Blogcritics.org: Will The Last Great American Rock N Roll Band Please Stand And Wave The Flag
I agree with the sentiments in this article in general, but it’s not that there aren’t bands still doing great rock and roll. The real problem is that rock has stopped being innovative.
Rock has gone through Elvis and Chuck Berry in the ’50s, The Beatles and numerous other great bands in the ’60s, punk rock and metal in the ’70s and ’80s, and culminating in the whole grunge/alt/indie thing in the early ’90s.
We’ve seen rock music branch off into a vast number of genres, subgenres, combinations and permutations. But in 2004, it seems like everything has been done already. Punk, for example, has influenced virtually the entire underground rock scene through the ’80s and ’90s, and has been combined with nearly every musical genre. But when was the last time you heard a punk (-influenced) band that sounded truly original?
The evidence of rock’s decline can be seen in the popular music charts. Last October, for the first time, every artist in the Billboard top 10 was a black hip-hop or R&B artist. Some of the most popular and critically acclaimed music right now is from the hip-hop or R&B genres. Hip-hop has been around for over 20 years, and a number of artists and producers are still innovating. Sure, not all hip-hop is great; some of it is as cliche and outdated as today’s rock. I don’t know about most people, but I for one have been listening to a lot more hip-hop as of late.
I’m not sure myself if there will ever be another shake-up in rock music similar to the ones we’ve seen before. There are bands still out there who continue to evoke the great sounds of rock’s glorious past. But considering that the current crop of great rock bands merely rehash old sounds, it appears that there is nowhere for rock to go but backward.