Five world-changing albums that wouldn't have existed if blog buzz determined greatness
One day, historians will look back and marvel at how blogs changed the music industry -- that is if they can avoid being distracted by the next big thing long enough to think analytically about history. Where just a few critics used to shape the tastes of music fans across country, now an army of blogs can make or break new bands in a matter of minutes and music fans get to hear yet-to-be-discovered acts deserving of our attention.
This brave new world has a dark side, though, and sometimes bands that aren't quite ready for primetime get launched to a brief moment of undeserved stardom before their celebrity outpaces their output. What's been lost is the idea of artist development -- labels signing young talent and working with them over time, making them pay dues with tours as opening acts, or quietly releasing an album or two before unveiling their masterpiece. Nowadays, if an artist has a hit song, they are ready to headline a tour, even if their catalog is only four or five songs deep (Oh, hi, Foster the People, we didn't see you come in). But what would have happened if blog hype had always been the gatekeeper of success? These five world-changing albums probably never would've been made.