ISSUE DATE: Mar. 30, 1992
Leading-edge music is now subdivided into such abstruse and sharply segregated categories as Christian Rap, Acid Jazz and Grunge Rock, and it can be created, almost untouched by human hands, with something called a Musical Instrument Digital Interface. The two major currents of pop today have much to do with attitude and little to do with musicality: heavy metal speaks to priapic barbarism, and rap is so belligerent that for some it verges on antimusic.
So who’s topping the charts? Well, how about a balding Oklahoma country singer whose idols include James Taylor and John Wayne, who prances across stage like a cross between Mick Jagger and Ferris Bueller, swinging from rope ladders and smashing his guitar, and who brings 40-year-olds to tears with his existential hymns about accepting life’s incidental malice? Rock may be moribund, but Garth Brooks sure is thriving.
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