If you liked rock music that wasn’t too hard or dissonant but you still wanted to seem “alternative,” the late ’90s and early 2000s were a glorious time. After grunge but before auto-tuning, there were scores of bands—some seemingly indistinguishable from one another—who churned out accessible “adult alternative rock” (slash “power pop”) that zoomed its way up the charts.
Some acts got pretty big (Matchbox
20 Twenty, The Goo Goo Dolls). Some were one (hit) and done (Semisonic, Stroke 9). And I. Loved. ALL. Of. Them.
One of my favorites was Nine Days, based on the upbeat and guitar-rich contents of The Madding Crowd, the band’s fourth album (but the first to appear on a major label). “If I Am” was used to great effect in a Dawson’s Creek episode or two, and was wrought with emotion and catchy as hell, despite the seemingly contradictory phrase that closes out the song: Continue reading