Music: The Authentic Girls

Pop ingenues who play instruments and write their own sincere songs benefit from 'N Sync ennui

Since The Catcher in the Rye (or perhaps Beowulf), high school kids have loved to rail against phonies. Rappers and rockers know this and sell themselves to teens by talking about how "real" they are. But recent teen-pop acts like Britney Spears made their fortunes off even younger audiences who craved fantasy figures. Authenticity be damned--stylists picked their sex-bomb outfits, choreographers gave them graceful routines, songwriters wrote their PG-13 come-ons. So it wasn't surprising that last year, when the fans of teen pop hit Holden Caulfield's age, its sales dropped about 50%.

"No disrespect to the Britneys and whatnot, but there's...

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