Oh ’90s pop, how I miss you. I’ve been on a huge nostalgia warp in the past few weeks. Hearing Katy Perry screech about having unprotected sex on purpose (STIs, anyone?) was the last straw for me. On that fateful morning I pulled the plug outta my radio. One more second would’ve had me chucking that thing through the window. Back in the ’90s, talented musicians had more of a chance to make decent music and be reasonably successful — that means lasting longer than six months. It wasn’t all about projecting an “image” to the mass media.
Just what the heck happened here?
Take Aqua, for example. Remember “Barbie Girl”? Very annoying, but it had a hyperactive, upbeat charm. This Danish-Norwegian group made some very cool songs including “Cartoon Heroes,” “Doctor Jones” and “Around the World.” What I liked best about Aqua was they didn’t take themselves seriously and made their songs fun. Although, the sexual innuendo in their songs did have me gasping with horror in my later years — ah, the innocence of childhood . . . Still, great band that ended too early.
While we’re on the topic of ’90s guilty pleasure and cheesiness, why don’t we move on to the one-hit wonders.
Cher — “Believe”: The only Cher song I like. There, I confessed it. (I won’t tell you that I have to fight the urge to dance like a moron whenever I hear this.) This song is good-cheesy, but unfortunately it also introduced the world to auto-tune. It has a good pace and leaves you feeling happy; it’s a great song for the treadmill.
Eiffel 65 — “I’m Blue”: This was the anthem of the ’90s, I swear. It makes absolutely no sense if you look up the lyrics — so don’t bother trying to figure them out — but I’ll give it points for being one of a kind.
Jennifer Paige — “Crush”: Who? If you don’t know who the heck this is, that’s OK. I didn’t either until I looked it up on the Internet. Enjoyable light music, nothing too complex. I think that this singer had potential but was pushed into music oblivion by the likes of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.
Other groups like the Backstreet Boys, N’SYNC, Spice Girls, etc. might’ve stolen the spotlight and tainted an otherwise outstanding decade of music.
Unfortunately, pop music today has become pure marketing BS. I’m not sure how to describe it, but it just never has much feeling, soul or thought put into it. Today’s pop stars are a lot like iPods — the product gets old as soon as the newest one comes out. Did anyone cry when the original iPod disappeared? Nope. That’s consumerism for you!
Disagree with me if you want, but I’ll continue on my quest for great music. Let the good-cheesy spirit of the ’90s live on; I’m thankful to the decade for some awesome memories.