1997 Again: Dave Matthews & Other Redundant Pop Comebacks
For the love of Gina G., is it 1997 again? It was fine when the Spice Girls did the whole comeback thing because they were arguably The Beatles of their heyday. Also they looked quite good coming back for one last can-can. It was also fine when Robyn came back, because she waxed reflective on her past as a tween poppet. I’m even willing to grant clemency to Take That, Kim Wilde, and All Saints. Those were welcome flashbacks to a golden part of pop’s past. But there’s an incongruous trio of pop zombies that make us scratch our heads, look back at the ’90s and ask why. As in, why should we humor Dave Matthews Band when we already have John Mayer?
The answer is simple. We shouldn’t. Really, even with the whole harmonica-and-guitar thing and with DMB’s recent surprise Billboard coup, there’s absolutely no reason why a band who inspired its legions of followers to don pukka shell necklaces and screen-printed Abercrombie tees with mid-level AC rock should be foisted, once again, onto unsuspecting listeners. Even if they hearken back to the long-lost glory days of Rolling Stone.
But more deplorable is what nefarious plans the Backstreet Boys are hatching. Never mind the absurdity of men in their 30s referring to themselves as “boys.” “But what about the Spice Girls?” you might ask. Well, they had the feminist insight of Betty Freidan to fall back on.
However, a bizarre by-product of the same pop movement was Aqua. Surprise! They’re alive! One of them even did a solo jaunt that involved BDSM once. But now, they’ve fully reformed and returned with a new single all about how life used to be in the 80s. The irony! The tune not only counts, “Back when Michael Jackson’s skin was black” as one of its lines, but a #1 ranking in Denmark among its virtues.
So how to cope with this sputtering, turbulent ride on the Pop Flux Capacitator. Beats me. But as long as this spate of comebacks means that sometime call girl Billie Piper won’t be returning to her pop roots, we can all sleep soundly.
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