I don’t think rock is ever going to have the same impact that it did over the last few decades. It’s simply not cutting edge enough.
Disclaimer: Writer is a cynical sceptic who listens to very little music and yet considers himself an authority on this subject. My four readers are hereby warned!
It’s not cutting edge in it’s sound. Though Muse has come up with a really cool brand of progressive rock with electronica elements I think that they remain a brilliant oddity. From the 60s to the 90s there were always new boundaries of sound being pushed both in production and instrument wise. I could be just an old whining crone but I think a lot of contemporary rock isn’t pushing boundaries.
It’s not cutting edge in what it’s about. Rock used to be at the forefront of political discourse and at the core of existential angst. Now it seems to be a shadowy anarchist commune filled with limericked rhetoric. Rock seems more about nostalgia than about having resonance with where culture is at and reverberating back out into the world where we all feel that we belong in our rage against institutions and our despair at our wormy little selfs.
It’s not at the cutting edge of attitude. Most rockers seem…. ahem…. quite nice. There aren’t any real bad boys. The nasty stuff is happening in hip hop and pop. Without that ‘badness’ how’re the teens gonna rebel?
Is rock dead? Obviously not. And neither does it rule the world in a commercial way that it did till recently. And in that way as Paul Gambaccini said it probably will go the way of jazz. Which is no bad thing. Other than it’s effect on the price of listening to it live.