Auto-Tune at the Oscars: Unexpectedly and inexplicably charming

Procrastination is a wonderful thing. Here I was, on a Sunday night, putting off writing this blog while watching the Academy Awards, and I found something that was even better than what I was planning on writing.

“Tiny Ball of Light.”

If you saw the Oscars, you know what I’m talking about. If you didn’t, click the link already. I’ll wait.

Back? Good.

As you’ve already seen, “Tiny Ball of Light,” and the rest of the Oscars’ movie musical medley, is awesome. It’s also something I should have no business liking, since I’m violently opposed to Auto-Tune.

If you’ve listened to any Top 40 radio station in the last decade, you’ve heard Auto-Tune, and if you have any decency, you like it just as little as I do. There’s something to be said about musical artists who can hit just the right note—when they do it themselves. Using Auto-Tune is two parts lazy, three parts cheap, and one part obnoxious.

And yet I can’t help but love “Tiny Ball of Light.”

It’s not an unprecedented love, I suppose. I have the exact same passion for lots of other Auto-Tuned works:  last year’s Bud Light Super Bowl commercial that skewered the practice (with maximum offender T-Pain involved, no less), and the Symphony of Science is as majestic as any real classical piece, and with the added bonus of Bill Nye the Science Guy.

I guess “Tiny Ball of Light” is just going to be another exception that proves the rule: Auto-Tune is evil, except when it’s amazing.