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Cheesy-yet-earnest ’80s music became cool again

Don't try to pinpoint the date

Echo and the Bunnymen from their 1981 album Heaven Up Here
  • Echo and the Bunnymen from their 1981 album Heaven Up Here
  • From You Tube

Dear Hipster: I was listening to 91X the other day and I heard “Everything Now,” by Arcade Fire, and I thought for a second there was some previously unreleased Duran Duran tune. In a way that’s high praise (because Duran Duran was legitimately awesome); but why does new music sound so much like ’80s music? — Dennis

Arcade Fire

"Everything Now"

"Everything Now"

Duran Duran

"Ordinary World"

"Ordinary World"

Men at Work

Echo and the Bunnymen

These days, the 1980s are so long ago that hipsters, musicians, and hipster musicians can nonironically evoke the classic sounds of Men at Work or Echo and the Bunnymen. The cool part of this whole phenomenon is that it just sort of happened. At some point, it was like somebody somewhere flipped a switch and the cheesy-yet-earnest sensibility of ’80s pop music became cool again. Pinpointing the exact date when this occurred is impossible because it doesn’t work that way. Cool just becomes.

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