It's 2005, and the music world is changing faster than ever. Styles are evolving, and even the format of song sales is changing.
Late in 2004, legally downloaded songs surpassed the sales of physical singles, according to the BBC News. If this trend continues – as leaders of online music stores believe it will – the album itself may become a thing of the past.
People are now able to buy the songs they want for $1 apiece. They can do this without listening to the rest of an album. Of course, this isn't good for all artists. Bands such as U2 are fighting against the idea of selling songs individually. They say that an album is a work of art, and selling it in bits and pieces destroys it.
Album formats aren't the only thing that may change in 2005. The end of a musical era is upon us. Super power Britney Spears retired, at least for a little bit. There hasn't been a huge new boy band in years. And once again the public is not fond of performers who lip sync in concert: Take Ashlee Simpson and her disaster on Saturday Night Live, for example.
Guitar- and keyboard-driven "bands" are taking over the world of vocal driven "groups" and "pop stars."
Franz Ferdinand won the Mercury Music Prize in 2004,with its infectious 80s infused beats and low-tech sound.
Other Mercury Music nominees confirm the change in popular music style. Joss Stone, Keane and Snow Patrol were some of the nominees from 2004. Each features instrumental-driven sounds and good, but not pop-star-quality, vocals. The style of these new bands is a pleasant break from current pop and is catching on quickly in the United States. Previous nominees for the award include such groundbreaking artists as U2, Prodigy, The Verve and Oasis.
Hip-hop continues its fascinating evolution through pop culture. Mainstream newcomers like Lil' Jon and the Ying Yang twins, as well as old school comebacks, like Snoop Dogg and even Dr. Dre guide hip-hop in new directions, which will lead to exciting things in 2005.
Crossover bands such as OutKast, who bridges hip-hop and pop, and Big and Rich, who bridges country with elements of hip-hop and rock, made up a large part of the music of 2004. In 2005 there should be more cross-genre bands hitting the airwaves.
The new-year is going to be an exciting time for music. Some styles are fading, and others are being combined together. The pop diva and boy-band trend will likely continue to fade, allowing bands to retake control of the music world. Whatever new comes in 2005 it is sure to be interesting.
Things to look forward to in 2005
New album from 50 Cent
New album from Audioslave
Another one from Britney Spears