it rarely, if ever works. In fact I think it normally ruins them.
What I mean is bands whose first or early material involves quite 'buried' singing behind everything else, normally reverb. It sounds great.
Recent examples that spring to mind are Best Coast, Wild Nothing, Pains of Being...
Each of their first LPs have various levels of buried vox. Each of them also happen to be brilliant.
Then they decide, for whatever reason, that the vocals need to be cleaner and clearer. And every time, the music suffers accordingly. I know Bethany from Best Coast said their new producer gave her the CONFIDENCE to bring herself to the fore and stuff. That was supposed to give them depth, but instead it just made them boring.
Pains of bla bla - the vocals on 'Heart In Your Heartbreak' for instance, right at the top, and overly expressive. Too much. Wild Nothing's latest one is similar for me.
One of the best examples is probably The Strokes' third album. Ok, so the writing got shit, but it coincided with Julian deciding his voice should be at the centre of the music. What a mistake that was.
I wish they'd resist the temptation to do it.