I was scouring through a bunch of saved news articles in my phone and found this one from August 2017. I'm sure you're all familiar with the subject matter.
"The click": Drummer Greg Ellis says this music production tool is the reason why all new music sounds the same — Quartz
Had not read that before...but yeah, it's basically about how technology is ruining music production and turning it into an assembly line process, parts-is-parts...and all that.
I don't know why he kinda starts off by blaming "the click"...since click tracks have been used in the studio looooong before there was any digital technology in the studio....but, it was used a bit differently, and everyone just played with it, not to it, and they played through the whole thing, usually as a group, though punch-ins were also used long before digital...but only when really needed, because punching in with tape had to be a well orchestrated maneuver.
The bits-n-pieces approach to much of digital audio production has definitely become a craze and a norm for many...from the home hobbyist to the pros. The desire to make every measure, every note perfect...has caused this type of production approach, though sometimes it's also used to make the process "easier" for the "artists" who have a hard time doing entire songs non-stop without too much trouble.
Also...people use this approach as a compositional tool in many cases. There's often no completed song or worked out pre-production...rather a small idea is recorded...even a few measures...and then bits-n-pieces are added, sometimes over long periods of time, and multiple sessions...so it's more of an assembly of small parts, that eventually becomes a bunch of tracks...and then finally the song is realized simultaneously will the production takes place. Not to mention...there's always a bunch of alternate versions of every bit-n-piece, so that the final selection of parts isn't made until the actual mixing process...and even then, there may be multiple alternate mixes...etc.
So when everyone works in that manner...there will be a certain feel, sometimes even sound, that is common from one song to another, even when they are from different artists done in different studios. It's the feel and sound of digital audio production.
Of course, there are still many who don't use digital recording in that manner, and who follow the more traditional process of song writing and pre-production and recording and mixing.
Much of it can be avoided if people focused more on the song writing and arranging away from their computers...and then also spending a good deal of time on pre-production, practicing and planning the recording of individual tracks and the sound they are after...etc...but too many simply find that process "unproductive" and/or that it requires too much decision making up front, and of course, commitment...and they're thinking that by doing the bits-n-pieces approach, it's more creative and liberating...but that's something for everyone to decide for themselves.
I'm glad for many reasons that I still cling to my multi-track tape deck and do most of my recording to it before dumping the tracks to digital...but not getting caught up in that bits-n-pieces style of production is certainly a key reason. With the tape recording, you're kind forced to do some pre-production planning, and most tracks are done start to finish, with very rare "punch-ins".
Oh...I'll still track the drums to a click track...but once they are recorded, the rest of the tracks follow the drums, and the click is turned off usually.
That way there is a more free feel...though honestly, a click doesn't force anyone to play everything perfectly, on the beat, all the time. You can play in and around a click, same as you can with a drummer or other players. It's only because a lot of people think perfect time is perfect for everything that they quantize and kill all the life out of their rhythm.