Or are most modern pop and R&B stars incapable of simply hitting a note and holding it?

Or are they hiding their inability to do so in a sea of melisma?

Seriously: why do primal songs – “Over The Rainbow” and “As Time Goes By,” among others – need to be doctored by a modern performer throwing it through the vocal warp effect?

It’s overkill.

It’s pathetic.

And it’s spent.

Now there is a place for melisma in music: it’s been used for centuries, especially in Hindu and Middle Eastern music forms. But these days, the mash-up of jazz-esque improvisation by folks who don’t have a clue about improv that is complementary to the music, rather than simply wailing above it, seems to be the unfortunate norm.