Everybody with ears knows that Kelly Clarkson can sing, whether or not everybody agrees with the message that lies beneath the glossy surface of American Idol. The message: we can make these nobodies into somebodies, provided those nobodies conform to traditional standards of “good singing.” Clarkson adheres to those standards, even if she has recently not adhered to the Los Angeles standard of anorexic beauty. Clarkson has regained her realistic Texan body, but it has come with a bizarre side-effect.
Kelly Clarkson has become a robot.
I understand that the way people make records has changed. Everything is over-processed, auto-tuned and, once unleashed on radio, compressed into submission. What I don’t understand is why someone somewhere thought that Kelly Clarkson needed her voice to be processed beyond all recognition. On “I Do Not Hook Up,” she’s someone else. She’s Miley Cyrus. It is unsettling and unbecoming, as the world barely even needed the first draft of Miley, much less a clone. Kelly Clarkson is not a pop princess. When The Machine tried to turn her into a pre-fab Pseudo Britney, she fired The Machine. Why, then, is she now doing such a realistic impression of a product of The Machine?
My music business degree is now hopelessly obsolete, as I graduated years before MySpace. One thing that still applies is this: when real talent steps into a studio, it’s a bad idea to put effort toward making it look like fake talent. The Jurassic Park rule:
Just because you CAN do it, doesn’t necessarily mean that you SHOULD.