Review Summary: A great pop-rock album with a wide assortment of influences.
Now I grew up in the 90s. During those times, I didn't care much for music. It was just another form of entertainment on the radio to pass travel time between trips. I probably spent most of my time with toys and video games. I was just a kid afterall.
Recently, I've fallen in love with it, and I feel like I missed out on the important bands of those years such as Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, or hearing "Ok Computer" when it first came out. So, I've felt the urge to look through the notable bands of the 90s for the first time.
In my search, I came across things like Collective Soul, early Green Day, Weezer, and Third Eye Blind. Mainstream bands, but still very good in their own right.
Now, I stumbled onto The New Radicals cross searching similar bands to Goo Goo Dolls. After just listening once to this cd, I can definetly say that they are nothing like the Goo Goo Dolls, but something very different and unusual. The band has several influences ranging from pop, soul, funk, and modern rock. The New Radicals' "Maybe You've been Brainwashed too" is a very satisfying pop-rock album with more depth than many would suspect.
The band is mainly made of Gregg Alexander, who was the only permanent member in 1998. He wrote and produced all the songs as well. The lead single, "You Get what You Give" was very popular in the US and as well as the Uk. After releasing, the second single, "Someday We'll Know" The band disbanded, tired of the press and touring.
As for the album, I was very impressed that I had never heard of this before. The songs have a wide variety from love songs to rock songs with radio hooks. Piano, acoustics, and distortion can all be found here, integratated seamlessly and effectively throughout. Gregg Alexander's vocals are very soothing and reminds me of Billy Corgan and Thom Yorke. An odd combination, but it balances very well. The standout tracks are the two singles, as well as "Flowers", and "Mother, We can't get enough."
The first single, "You get what you give" is a very good tune with a memorable chorus that will stay in your head for a very long time. The second single is a step down in tempo, and is a love song as well. While not as popular as the first, it is still a great track that speaks of someday knowing why things are the way they are and love being able to pull you through. "Flowers" is my favorite track that starts out slow with acoustics and strings to compliment. Slowly, it builds to a memorable chorus. It speaks about a troubled girl who struggles with drugs and not being able to see this man's love,
"My love is real
As real as the flowers
You smoke to get high
A love as real
As real as our god who has spoken on how we can fly
A love as real
As real as the flowers, flower, flowers,flowers"
"Mother, We can't seem to get enough" is an appropiate opener with a fast riff. Soon, it slows down to a funk beat with a very well-placed piano riff. The song sings of a man wanting to always keep feeling the emotion of being near the girl he loves. Cliche, but it is still executed and played very well.
There are some downfalls of the album. Very accessable and very poppy, it might not be for everyone. Some songs carry a lot of depth, but others are just what you hear the first time. The third and title tracks I find irritating as well. Gregg slurs his lyrics in " I hope I didn't just give away the ending", and an annoying female vocalist can be heard in the background singing something that I can't quite understand. The title track sounds like adam sandler trying to sing a Led Zeppelin song. These songs disturb the flow of the album, and while varried, take away too much from the others tracks already here.
In closing, this is a great album that many people probably missed out on. Influenced by many genres, the album will probably have something for most people. Still, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone strongly opposed to pop music. Pity Gregg Alexander disbanded after only one record, they could of been an interresting band to watch in the millineum ahead.