mallternative
n. Rock music labeled as “alternative,” but that is bland enough to be piped into a mall, restaurant, or other public location. Also: mall-ternative.

Example Citations:
Give Out But Don’t Give Up was no Second Helping, let alone an Exile On Main Street. But Primal Scream made no pretences that it was. ... British critics unfairly dismissed the album as karaoke rock. Yet today, the album sounds more immediate than most of what some writers are calling ‘mallternative’ rock being churned out by such bland sound-alikes as Third-Eye Blind, the Verve Pipe, Nixons Tonic and Dishwalla.
—Paul Zach, “Need to free your mind? Try Primal therapy,” The Straits Times (Singapore), August 1, 1997

As tattoos and spiked hair have given way to Snuglies and Wet-Naps, the once-alternative music has become “mallternative,” the stuff of easy-listening radio stations geared toward shoppers.
—Brad Kava, “Alt-Rockers Selling Less, Playing Better Than Ever,” San Jose Mercury News (California), September 27, 2000

Earliest Citation:
That’s ancient history in the fast-food ‘90s, and there was a sense of been there, done that about the Horizon bill that indicated the dearth of new ideas on the commercial tip of mall-ternative rock.
—Greg Kot, “A Matter of Weight,” Chicago Tribune, December 3, 1996

Notes:
Subscriber Gary Lewis "self-coined" this word and was kind enough to tell me about it. "Self-coin" is my own coinage. It means "to coin an already existing word that you didn't know about."

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