New Radicals - Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too
MCA Records


     In their album "Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too" I can't quite
tell if the New Radicals are parodying the music scene or just
themselves, or even if the parody is intentional.
     First off, the album is catchy.  Their radio single "You Get What
you Give" is uber-catchy.  It always strikes me as a little odd when a
band's first big single is clearly meant to be anthemic--an anthem is
supposed to stand for something and it's hard to tell what a band
stands for off of one song.  Apparently, they are pro-fun and contra
"the bad rich", which is as good a set of beliefs as any I suppose. 
Overall the song sounds like it should be the centrepiece of an 80's
soundtrack about kids who raise a lot of money having a car wash and
buy some piece of property that a developer wants and turn it into a
playground/breakdancing yard, or something to that effect.  Luckily, I
*like* those movies and I really like the song.
     Just so you are forewarned though, the album is not very radical.
 In fact, though the lyrics rail against corporate greed and societal
apathy, the band's sound is corporate in the extreme.  Maybe it is a
clever parody--mocking the very kids who will buy the album in
profusion.  But it seems that a band who so totally rejects the
message of capitalism would not have such a radioland sound, and,
frankly, wouldn't dress like such rich frat boys.
     Songs like I Hope I Didn't Just Give Away the Ending are clever,
but it's like hearing a pop band sing about a beatnik lifestyle.  In
fact there is no similie, that is precisely what it is.
     I leave this album in a surprisingly indecisive state of mind.  I
like the songs a lot, I like the message a lot, but the song and the
message don't go together very well nine times out of ten.  It's not
what Sinatra would call "a perfect marriage of words and music."  It's
more of a baffling mismatch that falls between advertising for
Abercrombie and Fitch and wanting to plant bombs in the stores.
...ron provine...

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