I guess I still don't understand how decent 90s pop/rock material doesn't hold up as well as sappy, slow, burned out 'soft' AC songs from that era
Are you sure that's true, though? (About most ACs nationwide)?
There are exceptions, like the Cox AC's and some others owned by smaller companies (like WEJZ in Jacksonville), but if you look at the example of songs I listed in the other thread about why AC doesn't play more 90s, it's far from likely that you'll hear those on the majority of AC stations like you hear "Because You Loved Me", "I Don't Want to Wait", "Give Me One Reason", "Truly Madly Deeply", the dated country crossovers, etc. AC has gotten better about playing a wider variety of sounds from the 80s and 00s, but they seem terrified to step out of their comfort zone with the 90s.
The 25-54 demographic must just prefer aggressive 80s/00s/current songs and tired, sleepy 90s...that's all I can conclude