A non-autotoned version of Britney Spears' "Alien," from her latest album Britney Jean, has been leaked. Not surprisingly, her voice falls flat in many places, either because Britney Spears is not known for her vocal prowess, or because this version wasn't meant to be a "take" for engineers to refine anyway.
The latter is what Spears' "Alien" producer, William Orbit, claims. As he posted on Facebook on Monday:
"I'd like to affirm that ANY singer when first at the mic at the start of a long session can make a multitude of vocalisations in order to get warmed up," Orbit wrote. "Warming up is essential if you're a pro, as it is with a runner doing stretches, and it takes a while to do properly. I've heard all manner of sounds emitted during warm-ups. The point is that it is not supposed to be shared with millions of listeners.
He praises Spears for being a team player in the recording studio:
A generous singer will put something down the mic to help the engineer get their systems warmed up and at the right level, maybe whilst having a cup of herb tea and checking through lyrics before the session really kicks off. It's not expected to be a 'take'.
Finally, he calls out the person who leaked the warmup track:
Whomever put this on the internet must have done so in a spirit of unkindness, but it can in no way detract from the fact that Britney is and always will be beyond Stellar! She is magnificent! And that's that.
Whether the track was just a warmup or not, this leak doesn't give me any sense of schadenfreude. A lot of pop stars, not just Spears, probably need a generous helping of autotune. Plus, with digital help or not, I always thought Spears had a unique voice that she didn't get enough credit for. In conclusion: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