The comeback generation

Artists of the 1990s move out of the past and into the present

Sam Norton

A&E Editor


There are more than 90 things that we miss most about the 1990s: from Saturday Morning Cartoons, Doug Funnie, Dunkaroos, “Boy Meets World”, “Are You Afraid of the Dark?”, Beanie Babies and even frosted tips.

Even though Justin Timberlake was the first major celebrity to sport frosted tips, he left that look in the ’90s. What he didn’t leave was his music career. 2013 has started off as the year where artists from the ’90s have decided to step out of the past and start living and making music in the present. From Timberlake, to Destiny’s Child, and even Sugar Ray, those who grew up listening to these artists now have the chance to listen to their modern day music. Now, the music industry has become a battle of the comebacks.

According to MTV, “The jury might still be out for some on Justin Timberlake’s comeback single, ‘Suit & Tie,’ but there are clearly enough fans of the Timbaland-produced song out there that [Justin Timberlake] could be looking at his biggest first week ever.”

Billboard reports that “Suit & Tie” has topped the iTunes singles chart during the week of Jan. 20 in the U.S. and England and is selling between 330,000 and 350,000 downloads. If Timberlake’s album continues selling at this rate, Billboard Magazine said it would be his best sales week for a digital song—Timberlake’s “SexyBack” boasted 250,000 downloads in 2006. Rolling Stone Magazine reports that, “Though the song is currently only available on iTunes, early forecasts put sales for ‘Suit & Tie’—the first single from Timberlake’s long-awaited new album ‘The 20/20 Experience—around 400,000. While it may not hit that mark, the new estimate greatly surpasses first week sales for 2006’s ‘SexyBack’.”

“Suit & Tie,” is Timberlake’s first single in six years after he took a break from music to pursue an acting career, according to Independent Magazine. However, not all agree that Timberlake should make his comeback in music and rather they believe he should continue to pursue a career in acting. Keene State College freshman Drew Stamp said, “He’s coming back in comedy and not as much with the music.”

Graphic by: Emma Contic / Graphics Editor

Graphic by: Emma Contic / Graphics Editor

Since the 1990s, Timberlake has been seen on Saturday Night Live from 2003 to 2011, and he has starred in the 2011 films “Bad Teacher” and “Friends with Benefits.” Freshman Tori Bodenski, agreed with Stamp and said she prefers Timberlake as an actor.

MTV stated, “Considering Timberlake’s long musical hiatus and his continuing high-profile career as a TV and movie actor, why isn’t ‘Tie’ basting the doors off all sales records? And why is it not even close to the 512,000 posted by Justin Bieber’s ‘Boyfriend’ last year?”

But Timberlake is not the only ‘90s artist to announce a debut album, the popular girl group Destiny’s Child has also decided to release a new album titled “Love Songs,” after splitting up in 2005, according to “Love Songs,” hit stores on Jan. 29.

Their new album will feature a new song titled “Nuclear” and will also include the group’s older romantic songs from 1997 to 2004, states.

“Both acts, [Timberlake and Destiny’s Child] had revolutionized pop/R&B with a string of unsurpassed hits,” according to The Guardian, “’Suit & Tie’ takes us back ’99 when R&B was all horn stabs, finger clicks and obligatory Jay-Z verses. ‘Nuclear’ goes back even further, with mid-90s breakbeats, lush SWV-style harmonies and sultry-as-sin string lines.” However, some believe that Destiny’s Child will be more successful with their comeback because of Beyoncé Knowles’ success with her solo career.

Freshman Sarah Wasserman said, “It should be interesting with all of Knowles’ fame and because everyone forgot about the other two [Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland]. All of the people who like Beyoncé will help them with their success.” But R&B is not the only ’90s genre of music that is making a comeback, ’90s pop music is coming back into the present through the voices of the band Sugar Ray. Sugar Ray who made their debut in 1995 their album, Lemonade and Brownies and continued to produce albums in 1997, 1999, 2001, and 2003. During 2005, the band decided to take a break from the music industry, according to their website. But by, 2008, the band decided to come back onto the music scene. The year 2013 was when Sugar Ray decided to make sure that their music started to live in the present.

According their website, “Sugar Ray are now getting set to take their classic songs—both old and new—on the road for their first full-scale tour in many a moon.”

But no matter if you are a Sugar Ray fan, a Justin Timberlake fan, or even a fan of Destiny’s Child one thing is certain—the ’90s are making a comeback, maybe not with Beanie Babies, or Saturday Morning Cartoons, but with music in a big way.


Sam Norton can be contacted at

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