Jay-Z wasn’t the first person to bash Auto-Tune, and he won’t be the last, either. In an eerie coincidence (?), Wyclef Jean has dropped his own song satirizing the ubiquitous studio effect just days after Jay’s “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune).” “Mr. Auto-Tune,” streaming now at Wyclef’s blog, is all about how, in Wyclef’s opinion, Auto-Tune enables talentless hacks to pretend they can sing. Tell ’em why you’re mad, Clef: “Listen to me now/I think you got it confused/You gotta have skills before you turn on the Auto-Tune/So whether you wanna be a rapper or a singer/If you gonna use the vocoder, be an innovator!”
Leaving aside the fact that vocoders and Auto-Tune are two totally different technologies — c’mon, Wyclef! — the case made in “Mr. Auto-Tune” has one critical flaw: “Mr. Auto-Tune,” itself, is way more annoying than most Auto-Tuned hits. (Not easy!) Maybe that’s the point, since this is a parody of Auto-Tune’s excesses, but you know what? I have no desire to ever listen to a song this irritating again. Also, for some reason “Mr. Auto-Tune” is a duet with Nick Cannon, which equals instant delete in my book.
But maybe I’m being too harsh. Check out “Mr. Auto-Tune” over at Wyclef’s blog if you must, and speak up: What do you think of the sudden upsurge in anti-Auto-Tune music? What does it say about this movement that Wyclef and Nick freakin’ Cannon have signed on?