Criticaly examining, there's a few things to look at here...
- Definition of what is "good music"
- Whether that "good" has died
- And also what is a "hit"
Asking to define good music is a very subjective question. What is "good" and therefore pleasant to hear to Person A might not necessarily be "that good" according to Person B. Therefore, claiming whether or not that good music is still alive again becomes a very subjective conjecture. Popularity of a song may be one of the metrics to gauge whether it was a hit. Previously, there weren't too many rating platforms - maybe just Billboard. We have a plethora of avenues running their own rating and ranking systems these days - Youtube, SoundCloud, Beatport, Spotify, iTunes, etc., which again diversifies the conclusions that may thus be obtained.
Also, just because a song was a "hit", it doesn't automatically qualify to be liked by everyone. Which means, (despite the numbers and the quality of the composition) what I call a hit, someone else would dismiss it as outright stupid. This is again a manifestation of a personal bias towards the genre, music, lyrics, singer, composer and the overall structure of the song or a track.
Looking at ourselves from the point of view of the artist, composer and / or the producer, the fan-base of music industry is a harsh judge of the music produced when evaluating over a period spanning more than 5-7 years. And even this bandwidth appears to be gradually shrinking with the rise in the number of talented artists that are coming to the fore each year. When something gets stuck in our head, we naturally tend to develop a liking bias towards it. So, if they produce the same / similar music every time, the fan-base would comment, "This artist doesn't seem to do much... it's the same tune / beat / chords / bassline packaged as new". And if they evolve, the retort would be, "Their music is just not the same as before anymore".
Plus, considering the factors such as:
- Improvements in technology (and for electronic music: increasing dependency on it)
- Increasing collaborations between producers across the geographies, and
- Globalisation of music consumers (look at the number of dance festivals organised across the globe today as opposed to 15 years ago),
Flavors within as well as outside of the pre-established genres will be born and therefore even change the reference points for making any comparisons.
Since the OP has specifically included the tag of Electronic Music
, which I personally also feel very inclined towards, I shall try to enlist some tracks / songs released after 2000
in Hip-Hop, House and Trance genres that I personally find excellent to listen to － all catering to different moods and mental states. Some of these were smash hits too. So, in no particular order of preference:
HIP-HOP and RAP:
- 50 Cent - Disco Inferno (2005)
- Eminem - Lose Yourself (2006)
- Eminem - Beautiful (2009)
- Jay Z feat. Alicia Keys - Empire State of Mind (2009)
- B.o.B feat. Hayley Williams - Airplanes (2010)
- Eminem feat. Rihanna - Love the way you lie (2010)
- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - Thrift Shop (2012)
- Eminem - Rap God (2013)
HOUSE / CLUB:
- David Guetta - Love is gone (2007)
- Deadmau5 feat. Rob Swire - Ghosts N Stuff (2009)
- Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina - Stereo Love (2009)
- Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull - On the floor (2011)
- Alexandra Stan - Mr. Saxobeat (2011)
- Alesso & Dirty South - City Of Dreams (2012)
- Zedd feat. Foxes - Clarity (2012)
- Swedish House Mafia feat. John Martin - Don't You Worry Child (2012)
- Avicii - Wake me up (2013)
- Calvin Harris & Alesso - Under Control (2013)
- Lost Frequencies - Are you with me (2014)
- Qubicon feat. Laura V - Sad Eyes (2014)
- Calvin Harris - Summer (2014)
- Inna - Yalla (2015)
- Alan Walker - Sing me to sleep (2016)
- Armin van Buuren - In and Out of Love (2008)
- Dash Berlin - Till the sky falls down (2009)
- Cosmic Gate feat. Emma Hewitt - Be Your Sound (2011)
- Shogun - Skyfire (Alex M.O.R.P.H. Remix) (2011)
- Andy Moor feat. Sue McLaren - Trespass (2012)
- Markus Schulz feat. Ana Diaz - Nothing Without Me (2012)
- Armin van Buuren feat. Trevor Guthrie - This is what it feels like (2013)
- RAM & Susana - RAMelia (Tribute to Amelia) - 2013
- Gareth Emery feat. Bo Bruce - U (2014)
- Above & Beyond feat. Zoe Johnston - We're all we need (2014)
- Alex M.O.R.P.H feat. Sylvia Tosun - An Angel's Love (Andrew Rayel Aether Remix) (2014)
- Ferry Corsten presents Gouryella - Anahera (2015)
- Cosmic Gate & JES - YAI (Here we go again) (2015)
- Dash Berlin with Cerf, Mitiska & Jaren - Man on the run (David Gravell Remix) (2015)
- MarLo feat. Chloe - You and Me (2016)
- RAM feat. Stine Grove - Forever and a Day (2016)
Not "all" of the above may be "bad" by every possible measure and some might even end-up repeating themselves subconsciously in our heads!
I personally tend to think that "good music" is there to stay. Our moods, preferences and tastes change, just as flavors of music evolve over a period of time too. However, there will always be something that would truly give us the kind of connection
that we seek, and make us feel content, if not nostalgic!