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Cruisin’ to James Blake

February 1, 2011

The sound of Auto-Tuned vocals is to the pop music of the 2010’s what the sound of electric guitar was to the pop music of the 80’s and 90’s: totally played out.  Two decades ago, every song had a guitar solo.  In fact, whole songs, albums, and bands owed their entire existence to six string wankery.  These days, it is nearly impossible to hear a pop song of any genre that does not rely heavily on the robotic vocal sound of excessive Auto-Tune.

While electric guitars and Auto-Tune have both been used to near exhaustion, there are still impressive examples of how creative minds can use these common tools in unexpected ways.  James Blake’s self-titled LP is an amazing example of Auto-Tune enhancing the artistic effect of a talented musician, rather than simply masking inadequecies or following trends.  The album shifts wildly from pure piano and vocal balladry to totally disorienting, hyperprocessed polyrhythm chaos, and I’ve listened to it no less than 10 times in the last 12 hours.

And, a quick reminder to all the cruisers out there, this is the first Tuesday of the month.  Rest assured, I’ll be playing this album on repeat at maximum volume during tonight’s Cruiser Tuesday ride (which, as always, will meet at Johnny’s at 7:30 and depart at precisely 8:18ish).

 

Listen to James Blake (as loud as possible).

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 1, 2011 4:49 pm

    damn wish i could make it tonight because this album is easily one of my top choices for 2K11 already.

    • February 1, 2011 8:28 pm

      I agree, but if there are even a handful of albums this year that give it a run for the money, then it’ll be a great year for music.

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