"With each passing year records have gotten louder and less dynamic...This all comes down to the moment a consumer hears a record, and the fear that if the record is more dynamic, the consumer won't know to just turn up the volume."
For the would-be recording buffs: understanding compression. A three-part series which explains the workings and uses of compressors, limiters, expanders, and gates. Plus some thoughts on the modern epidemic of overcompression from the listener's perspective.
Tweak's Guide to Home Recording. A comprehensive home recording guide that will take you all the way from buying an audio interface to choosing a mic preamp to learning the subtle arts of compression and EQing. A good refresher course even for those with recording experience. And for those more interested in composition than recording, Tweak's piece on Inspiration is insightful as well.
Don't suck! Statistical analysis for this heretical popular music marketing idea.