(i use kpop songs as examples because autotune is used mainly in those songs that i listen to)
Let's clear something up. OP said autotune shouldn't be used in pop songs. Since pop actually means popular, I'm just going to throw it out that it's okay for autotune to be used.
The music I listen to has a lot of autotuned songs, but all the artists CAN sing live. It's just the picture of the song, cannot always be made with clear vocals.
for example. 2NE1 are known for their producer (Teddy Park) to be very autotune happy in ALL of 2NE1's songs. You can tell that there is definitely too much autotune. If you skip to 1.32 to when Bom Park (Jenny Park w/e you want to call her) sings, there is little to no autotune. Then when Dara starts to sing, there is still some autotune on her voice.
To be honest, most of the autotune works in this song despite there being a lot. They can sing, (especially Bom) and have proved it in other songs, but they absolutely suck live (especially Bom and CL) and need the aid of autotuned backing vocals.
But compare it to this
. The actual song itself has very minimal autotune but does use a lot of vocal effects to set the mood of the song. It works out a lot better, and these guys are great live. Another example of good vocal effects in a song is in Gummy (거미) - 사랑은 없다. There isn't any autotune and a few vocal effects at "hoh no more drama" and stuff. works great)
Okay, I don't listen to this
group but they're critized a lot for the use of autotune on their songs. I can't even listen to the whole thing it's so bad.
Clearly it does not work. I know one of them as an ex-member of a ballad group called XING and he has an amazing voice. Shame in this group there is SO much autotune. If you compare this to 2NE1, 2NE1 seems to have hardly any autotune next to this.
There is also a lot of vocal effects that don't work.
I just scoured through over 3000 songs to find one with autotune that actually sounded overly amazing, you know what. I couldn't find one that was completely autotuned that actually sounded good.
autotune isn't as bad as people make it out to be