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Article from HERE (Sep 16, 2019)

5 Late-'90s Artists Who Are Still Rocking

by Matilda Rhodes

blink-182. PhotoCredit: Denny Lester
The Rockband blink-182: Tom DeLonge, Mark Hoppus und Travis Barker (f. l.) visiting the US-Army in Manama, Bahrain. PhotoCredit: Denny Lester

The late '90s and early '00s represent a fairly specific era of music in America. Plenty of genres and artists across the musical spectrum were thriving, but it was the pop-punk, pop-rock, boy band, new-age diva, and joke-rap material that all seemed to blend together to define a prolonged moment. Think back to those years, when you probably downloading songs on Napster and Limewire and watching music videos on TRL, and it's the likes of Britney Spears, Sum 41, Eminem, and the Backstreet Boys who come to mind.

All of these artists are still around, and some of the ones just named are so famous and so prominent that they'll never really fade from public attention until they flat-out retire. But there are also some fun artists and groups from this era that a lot of people may have forgotten, but which are still rocking on - playing in most cases to smaller audiences than in their heydays, but playing good stuff nonetheless.

These are some of the late-'90s artists I still love to check in on.


Blink-182 has changed a lot over the years, and the band has admittedly put forth a few less-than-stellar efforts in the process. But there's always a hint of the band that became one of the most dominant musical forces in America for a five-year span straddling the turn of the century. And for me, those little hints sprinkled in are enough to keep listening. The band actually just released a new EP (which was better than most of the new stuff, if not as good as the old) and has an LP on the way. But the real excitement here is for the future. Original guitarist and co-vocalist Tom DeLonge had a bizarre breakup with his bandmates a few years back, but has let it be known that he'd like back in. There are no guarantees, but I'm going to stay tuned in in the hopes that the band gets back together and recaptures its former glory - if only for one or two singles, or a single short tour.

Goo Goo Dolls

The Goo Goo Dolls have never gotten back to the level they were at when songs like "Slide" and "Broadway" were climbing up the charts. But the band has been impressively steady when it comes to churning out new music and touring the country. This is one of those groups that, in a sort of refreshing way, always sounds the same. And while an album like Dizzy Up The Girl may only come along once in a career, the boys from Buffalo always seem to be able to sprinkle a song or two onto a new album that would have fit right in with their best records. On a more basic level though, I'll just stay this: It's hard to have a bad time casually listening to the Goo Goo Dolls.


Maybe more than any of the artists listed here, P!nk is not just still playing music, but thriving popularly. Though the fearlessly independent pop-rock star is perhaps most associated with the turn-of-the-century era, she's had something of a resurgence lately. Her impactful track "Happy" made waves early this year, and the album "Hurts 2B Human" is actually getting a bit of early Grammy buzz. We're better able to predict major awards like this these days thanks to the arrival of online bookies on the U.S. scene, and though these typically cover sports first, you can rest assured they'll have Grammy odds before long as well. Don't be too surprised if you see P!nk mentioned by the bookmakers, perhaps in a few categories. She's fully back on top of her game, and putting out great stuff.

Third Eye Blind

More than any band on this list, Third Eye Blind shot itself in the foot with how good it was once upon a time. The self-titled debut album, and the legendary pop-rock tune "Semi-Charmed Life," just set the bar too high, forever trapping 3EB in a moment. However, there's a unique sound this group can always achieve (despite members having come and gone over the years), and frontman Stephan Jenkins possesses genuine brilliance, even if it doesn't always show itself. The band has been surprisingly busy over the course of the last decade (you probably didn't know they covered Beyonce's "Mine"), has been busy with summer and fall tours, and has a new album coming out this month. They'll never be as prominent as they were when "Semi-Charmed Life" and "How's It Going To Be" were on every car radio, but honestly, they're still a blast.

Backstreet Boys

I mentioned the Backstreet Boys at the top, and I should specify that it wasn't hypothetical. Despite the relative collapse of their boy band rival, NSYNC (with the exception of the wildly famous and musically active Justin Timberlake), Backstreet's back, alright! Or really, it kind of feels like they never left. They released a new album, DNA, in January of this year, and supposedly have a forthcoming holiday album as well. No, they haven't quite captured the old magic, but that's as much because the boy band era has passed as anything else. The truth is, DNA wasn't half bad.


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