Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Track Review: New Radicals - You Get What You Give

Most elitist music fans would see the name "New Radicals" and start sneering at once. But that's stupid: New Radicals are without a doubt one of the most underrated and unappreciated one-offs of the 90s.

New Radicals was really one man, Gregg Alexander who had previously released two short and unremarkable solo albums to little praise. New Radicals was as much about Gregg's irritation with the music industry as everything else he talks about in his lyrics. Disenchantment would have been a good name for his record, but Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too, definitely does the track.

Alexander is definitely a huge cynic but if 'You Get What You Give' was an instrumental track you would never know it. It's beat and melody are so ridiculously upbeat and uplifting that you would never know its sardonic and downtrodden heart unless you really listened to the lyrics. They're all about feeling completely despondent and a bitter hatred of commercialism and Americana.

Within the lyrics of 'You Get What You Give', Alexander sings two very interesting lines of lyrics: "Health insurance rip off lying, FDA: big bankers buying, fake computer crashes dining, cloning while they're multiplying. Fashion shoots with Beck and Hanson, Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson, You're all fakes run to your mansions, come around we'll kick your ass in." A verse of pretty serious topic followed by bunch of celebrity call-outs. Alexander predicted that nobody would notice his social pleas and focus on the pop culture ones. Unsurprisingly upon the singles release, it was only the pop-beef that made the news. If anyone wrote about Alexander's serious and cynical lyrics it was to label them as cliched and outdated.

The truth is, 'You Get What You Give' may not have the depth of a Dylan song or fury of a Rage Against the Machine anthem, but it's a wonderful pop song and if you haven't heard the other tracks on New Radicals album, you should check them out too.