Open Mic: It's time for 90's pop to say "Bye, Bye, Bye"

A recent fad of comeback tours from the unforgettable bands of the 1990's are arousing fond memories from so-called Generation X.

Who could forget the power and emotion behind timeless tracks like, "Spice Up Your Life," "Bye, Bye, Bye" and of course (one of my personal favorites) "Hit Me Baby, One More Time?" As astute third and fourth graders twelve years ago, we knew for sure that these songs were meaningful and timeless - and lately the latter sentiment is proving true.

In case you haven't noticed, these bands have been showing up more and more in recent music charts. From New Kids on the Block concerts to Britney Spears' "Circus" tour, old fans are flocking to see these musicians perform live once again.

Was the material that these singers and groups produced really so timeless and epic that we should be buying tickets to see them more feverishly than our parents would for a Pink Floyd concert?

I'll admit I enjoyed these artists for the time they were around and continue to sing along to them if they show up when my iPod is on shuffle. Indeed, they were a notable part of the mainstream American music industry's evolution.

But it is time to move on from the nostalgia of these essentially pre-packaged and repetitive compositions, especially when tickets to see them live can go for about $500 a pop.

By pouring so much money and passion into seeing these old groups and singers perform, fans are affirming that cheap music that sells is O.K. by the American public, and likewise one of its top musical desires.

I think we are better than that; music is not just a means of vaguely talking about your first kiss or the girl who dumped you, but it can function as a vehicle for political, social and self-expression as well - a fact that fewer and fewer people seem to recognize anymore.

Considering the abundant difficulties and concerns in our society today, there should be a greater show of appreciation for music that tries to accomplish something outside of having a catchy chorus. I'm talking about music that addresses the problems of genuine social strife, the ongoing war and perhaps most importantly, more sincere adolescent problems than just telling a boy that he drives you "Crazy."

If you still want to jam to "Bye, Bye, Bye" in your car every now and again, go for it. But try and add a few choice hip-hop, rock or country albums to the mix. Not only will you contribute to a more productive side of the music industry, but you will probably save a little cash too. Enrichment and extra money - not a bad deal.