Technology has given "power to the people" and anyone can make their own record with a computer and a handfull of microphones. Instead of relying on some lame music executive to tell you what new artists you should be listening to, the internet has made it so people can find cool new music that they would normally never hear about.
You make an EXCELLENT POINT.
In 1993 to make a record you needed a $1,000,000 SSL console a $100,000 Studer analog tape machine and about $1,000,000 worth of gear to make a record. As we learned in music school (I have a degree in music business which means I had to learn how to make a record - not a bad skill for a critic to have) you had to think twice before recording as you would waste tape, need to make a TON of edits etc... Tape was $$$ and edits were done with a RAZOR blade!!
Today you can "make a record" on a Macbook Pro with a Sure SM57 and $3,000 total worth of gear. Edits are free. Tape is gone.
And the results speak for themselves.
Look at the work of a musical genius like Prince who's music went down the absolute TOILET when he started recording at home. Compare his "Black Album" with the "Symbol" album. Huge difference. Symbol is a KILLER record.
Bands and Artists STILL need production and good engineering.
And don't get me started on music industry people. You and I are in the same boat on that one...