Neko Case talks about what is easily the worst thing to happen to popular music in the past ten years, the gratuitous and inescapable use of auto-tune pitch correction:
Pitchfork: You seem like somebody who would be especially annoyed by the "American Idol"-ization of modern pop.
Case: You mean the horrible singing?
Case: When I think about Jackie Wilson or the Platters and then I think about modern, Top 40 music that's really horrible, it makes me mad. Singing isn't important anymore. I'm not a genius-- if I had been around during the time of Jackie Wilson or Rosemary Clooney or Patsy Cline, I would be shit. I would be singing in some bar somewhere for $5 a week and that's as far as I would ever go. But I'm living now and I write songs, it's different. There's some part about the craft of singing -- craft is too important of a word, I hate that word but I just used it anyway -- in a lot of places, it hasn't really made it. It's not to do with the people who are doing it as much as the people who are producing it. There's technology like auto tune and pitch shifting so you don't have to know how to sing. That shit sounds like shit! It's like that taste in diet soda, I can taste it-- and it makes me sick.
When I hear auto tune on somebody's voice, I don't take them seriously. Or you hear somebody like Alicia Keys, who I know is pretty good, and you'll hear a little bit of auto tune and you're like, "You're too fucking good for that. Why would you let them do that to you? Don't you know what that means?" It's not an effect like people try to say, it's for people like Shania Twain who can't sing. Yet there they are, all over the radio, jizzing saccharine all over you. It's a horrible sound and it's like, "Shania, spend an extra hour in the studio and you'll hit the note and it'll sound fine. Just work on it, it's not like making a burger!"
There's a great discussion of auto-tune on the Stereogum thread, which is where I first spotted this item.