I found the whole thing depressing. I've been complaining about how "new music" sucks since I was 13 years old. I've been searching for bands that prove me wrong for about the same length of time, with only occasional success.
Ron the Drummer and I have tried to do our part. Sadly, commercial radio isn't playing Cinder Bridge, and I don't want to limit my consumption of newer music to songs I wrote myself.
Anyway. Around the time all of those articles hit, I started noticing a tiny handful of tunes that were actually pretty good. Mostly they played on KFMA, Tucson's alternative radio station. I acquired a couple of the CDs featuring said tunes and finally got around to listening to one of them last week: Megalithic Symphony by Awolnation.
First listen: This is surprisingly not bad. "Kill Your Heroes" isn't the only good song. I hear strong influences from the past, but it still sounds new.
Second listen: I could've sworn they reminded me of the Bee Gees in a couple of those songs. Which ones were they?
Third listen: Although I've just listened to this twice, I'm in the mood to hear it again.
Fourth listen: In fact, I don't think I want to listen to anything else.
Holy hell. It's rare enough that I find a new artist with a song or two that I like. I almost never replay an entire album. Four times in the space of a week is unheard of. Offhand I can only think of a small handful of albums I've encountered in the last 15 years that stood on their own. Sheryl Crow (1996). Whatever and Ever, Amen by Ben Folds Five (1997). White Ladder by David Gray (1998). Our Endless Numbered Days by Iron and Wine (2004). Eye to the Telescope by KT Tunstall (2004).
Thank you, Awolnation, for proving that it can still be done.
Queen and the Bee Gees get into a dance fight. Everybody wins.