Great post, genius! It has me question my musical choices1 Ugh.
Listen, most bands play by the numbers, and when the style of that genre changes, they just play the new version by the numbers. But we have people in music that don't play by the numbers and change the sound of their genre. Look at The Clash, their first albums were easily simple punk rock shows. Then they came out with London Calling, which was so original it kind of made it's own genre. Think of Nirvana's Nevermind, a simple over produced album. Original? Yes, but they, too, changed their genre. It was a noisy album, raw as hell. They changed their genre again.
All genres have "rules" to follow. The majority of artists sound same because they don't challenge themselves or the listener. Pop has rules. Rap has rules. Punk has rules. Now you can play a by the numbers group, that sound the same as everyone else. That's okay. Or you can dig around for a challenging band that changes your view of the genre. Pop has original bands. Rap has great underground rappers. Punk has broken off to several spin offs.
Now for those who are tldr, most music these days sound the same because they don't challenge themselves or their listeners. They are afraid of losing the fan base. So dig around your musical taste. There are different original bands there, What we hear on the radio is by the numbers bullshit.