I'll take Hilburn's word for it that rock is a socially relevant search for insight and understanding, but music is also made of other elements: melody, harmony, rhythm and tone color.
Insipid melodies, the same three chords, no metric variety, little rhythmic variety, a standardized instrumentation and performances in which volume is substituted for excitement offer little more than the chance to lose one's hearing while being bored to death.
Want relevance? Read a speech by Martin Luther King, an essay by Ellen Goodman. Want music? Listen to Beethoven, Charlie Parker. Want to know where Fats Domino found his thrill. . . .
DAVID M. SHERR