Popular Music: Have we hit bottom yet?

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    One of the great things about being the publisher of SoulTracks is that everyday my inbox is filled new music by new artists. Most of it is pretty mediocre, but there are often inspirational moment where a new artist gives me an absolute thrill. One of the recent ones was newcomer Ihsaan Khatim, whose debut song "Pump Our Brakes" is this month's Choice Track. I'd never heard of Ihsaan before his song hit my email.

    Unfortunately, for every pleasant surprise song, there is another song that has me shaking my head about the state of modern music. More and more, music "marketing" is simply attempting to be more provocative and outrageous -- a far cry from the artist development of the major labels that helped usher many of the seminal artists of the 60s and 70s.

    So it is ironic that on the same day I heard advance clips from wonderful independent singer/songwriter Angela Johnson's new album, I also received the video below from the world's largest record company. It is a piece of drivel called -- get this -- "Licky (Under the Covers)" by new artist Shontelle. As a father of four, I could rant for hours about songs like this being thrust on our kids, but really no one in our species should be subject to this crap. And you can be certain that this will be pushed to radio with a budget bigger than will Angela Johnson and Ihsaan Khatim combined. It's a bit depressing that someone, somewhere thinks that this is the best that we can do. With that mindset, popular music disappoints again and continues the race toward the bottom. Are we there yet?

    By Chris Rizik

    Please check out the video below. What do you think?