BLOG: Return of the King: Will Rock Music Make a Comeback?

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Return of the King: Will Rock Music Make a Comeback?

The King himself will probably not grace us with his presence again (although we hear there are some talented impersonators), but could the classic American rock genre push its way back to the top? Lately, it seems like rock has been conspicuously absent, and our mainstream overflowing with pop and R&B. From radio to Hollywood soundtracks, you couldn’t escape pop and R&B if you tried!

Not that that’s a bad thing -- the potential of these amazing genres continues to be explored by talented artists every day. Still, we miss good old rock & roll. One issue is that most rock music seems like the purview young white males. Rock is, of course, derived from the deeply African-American blues genre, and the “groupie” stereotype is evidence of rock’s former popularity among women.

There have been plenty of black rock artists like Chuck Berry and Jimi Hendrix, not to mention definitive female rock artists like Joan Jett. But rock music seems like it used to speak to a majority of youth, giving them an outlet to “rage against the machine,” if you will. Pop and R&B fill that role now, for better or worse.

If rock could be naturally injected with lyrical and artistic significance that speaks to a broader audience, and in particular a younger audience, it could perhaps find its way back into the limelight. With the digital opportunities available to modern musicians, diverse new rock musicians might rise to prominence, or they might remain lost in the online sea of melodies vying for our attention. Who can say what will captivate us next?

- Drew Mortier