Billboard Dregs: Why?
A recent look at the Billboard Top 10 was a sobering experience. I know not to expect much but this was far worse than I thought things could ever get. From the top: Josh Groban, the Eagles, Alicia Keys, "Now 26," Garth Brooks, "High School Musical 2," "Hannah Montana 2," Celine Dion, Carrie Underwood, Mannheim Steamroller.
Wow. (And please don't bombard us why angry comments, Josh Groban fans. Local music blog The Rockist Society seems to be the place to go for that.)
There are many conclusions that one can draw by looking at that list. But what struck me most was that every one of those albums falls into at least one of three categories: adult-alternative, country and adolescent pop. Why are fans of these genres the ones buying albums? Perhaps it's just a seasonal thing (that's the only way to explain Mannheim Steamroller, of course) and folks just grab what they see on the aisle displays at Walmart as stocking stuffers. Perhaps it's because the recent new release schedule has been devoid of any big name releases. (I managed to get a review of the new Six Organs of Admittance album into the paper a few weeks ago, for crying out loud!)
But maybe illegal (and legal) downloading has a lot to do with it? If we're going to play stereotypes for a second, what segments of the population wouldn't be so quick to figure out how to search around the Internet for music? Old folks, rural residents and elementary school kids would probably be near the top of the list, right? Or maybe it's just that those same folks are actually going by a moral code (and passing that down to their children). Are middle-of-the-road adults and country fans less willing to break the law?
What are your thoughts on why the Billboard charts are so dismal? Bad taste? Bad timing? Bad technology? Something else entirely?
By David Malitz |
December 10, 2007; 2:27 PM ET
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