American music industry continues to evolve with the times

By on April 26, 2006

Remember the days when music meant something? Do you remember the years when artists were more concerned with providing powerful lyrics within their music instead of always crooning about sex and getting drunk at parties? In the past, the music industry has been responsible for finding musicians who exemplified poignant lyrics, enticing and rhythmic melodies, and messages which made audiences feel both celebratory and emotional.

Now, it seems as though the industry is more concerned with slapping the image of an “attractive artist” onto album covers and music videos. It has gotten to the point that musicians are being more favored for their appearance rather than actual talent.

Beginning in the 1950s, the music industry was most centered on providing music from new-up-and-coming artists who enticed audiences to dance, sing, and follow along with music that was catchy in the lyrics and melodies they carried. As the years went on, the age if Rock and Roll took flight with high-rhythmic music being supplied by artists such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, as well as many others.

As the years went on, artists such as Bruce Springsteen and U2 began to take it to the next level by providing emotional messages within their equally-emotional music. These two artists particularly utilized this method to high extent; most notably with such songs as Born in the U.S.A. and Sunday, Bloody Sunday respectably. It seemed as though the music industry had reached a golden age with providing audiences with music that could simultaneously entertain and enlighten. It seemed as though the age could go on.

But, that failed to happen. Beginning in 1999, the music industry shifted its attention to the younger generations with the supplying of lesser-quality music from “artists” such as N*SYNC and Britney Spears. The later of which would go on to attract significant audiences on providing music which was completely based on sex-appeal and lust; most notably in songs such as Oops! I Did It Again and Boys. These songs were not only giving music a bad name but were also depicting women in a negative light.

But, the music industry did not stop there. Record producers also enabled male rappers to continuously provide music centered on getting drunk, getting high, and having sex with various women. It makes you think as though the music industry can be considered responsible for providing a negative influence for today’s youth.

And, in order to seem as if they know better, the music industry is also providing music from artists who are making an attempt to win over audiences with songs that are meant to tear at your heartstrings. Eventually, the focus ends up becoming less on songs which are emotional in nature but more on the amount of sex-appeal which is generated from the artists.

And what is very interesting to consider is the entire concept of longevity as well as the everlasting impact that the music industry is supposed to provide audiences. As the industry also continued to find artists who are attractive enough to bring in the crowds, they are also making an attempt to discover artists who could make a lasting appearance. People are going to remember Bruce Springsteen. But is James Blunt really going to be around in people’s minds forever.

What about American Idol? I understand that the show is about letting Americans find the next rising star, but whatever happened to Carrie Underwood and Ruben Studdard? Their music was being heard for some time, but now, people are seldom talking about these big music icons. It seems as though Kelly Clarkson has been the only over success that the show has provided for the music industry.

However, there is still hope for the music industry. While there is still music being released from “artists” who seem undeserving of fame, the music industry still knows that audiences still demand quality music. Bands such as Pearl Jam and Green Day still show that poignant and emotional music is still being played and continue to remain faithful to their fans.

And the same can be said entirely for the music industry. For every flash-in-the-pan artists being discovered, the industry will remain faithful to providing quality and poignant music for audiences. And when there is a hiatus of talent, it is only a matter of time when a new quality artist is discovered. Nothing can stop the music industry from providing music for audiences. It’s like the classic Journey song Don’t Stop Believing says, “Oh. The movie never ends, it goes on, and on, and on, and on.”


About Nate Sharir