More than 20,000 albums come out every year, the vast majority of which are bought only by the artist's mother... but given the vast numbers, you would think it would be easy to ascertain some kinds of trends in music.
Not so. While it's sometimes clear which way the wind blows -- we can definitely predict that country labels will be signing Taylor Swift clones for the foreseeable future -- it's generally pretty hard to figure out what's going to catch on.
But for fun, and because we had so much fun reading our colleague Greg Ellwood's take on "Movies 2010: What's Hot and What's Not," we decided to come up with a few ideas of our own. Will the seriousness of the recession be replaced with a renewed sense of joy in entertainment? How will live shows hold a candle to TV shows? And shall auto-tune, as Jay-Z predicted, be extinguished?
Some predictions are in jest, others... we mean it. Which will permeate the charts and your iPod (or, shall we say, your Apple Tablet)?
|What's In||What's Out|
|Danny Gokey||Adam Lambert|
|Serious fun with Janelle Monae||Capital-S Serious from Alicia Keys|
|Real singers singing||Auto-tune|
|Soundgarden's comeback||No Doubt's reunion|
|Songs written specifically for film||Soundtracks with all-new material|
|Ke$ha stealing Lady GaGa's spotlight||Kanye stealing Taylor's thunder|
|Paperless concerts||Paper concert tickets|
|A silent night||Susan Boyle's "Silent Night"|
|Apple tablet PC turntable||iPod-as-DJ-deck|
|Daniel Merriweather||Robin Thicke|
|Sade's comeback||Britney Spears' comeback|
|A la carte record deals||360 record deals|
|Michael Jackson dance-offs||Michael Jackson cover song tributes|
|"Crystal" band names||"Wolf" band names|
|Renewed interest in The Runaways, Joan Jett||Interest in The Jonas Brothers' love life|
|Liquor ads in CD liner notes||Rapper rapping about booze|
|Artists petitioning for same-sex marriage||Artists aligning with Obama|
|Outkast||Black Eyed Peas|
|Album art and colored vinyl||Vinyl as wall art|
|David Byrne / Fatboy Slim merger||Live Nation / Ticketmaster merger|
|"Jay-Z-meets-Grizzly-Bear"||Lil Wayne with Kevin Rudolf|
|Against Me! wails||Owl City whines|
|John Mayer stops Googling himself||Justin Bieber's Tweets|
|Discovering acts by seeing them in clubs||Discovering acts via "American Idol"|
|The omnipresence of Kristin Chenoweth||Queen Latifah everywhere, always|
|Heartfelt music-based movies like "Crazy Heart"||Overblown musicals like "Nine"|