And to be fair, this year has not been absent of music that demonstrated critical value while not fully translating into chart success.
Take Kesha’s Rainbow and Demi Lovato’s Tell Me You Love Me, for instance. Both artists show their ability to tackle difficult topics, coupled with powerhouse vocals can inspire people on a social level, but it remains to be seen if they have the sale/streaming numbers to remain lasting figures in the pop culture landscape.
The Spotification of the music industry has changed not just how we listen to music, but which artists we listen to as well. And that’s not to say to 2010-era pop stars have no chance, or even that they don’t have a considerable leg up in pushing their sound to more people. And it’s not to say that every endearing up-and-coming artist will overcome, David and Goliath-style, their elite, label-backed counterparts. But arguably, the chance is better than ever.
Though Swift is fully capable, as is almost any modern era artist, to leverage her considerable pedigree into surefire success, as the sounds of our culture decentralize even further, you have to wonder -- how much longer will that be the case?