No single model will work for everyone. There's room for all of us. Some artists are the Coke and Pepsi of music, while others are the fine wine — or the funky home-brewed moonshine. And that's fine. I like Rihanna's "Umbrella" and Christina Aguilera's "Ain't No Other Man." Sometimes a corporate soft drink is what you want — just not at the expense of the other thing. In the recent past, it often seemed like all or nothing, but maybe now we won't be forced to choose. Ultimately, all these scenarios have to satisfy the same human urges: What do we need music to do? How do we visit the land in our head and the place in our heart that music takes us to? Can I get a round-trip ticket?
Actually, I like both of those songs too- they're hooky-catchy and they pack a punch.And, yes, I'm only admitting that because Mr. Byrne already did The version of Umbrella Rihanna did at the World Music Awards in Monte Carlo rocked far harder then the original version. Problem is there are far fewer popular songs like this, these days.
But Byrne's article raises a deeper question. The great economist, Mancur Olson argued that major shifts in economic models often go together with major geographic shifts - the rise and decline of nations or geographic regions. Will this shift in the music industry model also cause a geographic shift and the rise of new musical centers?