This is a good article. Click here for more information.

Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too
A man, sitting reclined with a hat pulled over his face. He is in front of an orange striped background.
Studio album by New Radicals
Released October 16, 1998
Recorded 1997–1998[1]
Genre
Length 54:21
Label MCA
Producer Gregg Alexander
Singles from Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too
  1. "You Get What You Give"
    Released: November 13, 1998
  2. "Someday We'll Know"
    Released: May 9, 1999

Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too is the debut studio album by American alternative rock band the New Radicals. Released October 16, 1998, it is their only album release before disbanding in 1999. The album charted in several North American and European countries, and was frontman Gregg Alexander's third album, following two unsuccessful albums released in 1989 and 1992, respectively. For the album's recording, Alexander enlisted numerous session musicians and is the only band member to perform on every song. The album's musical style was compared to numerous rock artists, including Billy Corgan, Chumbawamba, and the Rolling Stones.

The album spawned two singles. "You Get What You Give" was released as the first single off the album, and was commercially successful worldwide, reaching number one in Canada and New Zealand and peaking in the top 40 in the US and the UK, among other countries. The album's second single, "Someday We'll Know," was released shortly after the group disbanded. It was far less successful than its predecessor, entering the top 40 only in Brazil and failing to chart on the Billboard Hot 100.

Background and recording[edit]

Prior to forming the New Radicals, lead singer Gregg Alexander released two solo albums, Michigan Rain (1989) and Intoxifornication (1992). Both albums were commercially unsuccessful, generating no charting singles and receiving mixed reviews from critics.[6] Before forming the group, Alexander had been dropped by two record labels: A&M and Epic Records. In 1997, Alexander signed to MCA Records in 1997 and allegedly received a $600,000 advance.[7]

When recording Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too, Alexander stated that he "completely ripped up the rules that applied to [his] first two records."[8] While the album was credited to the New Radicals, it is often considered to be a Gregg Alexander album,[8][9] as he wrote and produced most of its songs, played several instruments on it, and is the only constant member of the band.[1] In reference to the wide variety of musicians he recruited to record the album, Alexander stated, "Most of that record was me pulling favors with studios or musicians that had played on earlier records and were like, 'Oh, Gregg's down on his luck — let's go play on his demo for the hell of it, we'll have a good laugh, have a couple of beers and maybe smoke a jay or whatever.'"[8]

In addition to the songs included on the album, the New Radicals recorded several other songs. Alternate mixes of tracks were also released on singles: the radio edit of "You Get What You Give" is on its parent single,[10][11] the instrumental cut of "Someday We'll Know" is included on some pressings of its parent single,[12] and the radio edit of "Mother We Just Can't Get Enough" appears on its parent single (which was never officially made available for sale due to the band's split).[13] Additionally, a song titled "The Decency League" was included as a B-side to "Someday We'll Know."[12]

Composition and musical style[edit]

The lyrical and musical content of Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too was compared to a variety of artists. The Encyclopedia of Popular Music likened the New Radicals' politically-oriented lyrics to British rock band Chumbawamba.[14] In Entertainment Weekly's review of the album, critic Tom Sinclair compared the album's music to that of Hanson.[5] The Los Angeles Times compared the New Radicals to the Rolling Stones and the Beatles.[15] Alexander's vocal performance drew frequent comparisons to Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins,[14][3] while a review by AllMusic suggested his vocals were similar to Mick Jagger's.[2] In Consequence of Sound, critic Justin Gerber commented that the album "made Gregg Alexander the 90's answer to Phil Spector, without the bad rap of murdering people."[16]

Many critics also compared Alexander's songwriting and vocal performance to those in earlier R&B: The Virgin Encyclopedia of Nineties Music compared "In Need of a Miracle" to "the blue- eyed soul side of Todd Rundgren," and likened "Mother We Just Can't Get Enough" to "Style Council's breezier moments,"[17] while Spin felt "Technicolor Lover" was influenced by Prince and Paul Smith.[18] Music critic Robert Christgau also felt that Todd Rundgren, as well as Hall & Oates, were clear influences to Alexander, also comparing the lyrics to Bob Dylan and Meatloaf.[7]

The album's lyrics were frequently noted as being sarcastic, cynical, and occasionally memorable. "Jehovah Made This Whole Joint for You" was described as "catchy but cynical" by High Fidelity News and Record Review.[19] Gerber from Consequence of Sound noted that the song discusses both religion and marijuana.[16] "Someday We'll Know" lyrically explores numerous mysteries throughout history, including Amelia Earheart's disappearance, with the lyrics "Whatever happened to Amelia Earhart? Who holds the stars up in the sky?"[20] The song also centers on Alexander's trying to figure out why his partner left him.[16] "I Hope I Didn't Just Give Away the Ending" includes improvisation and only a piano and percussion for the first two minutes,[16] and was noted in Song Means: Analysing and Interpreting Recorded Popular Song as "strangely unfocused," also noting that at the 3:18 point of the song, Alexander "steps out of character" with the lyric "This may not be true, but I said it so you'd feel involved with the song;"[21] Spin commented that the song contains "rangy slurs."[22]

The lyrics to the album's lead single, "You Get What You Give," drew much attention. The bridge, in particular, drew attention, as it contained insults directed at Beck, Hanson, Courtney Love, and Marilyn Manson.[23][24] Alexander stated in a 1998 Billboard interview that the song's lyrics are "mostly about remembering to fly high and be completely off your head in a world where we can't control all the elements. You have to maintain balance because you only get what you give."[25] Spin compared the song to Sister Sledge's "Lost in the Music,"[18] while Gerber noted that the it is virtually expletive-free.[16]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[2]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4/5 stars[14]
Entertainment Weekly A−[5]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[26]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[15]
NME 6/10[27]
Q 4/5 stars[28]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[9]
Spin 6/10[18]
The Village Voice A−[3]

