If you listen closely, if you place your ear to the ground and hold your breath, you can hear it softly in the distance. It’s a slow rumble, an almost imperceptible sound growing stronger. There can be no resistance. There is nothing that I can stand in its way. I fear this post comes too late.
AutoTune is on its way to Christian music.
If you’ve never heard the word “AutoTune” allow me a quick explanation. According to the webscapes, AutoTune or AutoTuner is “the process of correcting the intonation of an audio signal without affecting other aspects of its sound.” Or in other words, it’s an audio program that makes your voice sound all roboty and hides any pitch problems you might be having. Done in moderation, it’s a great technique that adds a lot of fun to an album. Done in excess, it feels like RoboCop produced your music.
T-pain made it famous as of late. Britney Spears has used it a lot. Kanye West’s latest album, 808s & Heartbreak, uses AutoTune on every song. Even a new Wendy’s fast food commercial employs it. But recently, Jay-Z released a song called “DOA” or “Death of AutoTune.” And since popular mainstream culture is done with it, the next stop for AutoTune is probably going to be Christian music. There is a growing fear that it will soon infect every one from Amy Grant to Yolanda Adams. (If there was a Christian musician with a name that started with the letter “Z” that A-Z statement I just attempted to make would have been slightly more awesome.)
How’s it going to happen? How will the virus of AutoTune spread to Christian music?
Here are the steps you need to be ready for:
1. Someone will spoof it.
Like most musical monsters, (see the Macarena), it’s all fun and games at first. “Hey, wouldn’t it be funny if we used AutoTune during a concert? Let’s bust that out some night and have fun with the crowd.” The first spotting of AutoTune will come in the form of a joke played during a live show. My money is on the David Crowder Band. They covered the Sonseed song, “Jesus is my friend” live and although I don’t personally know them, they seem like they have a great sense of humor. This is how it will begin.
2. TobyMac employs it in a song.
I don’t have all of TobyMac’s music so it’s possible this has already happened. I do sincerely dig the song, “Made to love” and like TobyMac. But at some point in the next three months, as the only Christian musician currently saying things like “I feel the haters spittin’ vapors on my dreams,” TobyMac will almost be obligated to use AutoTune. I’m not saying the Dove Awards people are going to force him to use it, but they might. They’re a powerful lot.
3. Having seen TobyMac try it, other pop Christian bands will give it a whirl.
Once the Mac Attack has used it to and been successful, other pop Christian groups will jump on board. Teen girl bands and boy bands of emo descent will find ways to incorporate it. You won’t be able to turn on Christian radio without hearing someone stretch out the word “Jesssssuussss” with the robotic rhythm of AutoTune.
4. Your worship leader will use it in church.
Out of nowhere, in the middle of a praise song you’ve song for years, a bit of AutoTune will make a cameo during church. “Did that just happen?” you’ll say? Yes, yes it did my friend.
5. Someone will do a “Father Abraham” VBS remix with AutoTune, officially putting the final nail in it’s coffin.
Although I would pay money to see this, this will mark the end of the AutoTune cycle. Having traveled from rap to spoof to TobyMac to general acceptance to church service, AutoTune will now arrive in the VBS final performance night. And 6 year olds will do a dance routine to an AutoTuned rendition of Father Abraham. It’s over.
Has this already happened? I recently heard a song about prayer that seemed like it had a little bit of AutoTune in it. Am I too late? I’m horrible at keeping on top of trends, so maybe my words are more pathetic than prophetic.
Is there another trend in popular music you think is headed our way?
What song would you love to see remixed with AutoTune?