The Truth About Music

"What's hot, what's not, and whats next in pop music"

Where Grunge turned to Alternative and Alternative Turned to Pop


Music can always be traced back in time from band to band, artist to artist, and label to label. We are currently at an interesting time in music though were a lot of music sounds the same, but at the same time, some great bands are emerging. I decided to take a look back at the last 18 years or so in hopes of figuring out where today’s music has come from.

Of course, we all know that an underground scene dominated music in the early 1990′s, based out of Seattle, Washington. Grunge was a huge influence on today’s music scene. Bands such as the Pearl Jam, Alice and Chains, and of course, Nirvana dominated the music scene during the early to mid 90′s.

Emerging directly on the heels of this mellow, often depressing genre of music came a string of pop bands. Pop super groups starting showing up from N’SYNC to the Backstreet Boys, and even reaching into the female groups of TLC and Destiny’s Child. These groups continued to dominate into the late 1990′s and some are still around today, although with much less of an impact.

So, now we get right down to it. Grunge was all but dead after the death of Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain and the Boy (and Girl) Bands were all but washed up as we moved into the next century. Who would replace them?

I look at two different bands and get the feeling that nothing would have unfolded the way it did if it weren’t for them. Green Day, a huge punk band in the mid 1990′s with releases such as “Dookie” and “Nimrod” were in the studio for a long time leading up to 2004 release of “American Idiot”. The time they spent in the studio seemed to be well spent as they emerged with what has become among the best albums of the new century (sales and buzz).

The thing to realize is what this album did to music. For the first time, a traditional punk band recorded an album that included over produced tracks, orchestra instruments, and intense harmony. This album was the very beginning of the genre I now define as Emo/Punk/Alternative, or today’s rock. Although this album did not have the same type of vocals, it was a clear sign that bands could put on the over the top sound and still keep it together.

The other band I look to is Fall Out Boy. They released “Take This To Your Grave” in 2003, and by doing so emerged on the scene as the first full on Emo band (Emo includes all of the above mentioned: Punk/Emo/Alternative). They sang about sad topics in minor keys, while wearing dark makeup (also started by Billie Joe of Green Day on the American Idiot Tour) and giving off a general feeling of depression on stage (thank you Pete Wentz).

As much as this comes off as being negative, it is not in the least. Bands like Green Day and Fall Out Boy have helped pave the way for hugely successful acts such as Cartel, Boys Like Girls and Panic at the Disco.

So what have we learned? Well Grunge died off and finally molded together with the Pop of the late 90′s, blending into a perfect combination of good looks, catchy songs, depressing lyrics and incredible performances. Without Green Day and Fall Out Boy (responsible for turning the blender on), where would music be right now?

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