Tuesday, July 19, 2005

New Radicals - Maybe you've been brainwashed too

To call them by the name New Radicals is misleading since the real genius behind the band is their producer/composer/singer Gregg Alexander. The story is that Alexander disbanded the band right after this album was produced because he got tired of a lifestyle of mindless touring and concert gigs, thus forever elevating the Radicals to James Dean-like status.

Their song 'You Get What You Give' is one of my all-time faves. When I first heard it, I thought it had to be a re-released 80's song. But wait, no, it's new! This song is simple, fun, uplifting, and revolutionary at the same time. Listening to this again brings back great memories.

Wake up kids
We've got the dreamers disease
Age fourteen
They got you down on your knees
So polite
You're busy still saying please
Who when you're down ain't your friend
Every night
We smash their mercedes-benz
First we run
And then we laugh till we cry
But when the night is falling
And you cannot find the light
If you feel your dream is dying
Hold tight
You've got the music in you

OK now let's check out the middle track 'Jehovah Made This Whole Joint For You'. This song cracks me up. So cute and funny, yet serious at the same time. I love several of the lines in this one:

So original in her black lipstick
Listening to some obscure band
But isn't she pissed that all the other non-conformists
Listen to that same obscure band
That's OK she's helping the environment
By sipping pure water and such
Then she screams we better start thinking about
The ozone layer
While tossing out a styrofoam cup

And this is my favorite part:

(Carolina speaking)
"The first step
to a successful revolution
is destroying all competing revolutionaries."

Real deep shit on her mind
"Let's kill the world
take over everything"
She says "we don't need politicians
they breed mistrust"

It's true! The first step to a successful revolution is indeed to eliminate all competing revolutionaries. And I smile everytime I get to the 'real deep shit on her mind' part. Ahh... nice song.

What follows is some of the best songwriting you will ever hear. It's too bad Gregg Alexander never got proper credit for his masterpiece 'Someday We'll Know'.

Whatever happened to Amelia Earhart
Who holds the stars up in the sky
Is true love once in a lifetime
Did the captain of the titanic cry

Does anybody know the way to Atlantis
Or what the wind says when she cries
I'm speeding by the place that I met you
For the 97th time tonight

Absolutely brilliant love song. It winds you up, then slams you down.

Last of all, my favorite track on the CD is the unreleased 'Technicolor Lover'. Very simple lyrics, with a good beat. It came during a time when I was both depressed and happy at the same time which is why it is so memorable.

Fast forward to the present, more than five years after this CD was released. New Radicals has developed a small cult following on the web. Its ex-frontman is reportedly still busy writing and producing songs for other artists, making it less likely that we will get another Radicals' album anytime in the future. But we can still hope can't we?

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars * * * * *
Revolutionary. A collector's item.

1 comment:

Alan said...

This is an awesome Album, I agree one of the best of all time! Pure pop success, if you havn't checked it out yet, go out and buy it today.