Slate published an article about the New American Songbook. I can’t say I disagree with too much of it, although I agree that ranking Empire State of Mind so high (or even putting it on the list at all) speaks to the myopia of New Yorkers. I also think that the inclusion of the Liz Phair song is optimistic. If it’s not being played on 90s grunge and alternative stations today (and it’s not), it’s not going to make it into the New American songbook. And I’m also going to quibble about the NIN song, since even Trent Reznor agrees it’s been overshadowed by the Johnny Cash version, so why not just include that version? Thoughts?
And in songs that are definitely never going to make the New American Songbook, there are two songs out right now playing off of nostalgia for the late-90s/early-2000s, neither of which gets the time period right.
First up is Charlie XCX and Troy Sivan, with 1999. This song is...not great, and a lot of the references in the video aren’t from 1999 (e.g., Titanic and the Spice Girls, both of which are from 1997).
Next up is Anne-Marie’s 2002, which is a better song, but still can’t get the references right (many of the ones in the video are from before 2002). I am confused about the timeline, too, because you were 11 in 2002 but dancing on the hood of your friend’s Mustang in the woods? Drinking out of plastic cups? 11 seems too young for both of those activities.