It seems now more than ever that bubblegum pop acts are dominating the charts.

The Wanted, Justin Bieber, Carly Rae Jepsen…the list goes on and on.

Even Carson’s 3-year-old can’t get enough of it. Just the other night, Carson had to make a mixtape for his son and it got him thinking, why now?

Carson’s a bit of an expert, considering he was in the center of it all last time during the TRL days, so he decided to analyze why pop is making a comeback and how long it may last!

To fully understand the situation, Carson gave us a crash course in 90s music.

“Economically we thrived in the 90s and the 90s started with alternative rock, right? The grunge era took us until 1994 when Kurt Cobain died…And then in ’95 Foo Fighters formed so you still had some rock going on, but from ’95 really until 2000 you had what we called the post-grunge movement, which really was a lot of indie rock…the introduction of ska music was starting to get popular, and then you had pop punk really make it’s explosion too.”

Carson thinks the resurgence of sugary sweet pop has something to do with the economy. Many of Britney Spears’, Backstreet Boys’, and *NSYNC’s biggest hits to date were released in the thick of the dot com bust and post-September 11th downturn.

“When the economy is good, we rock…When we experience a recession, we grasp onto escapism. We need to feel good, so we tend to gravitate towards music that just is disposable and makes us feel good in our car to escape the realities our lives.”

With unemployment high and our troops overseas, it make sense that heart throb boy bands like One Direction and The Wanted are taking the music industry by storm.

“It’s just not rock music’s time. The highest ratings at MTV were our era of TRL. That was the most buzz MTV’s ever had. Was it the most impactful time of music? Probably not. The people that pre-dated me, the Matt Pinfields of the world, the grunge explosion of the 90s [was] much more of an exciting time of music, really. Those records will live in perpetuity a lot more probably than the bulk of pop records.”

It remains to be seen how we will look back at these new pop starlets in the years to come, but for now, it looks like there’s no end in sight for the latest bubblegum era.

  • Do you agree with Carson’s take on the state of pop music today? Let us know how you feel in the comments section!

-Sarah Carroll, 97.1 AMP Radio, Los Angeles


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