This is a seriously interesting article posted by Nick Southall on The Quietus blog regarding the abysmal “make everything louder” mentality of modern music makers and more importantly their record label managers and marketing geniuses!
This gives a sample of what is being discussed…
Recorded music has been getting louder for as long as we’ve been able to listen to it, but the CD age has seen the fight to be the loudest go crazy. If you listen to the CD of Rid Of Me by PJ Harvey from 1993, you have to turn the volume dial considerably further than you might be used to doing lately. The song ’50ft Queenie’ from Rid Of Me had a waveform like this:
In 2000, ‘Good Fortune’ from Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea, looked like this:
The difference is obvious, and dramatic. If you play them back-to-back without adjusting the volume, ’50ft Queenie’ seems tiny by comparison. But if you turn it up, the 1993 song gets exponentially more exciting and physically exhilarating. ‘Good Fortune’, on the other hand, just gets uncomfortable.