Modern rock is a phrase commonly used by radio stations to
describe rock music styles that are commonly found on mainstream radio
stations, generally beginning with late 1970s punk but referring especially
to any rock music of the 1980s, 1990s or 2000s. More specifically, it is
usually used to describe a "radio-friendly" variation of alternative
rock. Many rock radio stations now refer to their format as modern rock.
Modern rock is considered by some to be a separate style of alternative
rock. Many fans of alternative and indie
rock criticize modern rock as being too homogenized, and merely a poor
imitation of the original styles. Some indie rock fans also criticize
alternative rock as being no different from modern rock, and consider both
to be imitations; however, alternative rock is seen as having once been the
same as indie rock, unlike modern rock, which is considered to be a product
of radio airplay. Still, despite such criticisms, modern rock continues to
be one of the dominant forms of rock music on mainstream radio stations.
As alternative rock's popularity in the mainstream declined, heavy metal,
nu-metal, rap metal, pop punk,
emo and other commercially successful forms of rock music also became
labeled as modern rock.