Thursday, March 4, 2010

90's Guilty Pleasures #58: The New Radicals "You Get What You Give" (1998)

This band's similarities to Todd Rundgren have become almost a cliche from its defenders. However, Todd is amazing, and nothing else on the radio during the 90's or since sounded like him, so it stands an adequate defense.

I'm pretty sure the main reason why lots of people hate "You Get What You Give" is because of the section where Gregg Alexander sings that he wants to kick the asses of Beck, Hanson, Courtney Love, and Marilyn Manson, as a way to try and further convince the kids that they truly do have the music within themselves. Even with this context, the lyrical passage seems to arrive from nowhere. Also, the rhyming of "Hanson," "Manson," and "mansion" is definitely a cop-out of sorts.

There's almost nothing more to say about The New Radicals that hasn't already been stated by Chuck Klosterman in his "10 Most Accurately Rated Bands" feature (which can be found in Klosterman IV and in a 2005 edition of SPIN magazine). However, since I'm such a genius, I was able to think of 4 more things...

#1 Gregg Alexander was covered by Rivers Cuomo years before Weezer or The New Radicals existed. The cover was "The World We Love So Much," and it's been revered by many as one of the best tracks from the 2 Alone compilations.
#2 The follow-up to "You Get What You Give" was "Someday We'll Know," which wasn't nearly as good, but was covered by Mandy Moore on the A Walk To Remember soundtrack.
#3 He also wrote "The Game Of Love" by Michelle Branch and Santana.
#4 There's a part in the video for "You Get What You Give" where a kid opens his mouth under a soft-serve ice cream fountain, which I've always wanted to try.

Edit: It's kind of incredible how much worse this song gets while watching it along with the video... like Alex in Clockwork Orange being forced to watch death-camp footage to the sound of Ludwig Van.. This video is so unforgettably bad it becomes nearly impossible to disassociate it with the song it's promoting...

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