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the power of auto-tune

Are You Actually Surprised That This Leaked Britney Spears Vocal Is Not So Great?

Singer Britney Spears arrives at a welcome ceremony as she celebrates the release of her new album "Britney Jean" and prepares for her two-year residency at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on December 3, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Spears' show "Britney: Piece of Me" will debut at the resort on December 27, 2013.

Today the internet is up in arms about a leaked vocal track from the Britney Jean recording sessions — an un-Auto-Tuned version of "Alien." Here's what it sounds like:

(And, for comparison, here's the actual recording of "Alien.")

... Yeah. In case you were suspicious, it's been confirmed as real by the song's producer, William Orbit, who took to Facebook to defend Spears (who herself has yet to comment): "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 warmups." Yikes. But in case it hasn't been made clear over the past 15 years, pop princess Britney Jean Spears is not the best singer. It's fine! We have our Mariahs, Whitneys, Arethas. Britney is more of a jack of all trades (and master of none) who properly brings to life the magic of Max Martin, Dr. Luke, and the like — and that's why we love her. Also: Maybe this is just what Britney Spears sounds like on other planets? The song is called "Alien."