"This was maybe music writing’s last chance to reach a mass readership, and do what it was meant to do: circulate some bright ideas, awaken sensibilities, encourage innovation. Britpop is what happened instead. And not by mistake – the press went chasing after that shiny bauble as fast as any loser band. And it was so fucking gleeful. Word counts were cut; analysis gave way to mindless boosterism. I remember an NME Glastonbury supplement claiming that Sleeper were “driven by an obsessive hatred of mediocrity at all levels”. It was beyond parody. I remember gasping in horrified disbelief, again and again, at decisions being made around me. Looking back – and it’s not often I say this of my younger self – I was absolutely right (though not wholly innocent, I’ll admit, in case anyone has back issues to hand). If anything, it was this abrupt shift in the tone of music writing, this kind of failed populism, which led casual readers to decide they could get all this elsewhere. And certainly, it drove away the hardcore."
I don’t think this was JUST Britpop’s fault, but it certainly was this point of time things took an even swifter downturn, criticism-wise. A British Disaster: Blur’s Parklife, Britpop, Princess Di & The 1990s