By Angelica Leicht and Selena Dieringer
It turns out some musical trends that emerged in the '90s are not quite the fine wine you remember them to be. While that post-grunge or SoCal pop music a la Sugar Ray may have once seemed palatable, but you were young and your taste was, well, terrible.
But you should know better now. The Collective Souls of the world have been sitting up there on that shelf for too long now, and they've festered. They're ripe, the musical equivalent of Boone's Farm, and do not age well. These trends -- from post-grunge to anti-girl-power pop -- are bottles of rancid wine from the '90s, and you should resist dredging them up, even for nostalgia's sake.
It's been decades, and surely your taste buds have matured. Throw 'em out before you're tempted to sneak a taste, or it will be all vinegar.
Crappy Ballads as TV Theme Songs Remember Paula Cole's horrible song on Dawson's Creek? Of course you do. How could you forget it? It's ingrained in the wrinkles of your brain for all eternity. It will lay there dormant, watching and waiting for someone to say the name Percey or Dawson, or even Jen, for fuck's sake.
And when they do, oh boy. It is on. All you'll hear is Paula Cole's wispy voice singing the very first song of that line, over and over and over again until you've utterly lost your mind. Crappy ballads as theme songs will do that to you.
Terrible Post-Grunge So you liked grunge. Fine. Whatever. We'll take your word for it. But do you really like the shitty post-grunge bands that grew from it? Even if you profess with all of your little grungy soul that you do, we have a hard time believing you. Here's why: Bush.
Come on. For the most part, post-grunge is really lame. Bush is lame. So is Collective Soul. Candlebox was not only utterly pop-laden, depressing and creepy, but also somehow really bad at the entire making-music thing. Three Days Grace should have probably just not emerged from the bowels of whatever monster created this genre.
Lame-Ass Rap Appropriation Hey there, Snow. Remember us? We played your cassette single over and over, rewinding back over the trickier parts until we knew every single word of "Informer." We were that cool.
While Snow may have been the finest of the rap appropriators, he was still lame. And while it's impossible to know whether that Jamaican accent was a complete put-on or not, the fact that he grew up in Toronto has us questioning the very fiber of his whiteboy-Jamaican being. While there are now disturbing signs of this trend rearing its ugly head again -- Iggy Azalea, anyone? -- we don't need another Vanilla Ice to come back with a brand-new invention anytime soon.
Rap-Rock/Rap-Metal/Rap-Whatever In a nod to the obvious, we feel that we must cite Limp Bizkit as the worst of the rap-rock trend. They were indeed a thing in the '90s, after their album Three Dollar Bill, Y'all dropped in '97. And while we like Cypress Hill well enough because they are unabashed stoners, we're still not convinced that their musical influence should be making a resurgence any time soon.
Some bowls are cashed, as is the case with rap-rock. It's good to know when to say when, otherwise it's ash all in your throat.
SoCal Warblers Nobody needs another Sugar Ray. You know why; you still remember how "Fly" ruined the entire year of 1997 for you. Same goes for Smash Mouth, Save Ferris and anyone else who fits into that category. Every morning we do not have to hear Mark McGrath sing about halos is kinda heaven. Let's keep it that way.
Story continues on the next page.
East Coast/West Coast Rap Wars In a decade that brought the controversial social turmoils of Rodney King and rioting, America had a new opportunity to discuss race relations. Sadly, mainstream hip-hop really dropped the ball: instead of unifying and promoting new ideas and conversation, it had its artists at odds and its audience choosing sides. Let's just all agree no one ended up on top here.
What came out of this? The only "positives" to glean are that talented artists of that time are shrouded in a bizarre kind of glory, and rap's audience grew largely in part to the dramatic coverage of the feuding by media from MTV News to Entertainment Tonight. Sure, rappers still throw shade now, but it never escalates to the murderous level that robbed us of both Biggie and Tupac.
Late-'90s Substance-Lacking, Anti-Girl-Power Pop Music The late 1990s were a breeding ground for pop princesses who were a soulless counterpart to the N*Syncs and Backstreet Boys of their day: little more than masturbation fodder for teen boys and creepy adult men alike. It was certainly not a high point in the history of Girl Power.
Obvious statement: There are just as many female pop stars today as there were in the 1990s and, arguably, they're just as sexualized than their '90s counterparts, if not moreso. So why were the 90s girls worse than today's pop divas? Musical taste aside, many more of today's stars are actually writing their own material. On top of this, as sexual as the content might sometimes be (here's looking at you, Rihanna), the content is much more from a place of personal ownership than fantasy projection. In other words, today's women are far more in control of their message, regardless of what that message may be.
Male Singers with Frosted Tips and/or Goggles Why was this even necessary in the first place?
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS
The Ask Willie D Archives Houston's Top 10 Hipster Bars, Clubs & Icehouses 2014 Today's 10 Most Promising Young Metal Bands Hip-Hop's Seven Best Breakup Songs Houston's Top 10 Rooftop Bars and Lounges
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.