reach them.
Producer William Orbit gave a statement earlier this week explaining that what we’re hearing is a vocal warm-up, as if that makes things any better:
“Warming up is essential if you’re a pro, as it is with a runner doing stretches, and it takes a while to do properly. I’ve heard all manner of sounds emitted during warm-ups. The point is that it is not supposed to be shared with millions of listeners.”
By “all manner of sounds,” does he mean the kind that make my ears serve me with divorce papers? Because those are the ones I’m hearing. And now my ears and I have to attend counseling to work things out or else they’ll leave me and move to Denver. Thanks a lot, non-auto-tuned Britney.
For comparison, this is what the song ended up sounding like on Britney’s album. If you ask me, the real thing isn’t much better.