?This decade wasn’t the age of hip-hop, new country, alternative rock, or teen pop. It was the age of everything.
?There was so much music that most of us were too bewildered to remember to feel excited.
?The music world pays a price for diversity. Our new heroes are often only heroes to a few. The sheer volume of titles, more akin to books than to movies, means that many never claim public attention, so it’s difficult for average listeners to sift out the important ones.
?For all the industry’s corporate consolidation, the new trends worked against big gatekeepers.
?The statistical evidence suggests that a different approach to marketing contemporary music is necessary.
?Nevertheless, as one surveys the evidence, it’s clear that despite some backsliding, the last decade stands as one of pop’s most experimental periods.
?Technological advances brought down the cost of recording; computerized inventories made it easier for stores to stock more releases. The category “Other” in the recording industry association’s consumer profile more than doubled as the decade progressed, approaching 10 percent of total sales.
?Factionalization freed certain strands of hit music to mutate in ways that a single Top 40 could never accommodate. Underground scenes proliferated and flourished. Great older music found an audience.
?Opening the market to all tastes doesn’t mean that good music, whatever that is, necessarily wins. In a pop world of perfect fairness, you’d probably hate even more music than you do already.
?FINALLY, WHILE the consumer market has fractured, standard mainstream gatekeepers haven’t kept up: labels overspend on hot trends; radio burns out artists and styles with tight formatting; the news media coronates temporary figureheads. Schooled to worship bigness, they each exemplify the fickleness they mistakenly perceive in listeners. Real cultural shifts quickly feel like slick marketing schemes.
*tyle że poprzedniej. Fragmenty artykułu “Pop in the 90’s: Everything for Everyone” Erica Weisbarda, “New York Times” z 30 kwietnia 2000.