After loving Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak album for quite some time, I wanted to take a turn at using Auto-Tune. Auto-Tune is that effect heard on 98% of Hip-Hop singles that can give an effect that sounds like a computer voice.
So I started thinking about what using this effect could mean, other than an overused aesthetic effect. There is an interesting simulation of reality, or simulacra, that takes place here. It is Kanye’s voice, but it isn’t. There is a kind of mask that allows his real self to be hidden. Some songs he sings about how he’s glad he broke up with the girl, some songs he laments the breakup, there is a lot of ambiguity, or maybe there’s just a lot of mixed emotions.
So when I was thinking of how to write a song that would justify the use of Auto-Tune, using it more than an outside effect, I stuck to the idea of mixed thoughts and feelings on love in general. Going back to my Box of Rocks entry, I (we?) are often arrogant as well as self-deprecating, vacillating between the two. And when the effect is removed from my voice, the authentic real voice says, “We don’t have a clue.” When it comes down to it, we do the best we can, but we probably don’t have a clue on what it means to love and be loved.
So here it is: