Modern Power Pop
There's no question that purveyors of modern power pop are constantly looking over their shoulders to the sugared sounds of '70s and '80s acts like Big Star, Cheap Trick and Badfinger. But the principals of the sound have remained the same throughout the decades: big backbeats, sweet melodies, catchy hooks and clever lyrical turns. No one embodies these better than Matthew Sweet, whose Girlfriend set a high bar with its deliriously catchy tunes when it came out in 1991, but the optimistic '90s saw a crop of acts like Jellyfish, the Cardigans and Weezer deliver sunny, broadly influential examples of the genre. In recent years, Fountains of Wayne have carried the torch with moderate commercial success, and the lines between power pop and pop punk have become hazy. A crop of popular independent acts like Brendan Benson, Ted Leo and Spoon, however, have bounced along just below the radar.