Strange Thoughts: The Future of Pop Idols


I’m dedicating this to Chris for being obsessed with this stuff for years. Oh, and the robots; you guys will love this stuff.

I’ve always admired the Japanese for two reasons: first, they tend to have technology a good five years before we do. Secondly, because they’re so goddamn wacky. Or at least they can be. (I mean really, have you seen any anime? Shit’s nuts! It’s cool though; I’m a nerd).

Recently, I came across something that freaked me out at first glance, but then I began thinking about it and came to a strange conclusion. But before I begin, I’d like you to look at Exhibit A: Britney Spears

Yes, I am going somewhere with this

Now, you’re allowed to like the music that Britney Spears “makes,” but you must recognize that it’s meant to be shallow catchy-as-hell pop stuff. That in and of itself is not a bad thing-that music is needed every now and then. What is the issue here is that she doesn’t write her own lyrics, doesn’t involve herself in any of the music-making part, and can’t really sing that well either.

Wait, what? She can’t sing? But she sings just fine! I’ve heard her!

Go and listen to Womanizer and tell me her voice isn’t synthesized to hell. She’s practically a female T-Pain.

At least there's no debate with his singing abilities

There’s even a video out there (which could be a hoax) that is apparently her “singing” at a concert, terribly.

Not to mention Britney has gone nuts a few times and done all sorts of stupid shit.

So where do the Japanese come in?

I present to you: the Vocaloid-in concert!

Yes. That was a live concert.

Yes. She was a hologram.

Yes. All of that was created by a computer, except the music. Those were people playing instruments there (not holograms, I know it’s hard to make the distinction sometimes.)

So… it’s kinda like the Gorillaz?

No. There is an actual singer behind the voices of the Gorillaz members (and various guest stars). You see, the Vocaloid’s voice is created by a certain software created by the Japanese. While there may have been real singers who helped with the program, the songs are sung-in essence-by a computer. You know that program in Windows where we spent all night typing in words like “penis” and “asshole” and giggled like the adolescents we were? Yeah, well it’s like that but they took more singing lessons.

It is my belief that these Vocaloids are the future of pop music. Not of music as a whole, but of pop music. Looking back at Britney, she has a lot in common with the Vocaloids: they don’t write their own lyrics, they don’t take part in the music creating process, and they’re totally synthesized. However, the difference is that you expect that from the Vocaloid, while from Britney we at least want her to be able to one of those things. When we hear Britney and see her on tv or in the tabloids or whatever, it isn’t really Britney Jean Spears-a real person-but Britney Spears, the character who performs for us. Notice how upset the media got when she went batshit insane; she “broke character” if you will.

Vocaloids can’t do that. They’re not going to get drunk and cut off all of their hair then make some babies and get real trashy on us. They’re not going to write “FUCK YOU” on their knuckles when they go to court for breaking parole. They’re not programed that way. They’re our puppets (which our popstars pretty much are anyway), but it’s okay that they’re puppets because they’re digital. No real person’s feelings are going to be hurt-ever. (Sure, we can go total Megatokyo and talk about the character’s feelings but I did not make this blog for weeaboos). There are the hentai doujins-but if you know what that even is you’re a damn nerd anyway and you know it doesn’t really count cause it’s not official. Shit ain’t cannon bro!


It seems the worst the vocaloids can do is hit people with leeks

They’re safe and for pop music that’s perfect. If we want a singer who gets drunk and starts fights we go listen to a rock band.

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?

I brought this up to the fiancee as she usually screens my thoughts and either weens out the stupid ones or makes sure only the stupid ones get through to embarrass me (never been able to tell). She thought there was a problem with this being the future of pop music as now young girls now have something even harder to live up to. My argument is that this is even better for the girls as, well, they’re clearly not real people. It would be like be trying to live up to Gambit from the X-men; I will only be disappointing myself because, while I may one day be as suave and cunning and may even get the ability to throw plasma playing cards, I will never get that sexy French accent.

Though there are nights where I cry myself to sleep over it.

And hell, we all know that when hair gets as long as the Vocaloid in this video, it sure as hell doesn’t flow like that and look nearly that nice.

That, my friends is why Vocaloids are the future of pop music. Just give it about 5 years.

Thoughts?


Note: Sure I really could have chosen any popstar but Britney was the first one who came to mind cause of how crazy she went. Frankly I also love the song Womanizer; it makes me want to dress in drag and dance.

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12 Comments to “Strange Thoughts: The Future of Pop Idols”

  1. Hi there! I din think there would be a real hologram concert! I only know about the green concert.. thought that was not really worth mentioning in my opinion. But Man would I like to see one! Esp if the characters performing were from my favourites or “wish to see” list!

  2. I fully agree with you sir! And it gives people in the Graphic Arts some Job security! That should be my next project! Create a holographic Pop Idol!

  3. Whoa whoa whoa, Gambit has a cajun accent! FIX THIS!

  4. Ever think of the possibility of robots becoming sentient beings??? Didn’t think so… Yeah they could be doing that shit too!! Growing hair then cutting it off…developing drinking problems…etc.

    But that could be in about 10 years instead of 5 X-D

  5. Some of the Vocaloid stuff is damn catchy. i have a few flash videos saved because of just that fact. You can’t help but nod along to those damn songs. Oh, and to build off of this a little bit, Yea this could become a big thing. However, I really don’t know if the USA would be as receptive to it. But, I wonder what the possibility is of creating a true “English” speaking vocaloid? I guess it would depend on the complexity….

    • I’ll admit I’m ignoring American tastes for the sake of argument, but when we consider technology as a whole it seems to be the trend.
      Then again, we were listening to techno about 5 years ago when no one did here (and it was the rage in europe) and now turn on your radio and tell me if it sounds similar. Because it should.

      • stupid lady gaga….. stupid Katy Perry….

        I have noticed in fact. I’ve been browsing the radio on more than one occasion and came across stuff i never would have heard on the radio a few years back. BUT! Until i hear HP Baxter over the radio, I take it all with a grain of salt.

      • Haha, don’t hold your breath for HP, but who knows.

        I honestly love Lady Gaga, and Katy Perry isn’t so bad either (at least they write their own lyrics). I just enjoy the knowledge that everyone who hated what we listened to, now listen to an offshoot of it and eat it up. Of course they don’t know any better, but I do, and that makes me happy.

        Trancy techno was always poppy in Europe, so I don’t think we have any room to complain about our synthy beats “going mainstream” because they always were.

      • Lady Gaga’s stuff is catchy, i can’t help but like it when I hear it. but its still funny knowing that its so similar to stuff i’ve listened too for quite some time now

  6. I find myself coming back to your web-site only because you have lots of awesome insights and also you happen to be at this a while, which is very impressive and tells me you know your stuff.

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