Slate on Songwriting
Here's a Slate article on Why pop songwriting's not what it used to be via Songfight.net. It's basically a big jab at Jessica Simpson's new song sucking (I haven't heard it, so I don't know), but the article has a lot of interesting chronology of the changes the singer/songwriter label has gone through. I think I noticed the blurring of the singer/songwriter lines first with Avril Lavigne a while ago. I was reading about The Matrix, the production company that wrote her debut hits yet they were still billing Avril as having written her own songs.
Really I'm not sure if it makes too much of a difference. It kinda makes it less impressive to be a singer/songwriter these days I guess as even 16 year old girls from Napanee can do it and sell millions. But worrying about whether entertainment is legit or not always seems like kind of a waste of energy to me. Everyone acts terrified of getting tricked, but then they really enjoy it when it works and they don't notice it happening.