This a is a blog post which originally was a response to a colleague of mine who wrote an article about the current state of music and how technology advancements have caused shortcuts and shortcomings in the last 10 years of recorded music. You can read the original article HERE and his follow up HERE
Here is my rebuttal:
While I completely agree with your analysis of today's "photoshopped" music industry, I disagree with where you are placing the blame. No one can deny music these days is copied & pasted, produced up, and auto-tuned to death.. And as a result, a lesser talented pool of artists are able to make it into the lime light, with the right team of people propping them up.
Who's fault is this though? While a vocalist may burn his voice out on the last chorus and occasionally yell to the engineer "just copy and paste the 1st chorus" The majority of these technology-aided shortcuts are spearheaded by the guys paying the bills. Why pay producers, engineers, musicians, etc. to sit around and wait for a vocalist to nail the last chorus when you can just copy and paste the first? That is the record label / business mentality. Why pay artists to write music when you can pay a professional songwriter to write radio-friendly "hits" at a break-neck pace for a fraction of the price? The artists' mentality is to write, record, and perform music over and over again until it has been perfected; sometimes to a fault. You can't grow a fan base and make money if you can't get anything out the door to consumers.
The result of this music industry approach is a bunch of watered-down, zero shelf life, flavor of the week, one hit wonders. Their music is devoid of human emotion and audiences don't form attachments with these "artists". Record labels aren't as dumb as we think. They do actually realize that these artists have a higher turnover rate. So they compensate by raising the album price on artists who have loyal fan bases; like Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead. Well, we all know how that turned out for them.
There is always going to be that ying and yang balance of art and business. However, right now the business guys in the mainstream music industry have taken it too far and it is biting them in the ass.
-Ross Lucivero (Bassist theWANDAS)