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Ask The Critic

Our music reviewer answers your questions - Read their responses and post your own questions

Our music reviewer answers your questions

If the Beatles came along today, would the industry pay them any attention at all? -- Pat

Someone would respond to the quality of their songcraft and their charisma. But the hardest sell would be their humanity. When was the last time a rock band was this unironic, sincere, at times romantic -- and, unlike the emo crowd, unafraid to write a flat-out pop song? Chances are some smart exec would notice them, but that person would probably work for an indie label and the Beatles would likely end up opening for the Polyphonic Spree.

If artists (especially female) showed half as much skin or no skin at all, would they be as successful? -- Joelle

Absolutely. Norah Jones, Diana Krall, and Amy Lee from Evanescence aren't known for flashing their audiences, and they represent a backlash against Britney-Christina bod pop. But even though female acts aren't typically an ugly breed, the pressure to have them look good has never been greater; check out how even the previously semi-demure Sarah McLachlan and Liz Phair vamped up their images last year.

Originally posted Jul 09, 2004 Published in issue #773 Jul 09, 2004 Order article reprints