Has new music gotten better or worse this year?

Many people complain that the reason record sales are down is that the quality of new music is heading south. Do you agree? Have new releases improved this past year or are they still on a slide?

Has new music gotten better or worse this year?
It has gotten much better
3% (5 votes)
It has gotten a little better
9% (13 votes)
It's about the same
30% (46 votes)
It's a little worse
22% (33 votes)
It's a lot worse
36% (54 votes)
Total votes: 151

paul lee's picture

I have all the cd's I need and little or no new one's to purchase.There is just nothing outthere that I like

Paul J.  Stiles, Mtn.View, CA's picture

I have made it a point to not buy much music this year in order to not support the RIAA's reign of terror and the enrichment of their law sharks. (exception: HE2003 in San Francisco, where there was lots to select from amongst the various small labels.) All-in-all, I have not heard much from the big labels that remotely interests me. From what I have heard, recording quality has gotten worse.

Eric Thoben's picture

Not alot out there

Woody Battle's picture

There is some really great music out there, it's just not the stuff being marketed by the big labels. The big labels are run by businessmen who don't have a clue about anything to do with music. When they do happen to find someone talented, they overproduce everything and destroy any hint of spontaneity or originality.

Tony's picture

You gotta be kidding! The music "industry" is into lawsuits and brainless "big acts." When will they wake, smell the roses and start reissuing the back catalog at reasonable prices? And when will they start allowing high-rez downloading and Internet radio to flourish again?

Bubba in SF's picture

Some hip-hop is starting to actually have melodies

WalkerTM's picture

Haven't bought anything mainstream at all this year; simply cause there is nothing worth buying.

Oliver, Germany's picture

The "Top 100" got even more worse than they had been last year, but there have been enough very good CDs this year, more than I have time to listen. OLiver

Al Marcy's picture

Ummm, seven cent blank CDs...

T's picture

It's so bad that it can only get a little worse—95 % of the records I buy are re-releases, mainly from the '60s and '70s. The music the record companies release today is mostly rubbish. Criminal rap artists who brag about slappin' their bitches and no melody—who wants to buy that? And the rest isn't much better. Where is the Jimi Hendrix, Cream, CCR, Doors, Deep Purple, or Janis Joplin of today? They were artists who know the craft of songwriting, not just sampling.

Stephen Curling's picture

Once the music industry can drop the downloading issue, and concentrate their efforts on music, not sales, music will get better.

Stephen's picture

ALL new music sucks!

Tony P., Washington, DC's picture

I'm not sure it ever gets better or worse. Any year brings us a truckload of junk along with a small handful of gems. Some years are luckier in that there are a few more gems than usual. It all evens out in the long run, though

Mike Parenteau's picture

At the risk of sounding like the old geezer baby-boomer that I am, it used to be that the music was the primary thing that mattered in the rock revolution of the '50s, '60s, and '70s. Nowadays with video, it's all about the look and the style, with music taking a back seat to the dancers, the lights, the costumes, the gyrating and grinding, the self-fondling, and crotch-grabbing on camera. Sheesh! No more Britneys, J-Los or Aguilleras please. Enough is Enough. There is far too much product out there in the market, and too many marginally talented, posturing and pouting wannabees belting out their particular brand of "chick angst" trying to sound profound. The musicians are in the background, dishing out the perfunctory back-beats that support today's pop schlop. It has been said before, but it's true and it bears repetition, there are not a lot of compelling titles out there to buy. If there are, they are not marketed with anything near the same level of support as the pop idols of today's vid-crazed music industry and you must search diligently for them. The recording companies have only themselves to blame. They have pushed bland and generic cookie-cutter pop stars at us ad nauseam. Borrring! Now they are paying the price.

Tom's picture

I'd say it was a great year for music. I can't think of a year that wasn't.

