July 9, 2014

"A version of Britney Spears’ new single, 'Alien,' without Auto-Tune has been leaked online. And… Wow."

"William Orbit, who produced the track, said that leaking the track was 'unkind.'"

28 comments:

Bob Ellison said...

The first comment on YouTube:

VJ4rawr2
12 hours ago (edited)

This is bullshit. Someone just autotuned her vocals to sound off key. The REAL vocals are easy to find by searching for "britney alien stems".

If audio editors can create something that sounds ON KEY, they can just as easily produce rubbish like this to make it sound off key. Don't be so gullible. Haters gonna hate.


That is true. I can make anything sound on-key or off-key. Not difficult, not time-consuming. Very easy to do.

You can't believe what you see or hear.

Tank said...

Unexpectedly.

Joe said...

The correction isn't that severe which makes me suspect that regardless of how well Britney can sing, she's being extremely lazy and letting Auto-Tune do the work.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

An internet image search for "leaking Britney Spears" did not get me the returns I was hoping for.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...


No big deal.

Paul McCartney is off tune in the OFFICIAL release of some Beatles songs, e.g. 1:12 into "If I Fell".

PB Reader said...

The truth hurts.

Unknown said...

There were rumors years ago that one of the Pointer Sisters (the one with drug issues, and is now deceased) is the primary voice on the early Britney albums.

Henry said...

She may need autotune, but she's still no Florence Foster Jenkins

Henry said...

"Her singing at its finest suggests the untrammeled swoop of some great bird."

Nonapod said...

I've messed around with the Auto-Tune plug in for Pro Tools, it's pretty shocking how easy it is to make someone sound very good or very bad.

gerry said...

An internet image search for "leaking Britney Spears" did not get me the returns I was hoping for.

It's still early, but I think this will be the thread winner.

John said...

Bob Ellison,

The first commenter on Youtube appears to be wrong. The linked article admits that the tape is real and not a victim of autotune. If it were the case that this tape was autotuned out of tune, I would think Spears' producer would say that rather than "it was only a warm up track".

Beyond that, even if it is a "warm up track" people who can sing are generally in tune even when warming up. It would be one thing is she was an octave too low or in tune but in the wrong key or in the right key but missed some of the higher parts because she wasn't properly warmed up. But that is not what this is. She just sounds horrible and out of tune for any key and awful even when singing the easy parts.

Brittany Spears doesn't have enough talent or ability to be a amateur bar singer. Whatever you think of her finished product, I don't think Spears counts as any kind of musician much less a professional one.

Joe said...

Ever since I heard his song, Dice (done with Finley Quaye), I've been very impressed with Orbit's work. I know it's not definitive, but Wikipedia says he's worked with and produced Madonna and Adele, among others.

He's no lightweight in the music biz, which gives some gravitas to his words.

Bob R said...

Nonapod - Try Melodyne. Much more transparent. (At least it was a few years ago. I'm sure Autotune has improved since the version I used.)

SomeoneHasToSayIt - The vocal track on If I Fell was recorded with Lennon and McCartney singing into a single mic, direct to tape, and George Martin (who had perfect pitch) did not believe in chasing a take with exactly correct pitch. The common practice now is for every vocalist to be isolated, singing to a click track so the vocal can be "comped." After several takes, each distinct syllable is split, pitch and time corrected, and the best syllable from the various takes is promoted to the main track. Sounds perfect - like a robot.

Anonymous said...

"A generous singer will put something down the mic to help the engineer get their systems warmed up and at the right level, maybe whilst having a cup of herb tea..."

Uh, no. No one who uses their voice for a living has anything to drink immediately before recording. Not hot, not cold, not nothing, and especially not while working with the audio engineer. He's lying through his teeth.

Freeman Hunt said...

It's pop music. Its purpose is to be catchy and pleasing to young people. Its purpose is not to display a perfect meritocracy of vocal talent.

Therefore, big deal.

George said...

She's horribly off in what should be the middle of her vocal range. Even a singer of modest ability would hear that and adjust.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

She missed the "high notes"? Please. The highest note in the thing is A440. That is a high note. For a tenor.

Otherwise, just pervasive slovenliness about pitch, and "don't give a damn" about that and everything else. Then again, I didn't realize she was still recording.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I should've added that most uploads of the "no Autotune" version, including the linked one, are already subject to takedown notices. I found one too recent to have been caught.

rhhardin said...

Notes are approximate anyway.

Maybe she sings whole number ratio tuning, and the background is even tempered.

zefal said...

Probably leaked by Britney's people or record company to promote the album. How much publicity would a Britney Spears' album receive otherwise?

phx said...

The problem with Britney's singing isn't her voice, the problem is she doesn't have a soul.

Sorry Britney, just raggin' on ya a bit.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Bob R said...

SomeoneHasToSayIt - The vocal track on If I Fell was recorded with Lennon and McCartney singing into a single mic, direct to tape, and George Martin (who had perfect pitch) did not believe in chasing a take with exactly correct pitch


So I an right then. McCartney missed that note. He actually misses a lot of notes.

My point is that it is very hard to be a really good and consistent singer.

That said, I think Spears is not a good singer, and is lazily expecting autotune to make her better.

William said...

A few years back, before her meltdown, there was some kind of MTV profile of her. As part of her exercise regimen, she does--or at that time anyway--did a couple of hundred sit ups per day. I know this because she was wearing yoga pants and doing sit-ups, and it caught one's attention. I suppose that in some areas of performance art she's not so talented as Ella Fitzgerald, but in the area of sit ups and yoga pants, the clear advantage belongs to Brittney. You have to judge singers not solely on their vocal range, but also on the totality of their art which includes the ability to do lots of sit ups and wear yoga pants.

Smilin' Jack said...

An internet image search for "leaking Britney Spears" did not get me the returns I was hoping for.

Really? The returns I got were even better than I was hoping for.

Biff said...

Unknown said..."Uh, no. No one who uses their voice for a living has anything to drink immediately before recording. Not hot, not cold, not nothing, and especially not while working with the audio engineer. He's lying through his teeth."

Mr. Sinatra would like to have a word with you.

TMink said...

The girl has no pitch. Not everyone does. But then, she made her living being a sexually provocative teenager. So what is she supposed to do now in middle age?

Trey

Jason said...

For God's sake, will someone please Autotune all those old Bette Midler recordings before they are allowed back on the air?