Justin Timberlake New Album: Why 90s Music Became the Soundtrack Of 2013

Currently, the top-5 albums on the Billboard 200 are all done by relatively new artists, with A$AP Rocky, the kidz from Kidz Bop, and the cast of Pitch Perfect making up the top three. However, beneath this group of albums lies a growing trend: the reemergence of music from the 90s.

A few months back, PolicyMic pundit Jeffrey Hartinger wrote an article listing the 14 best bands of the 90s. This list includes bands such as Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, and Nirvana. One big reason why some of these bands continue to grow in popularity is that they are always on tour. Pearl Jam for instance has a show lined up at Chicago's famed Wrigley Field this summer, and has been playing arenas annually for years.

Additionally, other 90s artists are regaining their place in popular culture. Though Tupac was supposedly shot in Las Vegas in 1996, he appeared at 2012's Coachella on stage. Whether as a hologram or not, Tupac was instantly put back into the collective memories of America, reigniting the tidal wave of interest in the Californian rapper.


Another reason why 90s music is making a comeback is due to the incredibly poor quality of the popular music being released today. While the Billboard 200 features such masterpieces of modern songwriting as Mumford and Sons' Babel, it also includes such mass produced pop garbage as One Direction and Phillip Phillips. Groups such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and R.E.M. had a sense of reality and depth to their songs, whereas much of today's music is artificially enhanced with auto-tune and the constant compression of tracks to make songs artificially louder.

Getting back to One Direction, the template of the boy band is not a new one. In the late-90s, bands such as the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync ruled the airwaves. In that same mold, One Direction currently occupies the slot at the top of the charts, and on the radio dials, that 'N Sync used to hold. However, One Direction is about to face some competition.  

Earlier this year, Justin Timberlake announced he was releasing some new music, his first since 2007. With this recent tidal wave of news, it just goes to show that artists from the 90s have remarkable staying power.

While modern music may currently be at the top of the Billboard 200, a current of 90s music is drifting ashore, and when it fully comes around, it will hit like a tidal wave.

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Brian Weidy

A Sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Aspiring writer from New York City with a love of Sports, Films, Music, and Politics.

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