I’m a huge fan of Adele’s 21 album. The production on it is immaculate. Every song is genuinely well constructed and the melodies are a joy to listen to. However, the auto-tune processing on the vocals drives me up the wall! She doesn’t need it! They excessively corrected the vocal tracks. When you hear Adele perform the same songs live she hits her notes but there’s a soul to the performance that has been stripped out of the studio album in favor of perfection. A voice is an organic entity, when it drifts a few cents flat on a note you don’t need to fix that.
Also, the mastering on the album. I don’t care for it. I understand the commercial-driven purpose of haven’t it processed that way but there’s no breathing room in the dynamics on that song. Which is a same because the composition is so great. Instead of being an obviously modern interpretation of 60’s soul they could have taken it a step further to get the sound closer to vintage. Instead we have a overly-processed, safe and uninteresting gloss over what could be a classic record for the ages. Adele has the vocal chops to pull these songs off, she doesn’t need the extra digital manipulation. I prefer a performance with feeling and flaws over an unnatural perfect sounding recording.
Here’s Adele singing live on KCRW
As you can see a great performance, unlike most pop singers she doesn’t need help.
I hope her next album which is due to be released soon doesn’t play it as safe.