It’s 2007 and I’m 45 years old. This year makes me smile because the Canadian TV comedy show The Kids in the Hall used to do a sketch where this groovy looking guy would fall into the camera and the headlines would read “He’s hip, he’s cool, he’s 45…”
I think the implication was that being 45 or more is sort of like being a loaf of stale bread or a bag of sour milk. And as wrong as that is, it’s a cultural bias that persists today.
In a word, ageism.
I probably was an ageist when I was younger. And I don’t blame younger people for looking at me now (55 yrs) as some kind of damaged goods past my shelf life.
Let’s be real. That’s how it often is. People say “age is only a number” but when it gets down to brass tacks their ugly ageism emerges.
Madonna once said on the topic, “So am I suppose to die..?” (or something like that).
That’s my sociological rant for today. To get back to the music, the prime focus of Reelin’ in the Years, I choose this tune for the best of 2007.
I dig T-Pain because he popularized a vocal effect called “auto-tune” that has become pretty mainstream in 2018. Basically, a software program corrects your pitch and can vary parameters (like speed and the musical scale you’re being shifted to) to get a robotic sounding twang.
Others did it before T-Pain. But he made it a staple. As a matter of fact, there now are auto-tune programs (and presets within programs) named after him.
You can hear the effect with various degrees of subtlety throughout the tune but it’s really obvious around the one minute mark.
I recall hearing another song with auto-tune in a dollar store in Peterborough ON sometime in the late 2000s to early 2010s. The effect was more popular and I realized it was becoming a thing. I found that interesting because auto-tune is about the interface of mankind and the machine, a place where I think we are collectively headed.
For those old skool critics of newer music who may think auto-tune is just a cheap gimmick, I urge them to try doing it themselves. As a bedroom producer, I can tell you that doing it well is an art and a science. You gotta be smart, tech-savvy and artistically gifted to pull it off. Yes, you can make your voice twang with a VST plugin. But to get it timed right, clean and effective, well, that’s another matter. Anyone who says otherwise doesn’t know what they are talking about.
Before my time some conservatives thought electric guitars were a cheap sellout or of the devil. Dissing electronic music without any kind of appreciation of what’s involved to my mind is not so different.
People get stuck in patterns… at any age.