Everclear and the Kings of "Late '90s Confusion Pop"

"Late '90s Confusion Pop" is a genre term that may have been coined, originally, by my friend Daniel Schurgin of the band Gay Kiss. It describes a series of mainstream alt-rock acts from the late '90s who released very accessible pop hits and whose influences seem myriad to the point of almost being indiscernible. In my opinion, the crowning achievement in this genre is "Better Days (and the Bottom Drops Out)" by Citizen King; other notable figures in the genre include Sugar Ray, Smashmouth, the New Radicals, and the Dandy Warhols.

The genre seems like the result of power-pop music adapting in the wake of grunge, pop punk, third wave ska, the swing revival, latin pop, hip-hop (DJ scratches on any guitar-driven pop number from the period is a good indicator), and Oasis. The usual result of Late 90s Confusion Pop songwriting are songs that sound bright, kind of punk, and kind of alternative, but never delve too deeply into the subcultures or nerdy genre consciousness of their cumulative influences. It is usually, on a superficial level, carefree and unintrusive. A lot of classic '90s Confusion Pop hits have made the jump to Adult Contemporary.

Everclear occupies a particularly interesting space in the canon of Late '90s Confusion Pop.

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Mike Bogumill
Contact: Mike Bogumill