There's another thing I have to wonder about. Why is some music so shockingly bad, and some truly brilliant? It is a knotty problem indeed. I've been listening to a few different bands lately. One in particular is Snow Patrol, which you have probably heard of. I was initially drawn to them after hearing a song called "Take Back the City", and decided to investigate further. But I found that most of their other songs that I could find were average at best; they didn't have the same powerful quality that "Take Back the City" had. There was something missing.
On initial hearing, they sounded alright. It's alternative rock, apparently - how you can have mainstream rock, I have no idea. But they didn't stand out. They were like background music, something to have on while you do something else, competent but certainly not catching. But "Take Back the City" had something indefinable that leapt into my mind and sent my pulse racing, and kept me humming it all day.
I have no idea how to pin this down accurately, although I expect if I could I'd make several fortunes. It's something ephemeral and amazing, and it's different for every person. Somehow a musician will strike upon just the right combination of notes, just the right instrument and riffs, and will create something that speaks to our souls. I expect that that, like writing, it is the music that the musician feels strongly himself that shouts the loudest; after all, the mass produced stuff is so instantly forgettable that it's almost not worth the effort of making.
I wonder if the people who buy it simply have never heard the more powerful tunes?