Monday, July 5, 2010

Beyond Britney (Pop in the 90s)

Twice this week I came across posts discussing pop music in the grunge era. This one from 90s woman asks:

"Maybe that’s because so much energy was going into “alternative” music, so pop was really the dregs? Now it seems like there’s just one mass, with indie being more or less in the same world."

To be honest, when I think of 90s pop, my mind doesn't immediately go to Hanson or Ace of Base. Maybe it's because I was already well into my twenties when harder rock returned to the airwaves, I didn't really notice pop music then, or when I did it sounded more like this. (Oddly enough, I listen to more traditional "pop" now .) By the late 90s, it was hard to believe the same decade that gave us Nirvana also produced The Spice Girls, Britney Spears, and The Backstreet Boys.  But if go back far enough, there was a period of time just before Nevermind broke when radio stations and MTV got a whiff that there was something out there called "alternative rock," but didn't quite no what that was yet. And a lot of it sounded like pop, or at least borrowed heavily from 70s power pop. Early-to-mid 90s pop, to me, was this:

Juliana Hatfield - My Sister
Dramarama - Last Cigarette
Material Issue - Diane
Redd Kross - Annie's Gone
The Cardigans - Lovefool

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