Something I've learned about myself is that I very much enjoy effective use of the vocoder in any genre of music. I truly consider the vocoder an instrument on the same level as a guitar or drumset, albeit a purely digital one.
Off the top of my head, my all-time favorite vocoder song list would include (in no particular order):
- Peter Frampton's "Do You Feel Like I Do?" I can only add here that it's weird to see a graying Frampton pitching Geico car insurance, although it's always nice to get the vocoder some mainstream advertising love.
- Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger." Everyone who knows me knows that I was an immediate believer in this song since its release. And while so many classic tunes have been butchered by hip-hop acts (coughpuffdaddycough), Kanye's "Stronger" pushes both songs to immortal status. Thus, I enjoy the pre-Kanye and post-Kanye eras of HBFS's continuing awesomeness. Also, in the "How Much Would You Pay?" game, I think I would pay $500 for a replica Daft Punk robot helmet with functioning LED display.
- ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky." This song has been effectively used in both a VW commercial (I think it was for the new Beetle?) and Michel Gondry's "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." I like how upbeat and optimistic the song is, although it's always felt to me a little too unrelenting and manic in its pace, which perhaps is some kind of subtle commentary on the soul-crushing march of modern society (or not.)
Honorable mention would go to Styx's "Mr. Roboto," which was also featured in a VW commercial.