s recently as a two years ago it was easy. Gather five young men or one teenage sex siren and have a dance beat in the background and a good chorus and voila! You had yourself a hit song. OK, so it wasnt that cut and dried, but it certainly seemed like it. Hip-hop seemingly had trouble infiltrating the upper echelon of the charts, save Eminem, and the typical ebb and flow of the fads led Latin music to its fifteen minutes of fame.
Right now, however, there is no dominant trend in music. The emerging fad of the moment seems to be dancehall influenced hip hop, as evidenced by Sean Paul and Shaggy, perhaps, but everyone knows that its bound to die down sooner rather than later.
As any respectable journalist knows, however, there will be something to fill the gap. Something that will become a movement that will units in large volume and become a large scale trend. Heres a few guesses as to the possibility of current trends and a few trends that may come along in the future taking over the charts:
1) Garage rock. Its the obvious first choice and a misnomer as each major band of the movement, thus far, takes from a different area of music and style. So, basically, what we are dealing with here is a return to songs with guitars that are three minutes or less. Unfortunately, early indications are in and the Strokes and the White Stripes are beloved by the media, surely, but their album sales are relatively poor in terms of a mass movement. The Strokes barely reached platinum, thus far, on their debut release and the White Stripes can hardly be more popular, sales wise. Overall, this may end up as a small fad in the mainstream of music, but will most likely not take over the way that teen pop did.
2) The Age of the Producer. Its not obvious yet that this will become the clear cut choice for stardom, but it seems like the only people assured of creating hits right now are Just Blaze, Timbaland, the Neptunes, and Dr. Dre. The relative anonymity of the first three, however, makes it hard to say whether this will ever be labeled the next teen pop. While the producers may be making the same amount of money, if not more, than those stars their fame will probably never match that of Britney and the Backstreet Boys.
3) Shemo. Im of the firm belief that this must now be regarded as a slight fad that aligned the stars for a Summer but will not continue indefinitely. There seem to be no up and coming Avrils, Vanessas, or Michelles in the works as of yet and it seems like there time may be quickly passing as only one song by the group of three remains in the top 10 as of October 28, 2002.
4) The Ballad. Sadly I believe that with the assured celebrity of Kelly Clarkson and a group of female artists more focused on their vocal chords than rocking out that we may see the emergence of the super-ballad once again. It will only take one movie soundtrack or one career trajectory at the exact right moment to trigger something like this. Tread lightly this winter movie season.
5) Garage. This imported hip hop styled beat from England has been making headway with Daniel Bedingfield and Craig David and it may be ripe to hit it big with some American artists, as well. Look for more of this in the near future and an American hip hop star to have a large hit soon.
Its all a moot point, however- trying to predict what will hit it big and what wont. The cream, and the most heavily marketed, will always rise to the top. Just look at Christina Aguileras new song. Heavily panned by all known music critics and now I cant hear it on the radio at all anymore. Jerks.