“This sounds like sh*t.”
YouTube user FaustoX has shared a new version of the Hole classic, Celebrity Skin, featuring AI-doctored vocals resembling Kurt Cobain.
The original track landed in August 1998 and peaked at #24 on the ARIA Singles Chart. The album of the same name debuted at #4 in Australia.
FaustoX explained about the reworked track, posted to YouTube last week, “Whoever is offended by this version, I really hope you understand that this is not a part of Kurt's or Courtney's official work. It has no other intention than to be an experiment, just like a more elaborate mashup, and they have no hidden motives.”
As NME reports, mixed reactions have followed, but most fans seem pretty upset and confounded by the use of AI in the video.
“It's only the beginning of AI era, but this is already creepy and crazy at the same time. I don't know what to think right now,” one fan said on YouTube, as another concurred, “This is frightening… the vocal inflections are haunting at many points. To be honest I kinda wanna sob.” Another fan offered, “I’m not sure if I love this or hate it”.
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I strongly believe we need to make this shit illegal. Not even slightly kidding https://t.co/Eg2lCKuQGm— LxDx (@wokestbloke) April 29, 2023
Meanwhile, on Twitter, the primary emotion is rage. “I strongly believe we need to make this shit illegal. Not even slightly kidding,” one user posted. Another called the AI number “copyright infringement, totally distasteful, poorly executed, and subtextual misogyny,” while a poster laid their feelings out as clearly as possible: “This sounds like shit.”
You can listen to the AI version of Celebrity Skin starring Kurt Cobain below.
Sounds like shit. https://t.co/TEhlw96UrL— Mark Yarm (@markyarm.bsky.social) (@markyarm) April 28, 2023
This is the latest instance of AI coming up with an imagined version of music starring a famous singer. A few weeks ago, an AI version of a “lost” Oasis album appeared on YouTube. The project, cleverly titled AISIS - The Lost Tapes / Vol.1, was created in the style of Liam Gallagher’s vocals layered on top of the instrumentals.
The YouTube description reads: “AISIS is an alternate reality concept album where the band’s 95-97 line-up continued to write music, or perhaps all got together years later to write a record akin to the first 3 albums, and only now has the master DAT tape from that session surfaced.
“We’re bored of waiting for Oasis to reform, so we’ve got an AI modelled Liam Gallagher (inspired by @JekSpek) to step in and help out on some tunes that were written during lockdown 2021 for a short lived, but much loved band called Breezer.
“It seemed to be a perfect match, and we love how some of these have turned out. We have a 2nd bunch of songs to come if you want to hear more.” You can check that out here.