Lip-Syncing: Immoral Practice or Necessary Evil?

I get a feeling that those who feel duped are not necessarily upset at Beyonce but bummed to learn how commonplace lip-syncing is. It's like finding out that, as Big Boi once said, "Santa Claus is nothing more than Vanilli." Once the concept is understood, it seems no more dishonest than, say, doing multiple takes during a recording or adding pre-recorded laughter to a television show. A pop singer lip-syncing for the sake of quality control is no worse than a technical metal band playing to a secret metronome live. You would be surprised how often that occurs.

The issue has less to do with the actual lip-syncing - considering the liberties Ms. Knowles took with the anthem, she did a mighty fine job lining up her motions - and more to do with the public demonization of lip syncing. This is one of the last technical aspects of music that is definitively wrong in most minds. Comparatively, auto-tuning is now recognized as an aesthetic choice rather than a cheat. It's generally acceptable to sing to a backing track instead of a band. People understand gray areas in music, but the thought of giving leniency to the monochrome act of lip-syncing might take some time.

The chances of artists stopping lip syncing are as slim as the chances of Obama taking away your guns. The big take-home lesson here is to learn the truth about something and think before you get upset. But since that hasn't happened in Washington over health care, debt ceilings, or immigration, I doubt Beyonce is going to be the torchbearer.

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