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Music from the '90s and early-2000s is very broad depending on what you listen to. Which artists or genre did you have in mind?
If you were comparing J-pop to pop in general, I think there will definitely be similarities. I don't remember who but a Japanese R&B singer was influenced by Mariah Carey. American artists are very popular in Japan so I wouldn't be surprised if J-pop artists today grew up being influenced by '90s/early-2000s musicians back then.
J-pop *atm* in general does remind me of 90's Western music. Especially, the music videos.
Off course it depends on the genre but the real candy, fun-loving, light hearted j-pop beats at the moment do remind me a lot of the 90's. There are a lot of song covers and remakes which play a factor into all this as well I guess.
Last edited by Bugzee; September 28, 2010 at 06:54 PM. Reason: typo
Nowadays pop groups is more or less gone in the Western scene. Boy groups, like Backstreet Boys or N*SYNC, died out completely because guys prefer to form bands under the rock/metal genre. If we're talking about girl groups in the same vein as Spice Girls, the only active group I can think of at the top of my head is Girls Aloud. There used to be Destiny's Child and Pussycat Dolls: the former disbanded and I don't hear much about the latter anymore. Right now it's all about solo artists such as Lady Gaga.
In Japan, girl and boy groups are still going strong. Since there is almost no Western counterpart in the late-2000's and 2010, I wouldn't be surprised if they look to older bands from previous decades as their inspiration.
That's my North American view about boy/girl pop groups and their possible similarity to early musicians. As for artists such as Ayumi Hamasaki or Sowelu, I'm not sure.