Wednesday, July 06, 2011

The music of the 1990s is making a comeback

It's hard to believe that we are a whole ten years removed from the last No Doubt album (Rock Steady) which some people say is a normal evolution for what was once a ska-based band but I felt that Rock Steady was the final step in the band changing their sound to appeal to a far wider swath of the population. Sure, that move led to huge sales numbers and radio play (not to mention launching Gwen Stefani's short-lived pop career) but the typical fans of pop music consume that music in heavy doses but do so for only a short time before quickly moving on to the next new thing.

Hopefully No Doubt will return to the pop/ska roots with their sixth album due out in mere weeks. Maybe the sounds of the 90s which I came of age during are bound for a comeback.

I keep hoping that's true as one of my favorite bands, Blink 182, are supposedly releasing a new album this year. I'm not holding my breath on it. They originally announced their reformation during the 2009 Grammy Awards and had already been writing at that point in time. Two-plus years to produce a new album is an insanely long time but I truly loved their final album, the self-titled effort which yielded their most mature songwriting to date and possibly my favorite Blink 182 song, Always.

Blink is on tour this summer and the album's first single is due to be released sometime this month. I'll believe it when I hear it (because I'm forever a skeptic) but this is one of t hose rare songs I am eager to hear.

Then there's The Red Hot Chili Peppers. They began as a band in the early 1980s but didn't become widely popular in the wide world of rock music until the late 1980s with the release of Mother's Milk and achieved what many call "superstardom" in the early 1990s with the release of Blood Sugar Sex Magik. From that point -- even with members leaving and rejoining -- RHCP were hugely popular. I really latched on to them as a band with 1999's Californication and 2002's By The Way.

I'm throwing The Red Hot Chili Peppers in, even though they have spanned three decades already, because the band reached their pinnacle of popularity and refined their sound in the 1990s. They are one of those bands who I also can't wait to hear what they come up with next. 2006's Stadium Arcadium was a decent effort but, due to the demise of many alternative-rock radio stations and the further fragmentation of musical genres, the album never reached a wide audience and it's a shame because it did spawn three or four spectacular tracks which live on my iPod.

Their new album, I'm With You, is supposed to be released on August 30th.

Maybe the 1990s are making a comeback. Oh, sure, three bands whose popularity peaked in the 1990s releasing new work ten-plus years later doesn't make a trend but to me it does. If you were to look at my CD collection you'd notice that the bulk of the 500 or so CDs were released in the 90s. I padded my collection into the early 2000s but a couple years in to the decade I had made the move to digital tracks and had slowed my spending on music. That's probably fairly typical as people's priorities change but I am welcoming the return of some of the band which I sort of grew up with.

Welcome back 90s, welcome back.


Reuben said...

Oh man - I totally spent my high school years listening to Dude Ranch and Cheshire Cat, but i also greatly prefer their Self-titled album - and for all the reasons I would have hated it had it been released in 1997. I am totally stoked for their new album. They are one of the few bands whom I really hope don't move back to their roots. Progress has served them well.

No Doubt, not so much.

Joey said...

I have Pandora stations for everyone from Blink182 to Sister Hazel to Breaking Benjamin. Good memories. The 90s music was the first non-country music I listened to as I broke out of the conservative shell I was raised in.

Sornie said...

Interesting to hear that I'm not alone in my fondness for the music of the 90s. I am with you Reuben, if Blink had released their self-titled album in '97 I wold have loathed it too and probably turned away from the band but they released it when I was at the right age to appreciate it and I hope their new stuff keeps going with the logical progression of their music without forgetting their roots.