Published Dec 28, 2010There's no denying that 2010 was a fantastic year for new music across the board, as old artists released some of their best work yet and new artists showed up on our radar with refreshing sounds and new takes on old ideas. Unfortunately, the year also boasted some frustrating trends that we would really like to be rid of when the calendar turns over to January 1. From egos running wild to everyone swiping each other's ideas, here are ten trends we could live without in 2011.
10. Unreliable release dates
Dr. Dre has been teasing us with the release of his next album Detox for over ten years, but he really made it seem like the disc was coming in 2010 when he started promoting it with a cross-marketed brand of Cognac, a "Hustlin' Wit' Dre" game and, of course, those damn headphones, among other things. Coldplay hinted that they would have a new album out by Christmas, the Strokes suggested their fourth album would drop in September, and Panda Bear started promoting his Tomboy album before he had even recorded the thing. Here's a novel idea for artists: just because you have the best intentions to get your material out to the public at a certain time, don't put dates in our heads until you have delivered the finished album to your record label.
9. Micro samples of songs
Since the rise of the MP3, many have lamented the good old days of the full album. Unfortunately, that sentiment is completely destroyed with the terribly marketed song "streams" that end up being brief snippets. Before the highly anticipated releases from Big Boi and M.I.A. hit the streets, for example, MySpace users were encouraged to check out "full album streams" that ended up being 30 second samples of each song. Similarly, Daft Punk's Tron soundtrack was hyped with a barrage of song snippets that were mere seconds in length. How are music fans supposed to preserve the sacred album format -- or even just the song format -- with these petty teases? Furthermore, why would illegal downloaders be dissuaded from finding the full album elsewhere when the legitimate samples are so frustratingly slim?
8. Homogenized themes
Thanks to the Internet, we live in an era with endless information constantly at our fingertips, meaning half an hour of browsing photo blogs or reading Wikipedia could result in some powerful, unique inspiration. So why is every band ripping each other off so much? Take, for example, the "beach" theme popping up all over the place. Best Coast and Wavves have got the sunny themes on lock, and they have inspired an endless supply of summery imitators exploring that same hazy lo- to mid-fi guitar pop complete with blurry visuals and an outfit peeled from an Urban Outfitters catalogue. Other genres are no better, with every shitty musician and his synthesizer writing downtempo bummer music and complementing it with spacey landscape photography, upside down crosses and white triangles for that easy witch house aesthetic. The real change here needs to come from the bloggers who cream their pants every time this samey BS shows up in their inbox. There is room for new ideas in 2011!