H ey. Hey you. Remember the #90s? They were pretty cool. If I write about things that happened in the ’90s, will you share this with everyone you know? Would it help if I included GIFs?
Nickelodeon! Pogs! VHS! Nintentdo 64! In West Phildelphia, born and raised…
I know sarcasm doesn’t always translate well through text, so let’s be clear, I’m getting sick of the ’90s nostalgia. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the hell out of that decade and like to look back on it and smile, daydreaming about afternoons spent watching Rocket Power with a Fruit Roll-Up wrapped around my finger. But there’s a limit.
Every generation goes through this, but the internet is exacerbating the problem. Big time. The music industry is not immune to nostalgia obsession. We’re seeing a lot of reunions and comebacks from ’90s-era musicians.
Here’s a handy guide to what’s really worth your time and what’s a nostalgia cash-in.
My Bloody Valentine is back with a new record, mbv, after 22 years off. They were more of an ’80s band, but Loveless was released in 1991 and Kevin Shields promised us a new record that never came, keeping everyone’s hopes up for part of the decade. Let’s count it and call it very, very much worth you time and money. mbv is a dark, twisted, woozy mass of guitar tricks and eerily gripping vocals. Listen while lying on your back and not giving a shit about anything.
I am very much of the (admittedly massive PR machine-influenced) opinion that Beyonce can do no wrong. Unfortunately, this Destiny’s Child release is a bust. There is only one new Destiny’s Child track, “Nuclear,” and we already know it was just “meh.” This is pretty blatant nostalgia-abuse.
All we know about Justin Timberlake’s upcoming record is that it will be called 20/20 Experience and that the first single, “Suit & Tie,” was decent. We also know the tracklist, which is so very right. Here’s a sample:
“Pusher Love Girl”
“Let The Groove Get In”
Most people will buy the record just because, and JT surely knows that, but I also think this is a very sincere effort.
Coachella 2013: Nostalgiafest. The Stone Roses, Blur and the Red Hot Chili Peppers all formed in the ’80s and maintained strong careers through the ’90s. It’s cool to see them on stage and they all put on an excellent show, but festivals should be about what’s good and relevant now. Three throwback headliners is at least two too many.
As I said, there’s nothing inherently wrong with enjoying things from the past. I do it. Everyone does it. Just know that our ’90s love is being used and abused (and that we can maybe take it down a notch or 10).
Now I have to get back to listening to Illmatic.