First Hit #1: November 14, 2009
Whatcha Say is a song about vocal processing and possibly a breakup. Sometimes I feel like I’m being a stick in the mud about the whole autotune thing, as though I should just accept, if not embrace, the technology. After all, it was popular and apparently other people liked the sound. I’ve even heard a couple songs where it felt artistically justified to put a distancing effect between the listener and the vocalist. But then Whatcha Say comes along and I think “Oh, no, I’m completely justified in my hatred of this technology, because this is crap, but it could have been okay.” The problem is that it’s just plain distracting, throwing in some robot voice when it’s unnecessary, making Derulo sound like he is an inept vocalist even though he’s probably completely competent. The chorus, an Imogen Heap sample, is even worse, so processed I could have believed it came from absolutely anyone. I could have done the chorus, it’s so barely recognizable as a human vocal. Whatcha Say is just an exercise in ruining a vocal, and if it makes me sound like an old fuddy duddy when I make that statement, so be it.