Here's some albums by the "iconic" bands that came out this year:
- Pearl Jam - Live On Ten Legs (albeit, a live album, not new recordings)
- Stevie Nicks - In Your Dreams
- Def Leppard - Mirrorball (again, a live album)
- Duran Duran - All You Need Is Now
- Ziggy Marley - Wild And Free
- Journey - Eclipse
- Beyonce - 4
- Jay-Z & Kanye West - Watch the Throne
- Red Hot Chile Peppers - I'm With You
- Coldplay - Mylo Xyloto
These are the biggest names that I can see that came out with albums this year. I think the biggest rock name (which is the focus of this article - that U2, Bon Jovi, etc. did not release new music this year) on this list is Red Hot Chili Peppers. So on the first count, yes, I agree, not many "iconic" artists came out with new material - but do they necessarily need to?
Here's something to take into account when looking at something like this though: albums are very rarely produced AND released in the same year. Which means that these bands in question for taking a year off could very well be working in the studio as we speak on new things. There is an ebb and flow to the recording process, not to mention and artists' schedule. It typically runs a couple of years, with writing, then recording, then release & promotions, then touring, and then starting the whole thing over again. Yes, I know, I just simplified that process a WHOLE LOT.
As far as the next assertion, that this was the year of "the most numbing... mainstream rock music in history," I'm going to have to disagree. There were so many big-name, and VERY good bands that came out with music this year, especially in the rock genre. The statement made that the genre was void of "aesthetic innovation and creativity" is absolute madness. Bands like Foster the People, The Black Keys, and Hot Chelle Rae are put down for their work, being compared to the early pop break-throughs of Blink 182 and Sum 41, who, mind you, were absolutely in a different time and different world. They're being credit for rising up and making something of themselves at least.
Basically, a lack of innovation has been thrown out against the rock genre. Actually, there's a funny note at the end, praising Daughtry for saving themselves and going in the "Bon Jovi direction" with their latest album. As for the rest of rock - I don't get where the lack of innovation and creativity thing is coming from. Some examples from 2011:
- Cage the Elephant - Thank You, Happy Birthday
- The Decemberists - The King Is Dead
- Lupe Fiasco - Lasers
- Panic! At The Disco - Vices & Virtues
- Yellowcard - When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes
- Foo Fighters - Wasting Light
- Sixx:A.M. - This Is Gonna Hurt
- Blondie - Panic of Girls
- Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Bon Iver
- David Cook - This Loud Morning
- blink-182 - Neighborhoods
- Jane's Addiction - The Great Escape Artist
- Florence and the Machine - Ceremonials
- James Durbin - Memories of a Beautiful Disaster
And there's so many more!! Rock had a great year for new and old names, giving us a fresh taste with the latests debuts that provide a modern spin on a genre that was here before we were and will exist long after. You want to tell me there's no innovation in rock music this year? I left a hell of a lot of more unfamiliar names off this list that are new and amazing. Isn't innovation anything that seems new to begin with? Exactly. Hearing another U2 record isn't innovation for me, it's comfort in familiarity. Embrace the new man - someone's got to take this somewhere!!