de budding--The hypnotist analogy is a good one. The reason I say emotion--true emotion--is the most important quality in music is because it has the ability to move
you, and the music you return to is the music you've been moved by. "I Know You Are But What Am I?" by Mogwai--a post-rock piece with no lyrics--is a good example of what I mean.
Pop music, especially idol-driven pop, on the other hand, uses a castabout cliche of what corporate perceives "emotion" to be to drive sales. It is indeed a lie* of the most heinous sort. This, I contend, is why pop music has no staying power (who remembers Avril Lavigne?). It is especially despicable when the lie is flat-out obvious (Daughtry).
Yet, sometimes we need the recording companies. Red Hot Chili Peppers and Incubus, Coldplay, most Radiohead, Muse, Bloc Party, recent Death Cab for Cutie, and so on, were all produced under the same sorts of major contracts as Britney, Christina, Avril, Colbie Caillait, Daughtry, and so on.
Perhaps what we should be looking for is the amount of time
a given artist spends perfecting his or her work. Indie music, for instance, is qualatatively somewhat better than major-label music because indie artists tend to need to spend much more time practicing, working venues, etc., not just during their formative period but also even after they become well-known. Bands, because they depend as much on the synergy of the individual members, and need to jointly practice and perform, also tend to be somewhat better than single artists--that is, Thom Yorke, while exceptional in his own right, is even better because his strengths are best brought out by his presence in a band, to wit, Radiohead; similar, while major-label ladies' singing abilities are superior, much of their energy, and possible real ability, is wasted by their lack of being in a band.
I shall read the chapter you posted soon, I think.
*Except when the surface lie belies deeper truths, i.e., if anyone's ever read Pratchett, what Death perceives a metaphor to be.