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Static on the Radio

John Federico

I've noticed something in popular music these days. Maybe it's just my perception based on the period in which I grew up (where music was most influential in my life), but no one really makes an instrument sing in pop music these days.

When was the last time you heard a really rockin' guitar solo on K-Rock from a new or current artist - or any other instrument for that matter? (I'm referring to new music, not selections from the past which K-Rock and its ilk dust off and play every so often...)

Is it a backlash against the cheesy cliche rock of the 80's? Are people just tired of it? Can the most recent generation of music consumers even appreciate the chops of a good musician or do they expect instruments to be background to whatever manufactured frontman/woman that a band puts out?

Sure, there are exceptions. Bands like Rage Against the Machine and now Audioslave share guitarist Tom Morello, but finding another like him seems to be rare.

And while there may be more that I'm passing over, the point is, so is mainstream radio. Why?