Graeme Nattress's picture

Year after year, I'm buying less music, and that's because there's less interesting music to buy. However, I reckon there's still a large amount of decent music out there, but as long as big record companies control what gets on the radio, and what music we hear about, I'm never going to have the time to find out about the new music that's waiting for me.

Javier Santiago-Lucerna, MA's picture

I listen almost exclusively to jazz. I personally think Dave Holland Quintet's Extended Play was awesome, yet it offered very little new within the genre. On the other hand, Dave Douglas' Freak in, as well as other "techno-meets-jazz" efforts may signal sort of a paradigm shift within jazz, which may account as something "new." I have yet to hear something really new that effectively pushes the boundary of the genre. On the other hand, I though Evanecense album (yeah, the one from the Daredevil soundtrack), while not completely new, was an accomplished album. After so may groups trying to mix hip-hop with post-alternative aesthetics, someone has finally done it right, adding a fine voice in the mix to create a wonderfull contrast, that becomes entertaining, exquisite, and maybe even "new."

Norman L.  Bott's picture

I assume that your question only involves pop/rock music. In that regard it is always worse because the music always sucks!

Davet's picture

It seems that the new releases in the Jazz vein have gotten a little more commercial. Musicians have to make a living and appeal to a briader cross section of the listening public, but for those of us that enjoy great performances - the commercial intrusion is not fully appreciated. I know Herbie Hancock, VSOP concert, some years ago would play the Headhunters genre for the first half of the set and then after intermission play staright ahead. This caught the ear of a lot of younger musicians that would not have heard the music if it were all staraight ahead Jazz. I am all for the new releases having pop leaning tracks, but it would be nice to have a disclaimer or a warning - ala "parental Guidance" for music lovers.

GUD2BDP in DC's picture

I selected "...a lot worse" because it appears there aren't any quality controls on "product" any more. Anyone with a computer can produce and release anything, regardless of the level of quality. This appears to be across musical genres (except, perhaps, opera and country—I don't know enough about those). We have singers who can barely carry a tune (if they can carry one at all). We have "smooth jazz" players whose music sounds like one very long tune, we have rap and hip-hop recordings with one or maybe two "good" songs per album, the remainder is often studio dreck. We have alternative rock that sounds like they should have stayed in the garage and "pop" singers that make vocal sounds that do not sound like "music." Of course, there are exceptions. I have bought significantly fewer CDs this year. The most recent three years have been disappointing.

Nunhgrader's picture

Variety isthe spice of life!

Jim Steel's picture

Most of today

Brandon B's picture

Depending on what Genre's your talking about... it has gotten better and worse.. As a whole i am finding alot more new music i enjoy though.

Zeus Pontiac Thunderchild's picture

There are just too many manufactured bands. In fact, one manufactured band is one too many. Get a bunch of good looking kids, get them to dance and "bingo" we have the next big thing. When I were a lad, bands had to play their own instruments, sleep next to the road crew, and took drugs and groupies on the hour, every hour. You could rely on bands back then. The times they are a-changin`

Drew's picture

much that is on the air waves can not be classified as music. Thumping bass and unintelligable lyrics does not music make

Al Earz's picture

I am just buying re-prints. SACD re-ssues etc the new music out there, well politely, "it creates a vacuum".

spud boy's picture

It's a lot worse than it used to be, but no worse than last year. At least now, with the Internet, you can find some good stuff that would have been nearly impossible to find in the early '90s when radio turned to crap.

Frank V.'s picture

Why do you think that the Beatles, Bob Dylan and all the new re-mastered music of late 60's is still so popular! Nothing today seems to generate as much excitement or is as innovative as it was then.

David L.  Wyatt jr.'s picture

Is the musical mainstream better? Nope, not a bit, but really the times when the most popular music was great have been few and far between. But if you look at the indies, the smaller markets there is plenty of good music out there. i cherish my New Pornographers and PJ Harvey records.

Mahoney's picture

I am aware of maybe one or two great cds released this year. Most of the new "music" is crap.