I Need a Job... So I Can Buy More Auto-Tune

I Need a Job... So I Can Buy More Auto-Tune

There are two Swamp Dogg albums—of the singer’s two dozen—that use Auto-Tune technology, and you needn’t look any further than their titles to know which ones they are. Love, Loss and Auto-Tune (2018) and his latest, I Need a Job… So I Can Buy More Auto-Tune, are each more experimental than the large majority of Swamp Dogg’s deep and deeply soulful catalog, and he wanted to be up-front about it from the jump. “I pictured people saying, ‘Now, why is this old motherfucker using Auto-Tune?’” the 79-year-old tells Apple Music. “‘Is he trying to be Usher or somebody?’ But if you take it and just slam it out there on the table and say, ‘I'm going to try some Auto-Tune,’ then, when they hear Auto-Tune, they don't say anything except 'Yeah. He's using it pretty good.'” Not all of the songs on I Need a Job… utilize the technology. The most striking incidences, which occur on “I Need a Job,” “I Need Your Body,” “Full-Time Woman,” and “Cheating All Over Again,” add little more than a metallic sheen to some classic Swamp Dogg songwriting—the singer has long broached the topics of being down on his luck, the joy a good woman can bring to your life, the inevitability of infidelity—but what was important to him was not to stand in the way of progess. “I wanted to give the production to a producer and stay out of the way,” Swamp Dogg says of yielding to his friend and I Need a Job…’s primary producer Moogstar. “That's one of the worst things, especially from an artist. So I kept my mouth shut as much as I could. I got my two cents' worth in there, but I wanted to do something else that I've never done, and that is let somebody else be the main producer, and I get out the way.” Now, it would have been impossible for Swamp Dogg to not have had at least some influence on the album’s production, and we hear that most prominently on his duet with longtime friend Willie Clayton (“Cheating in the Daylight”), an album-closing tribute to soul music firebrand Joe Tex (“Show Me”), and even the conspicuously bold choice to merge Swamp’s blues crooning with a reggae-inspired backdrop (“Darlin’ Darlin’ Darlin’”). But above anything else, what we hear on I Need a Job… So I Can Buy More Auto-Tune is a legend of American soul music still having fun. “I’m shocked, but happy,” he says. “I mean, I shouldn't be shocked, because this is what I pray for all the time. I don't have a lot of items on my bucket list—I figured if I didn't have a lot, I might get them all. Except that eternal life thing. [I’m still] working hard on that.”

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