When President Kennedy was assassinated, our country went into shock. A few months later, the Beatles lifted America back up. The Vietnam war incited fighting in the streets. Then, the music gods gave us Jimi, Janis and The Who. The Gulf War plunged us into a recession – and gave rise to Garth, Grunge, and Guns n’ Roses.
No, and the evidence is overwhelming that music heals. It rushes in to save us when we’re hurting the most. And ironically, the best music is often created when artists hit rock bottom. James Taylor wrote Fire & Rain while strung out on heroin. Every member of Fleetwood Mac got divorced as their Rumors album hit #1. Same with Adele. And don’t get me started on the lowdown blues.
They say that laughter is the best medicine. But I’ll take Springsteen.
Here’s my take. If history holds true, we’re on the cusp of something special. After getting our ass kicked by the pandemic, we’re due for a musical revolution. Not just great music, but transformative.
I believe there’ll be a return to authenticity. A renaissance of real musicians, and a backlash against studio gimmickry. Faux stars will be eclipsed by passionate writing, genuine artistry and performers who let their music do the talking.
Where will it come from?
This evolution won’t be limited to one musical genre. Music tastes are fractured into hundreds of niches and we may never see another mass appeal, superstar. Instead, explosive new music is lurking at the edges, where paradigms are shaped.
Don’t look for radio and record labels to lead the way. There are no gatekeepers anymore. So, artists will build their own following online and super-serve them.
And the healing begins.