Where's The Music?

When compilation albums are routinely number one, do you have to be a genius to know you're business model is in trouble. Here's your Billboard Top 20 (week ending 11/25/06)

DEBUT AT 1* - NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL MUSIC-VOL.23 (Get that! There were 22 others)
DEBUT AT 3* - KEITH URBAN, Love, Pain, And The Whole Crazy Thing
DEBUT AT 4* - SUGARLAND, Enjoy The Ride
5 - SOUNDTRACK, Hannah Montana
DEBUT AT 6* - JIM JONES, Hustler's P.O.M.E.
7 - BIRDMAN & LIL' WAYNE, Like Father, Like Son
9 - JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, FutureSex/LoveSounds
DEBUT AT 10* - DAVE MATTHEWS, The Best Of What's Around, Vol.1
DEBUT AT 11* - ANDREA BOCELLI, Under The Desert Sky
12 - HINDER, Extreme Behavior
13 - BARRY MANILOW, The Sixties Greatest Love Songs
14 - JOHN LEGEND, Once Again
15 - EVANESCENCE, The Open Door
16 - BEYONCE, B'Day
17 - FERGIE, The Dutchess
18 - RASCAL FLATTS, Me And My Gang
19 - MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE, The Black Parade
20 - NICKELBACK, All the Right Reasons

Just to set the record straight early and often, I am not putting these artists down. I repeat. Some are major. I'm asking: is this a snapshot of a vibrant pop music business right now? I'm thinking no. Of course, it's no. So before we throw away that wishbone from our Thanksgiving turkeys, let's use it to wish for a Great Awakening -- for the record labels. These poor souls have been hanging around lawyers too long. They've been in denial too long. It's not the iPod that is their problem. It's not variable pricing that will be the solution. It's not the decline of the CD that's killing them. It's not new repackaging schemes that will save them. Ever get the feeling these labels should get back to their roots, get out more from their desks, rise above their distrust of the Internet generation and spend some money on -- dare I say it -- content. Heck, they've got the Internet, viral social networks, a desperate radio industry -- everything they need. How about back to business -- the business of finding, trendsetting and eventually profiting from discovering the next big thing in music. Stop blaming the kids for ruining their record business. Look in the mirror.