In the '90s, nothing was bigger than the '80s. The phrase sooo '80s became applicable to every last iteration of big hair, bright colors, and schmaltzy synthesizers. A few of the Me Decade's touchstone references: MTV overdoses, Madonna's dirty Bowery tutu, the Flock of Seagulls hairdo, baggy suits, too much eyeliner, brick-size cell phones, and infectiously gooey New Wave à la Modern English. It all lasted until, like, 2008. By that point, popular culture had drifted far enough from the Clinton era that grunge and gangsta rap seemed ripe for the picking. And now, in the potentially (and probably) apocalyptic year of 2012, the '90s are the new '80s. Still, it doesn't really seem to matter which decade is the hipper source of retro inspiration — you can't go wrong with perennial pop titans like Modern English. This band epitomizes all of the hazy, lusty, feel-good tropes of Reagan-age jangle, and the group's smash 1982 single, "I Melt With You," will remain in heavy rotation till long after the '00s have cycled through three or four waves of semi-ironic nostalgia.
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