As I'm listening to the current schlock on the radio, I'm thinking back to the late 80's and early 90's. At that point, we'd gone from good rock-n-roll music and had started to get into the power ballads from the hair metal bands. Then, rock died, we got a plethora of boy bands, and grunge hit. In thinking about this, I came up with a theory - as soon as a genre of music gets to be uber-cool, it gets invaded by wussies who write power ballads. Then, that type gets a huge boost in the ratings and dies off a few years later.
To illustrate, here's a progression of bands that I want you to consider: Jethro Tull, Foghat, AC-DC, and the like give way to Journey and their cohorts. What happens? Hard rock basically dies off (in an interesting subnote - this does give rise to millions of mullets...)
Then, after a bit of weak music hangs around for a bit, we start to get the harder bands of the 80's - Metallica, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Anthrax, and the like. The kids in shop class rejoice as they have hard anti-social music that they can annoy old folks with. Then what happens? Hair metal - Ratt, Poison, Dokken, and others. While they were mostly hard music (sex, drugs and rock-n-roll), they started down the path of wussie music. Remember 'Every Rose Has Its Thorn'? Probably Poison's biggest hit. That opened Pandora's box. Then you got Warrant, Nelson, and Richard Marx. Need I remind you that this was one of the darkest moments in musical history?!? Coinciding with this was the explosion of the boy band.
Relief soon followed. Nirvana exploded on the scene along with Pearl Jam, STP (who desperately wanted to be Pearl Jam), Alice in Chains, the Breeders, and a plethora of bands that rocked. Some had social songs, others had dark emotional tracks, and no one over 25 could understand a damn thing they said. Life was good. The buzz on grunge continued unmolested for years.
Then came the slow change. The constipated bands (think Creed and their clones) showed up. Now, we've got the power ballads coming out again. Would Nirvana have done a ballad? Could you imagine Pearl Jam doing one (ignore the Last Kiss cover - that's a tribute to the past)? STP singing about anything other than drugs? No - but now you have Hoobastank and others pushing their schlock. It's the death of grunge, I tell you.