Entertainment Weekly's Tom Sinclair called the album "filler-free" and praised the album's positive messages.[5] The Village Voice's Robert Christgau praised the songwriting and lyrics, which he called "lovable" despite their "paucity of meaning."[3] Writing for WXPN, Bruce Warren remarked that the album's lyrics, with Alexander complaining about the commercialisation of Western society, media and religion, aren't clichéd because they are "insightful" and truthful.[29] In a mixed review, NME's Kitty Empire felt that the album is occasionally interesting but then "freefalls like a shot duck."[27]

In a retrospective review for AllMusic, Alex Henderson commented that although Alexander clearly has a "left-wing point of view," the album "doesn't beat listeners over the head with a sociopolitical agenda," going on to praise the album's 1970s sound and Alexander's vocals, calling it "one of the most promising" albums released in 1998.[2] Colin Larkin's review for the Encyclopedia of Popular Music called Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too "an uplifting combination of sweeping melodies, aggressive harmonies and large dollops of stream-of-consciousness soul," likening the album to those of Chumbawamba and praising Alexander's vocal range.[14]

In 2016, Rolling Stone ranked Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too at number 23 on their list of "40 Greatest One-Album Wonders," reflecting that "A bubbling stew of influences that had glossier production and more pointed lyrics about corporate America than its alt-rock-radio brethren, Brainwashed could have been the beginning of a new pop order."[4]

Commercial performance[edit]

In the United States, the album debuted on the Billboard 200 at number 199 on the week of November 28, 1998.[30] On January 16, 1999, the album rose into the top 100 on the chart for the first time, climbing 33 spots to number 79.[31] The album reached its number 41 peak on February 13.[32] The album remained at its peak the following week,[33] then fell to number 51 on the Billboard 200 dated February 27.[34] The album spent a total of 40 weeks on the chart,[35] and placed at number 126 on the year-end Billboard 200 in 1998.[36] It achieved Platinum status (1,000,000 copies sold) in the United States less than a year after its release.[35][37][38]

The album also achieved some foreign success. On the UK Albums Chart, the album reached a peak of number 10.[39] The album also charted within the top 40 in Austria,[40] New Zealand,[41] Germany,[42] and Sweden,[43] and peaked outside of the top 40 in the Netherlands and Switzerland.[44][45]

The New Radicals' debut single, "You Get What You Give," was released on November 13, 1998, and was commercially successful. It reached number one in both Canada and New Zealand, and the top five in the United Kingdom.[46][47][48] In the United States, the song peaked at number 36, on the Billboard Hot 100.[35] The song reached the top 10 of the US Alternative Songs chart, where it peaked at number eight, and also performed well on the Pop Songs and Adult Pop Songs charts, peaking at numbers 14 and 11, respectively.[35] The song also entered the top 40 in Australia, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Germany, and Chile.[47]

"Someday We'll Know" was slated as the album's second single,[16] but the group disbanded before its official release, and the song was far less successful than its predecessor, charting in several European countries.[4][49][50] The song reached the top 40 in only one country, Brazil, where it peaked at number 38.[51] In the United States, the song failed to enter the Billboard Hot 100, although it did manage to reach the Adult Top 40, where it spent 11 weeks and peaked at number 28.[35] In the United Kingdom, the song managed to enter the singles chart, but it peaked at number 48 and spent only two weeks in the top 100.[39] "Mother We Just Can't Get Enough" was planned to be the album's third single, but was never commercially released, due to the group's dissolution.[8][35][13]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Gregg Alexander, except where noted.[1][2]

  1. "Mother We Just Can't Get Enough" – 5:46
  2. "You Get What You Give" (Alexander, Richard Nowels) – 5:02
  3. "I Hope I Didn't Just Give Away the Ending" – 6:37
  4. "I Don't Wanna Die Anymore" – 4:16
  5. "Jehovah Made This Whole Joint for You" – 4:11
  6. "Someday We'll Know" (Alexander, Danielle Brisebois, Debra Holland) – 3:39
  7. "Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too" (Alexander, Andy Partridge) – 5:21
  8. "In Need of a Miracle" – 3:43
  9. "Gotta Stay High" – 3:06
  10. "Technicolor Lover" – 3:42
  11. "Flowers" – 3:52
  12. "Crying Like a Church on Monday" – 5:02

Personnel[edit]

All information credited to Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too album booklet and Allmusic.[1][52]

Charts and certifications[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Alexander, Gregg (1998). Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too (Album booklet). New Radicals. MCA Records. p. 1. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Henderson, Alex. "Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too – The New Radicals". AllMusic. Retrieved September 10, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d Christgau, Robert (February 23, 1999). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved January 4, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c Weingarten, Christopher R.; Spanos, Brittany; Exposito, Suzy; Reeves, Mosi; Grow, Kory; Harris, Keith; Fischer, Reed; Gehr, Richard; Johnston, Maura; Levy, Joe; Greene, Andy. "40 Greatest One-Album Wonders". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 7, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d Sinclair, Tom (October 30, 1998). "Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too". Entertainment Weekly (456). ISSN 1049-0434. Retrieved March 21, 2013. 
  6. ^ Ruhlmann, William. ""Intoxifornication" review". Allmusic. Retrieved December 6, 2016. 
  7. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (December 22, 1998). "The Sound of the City". The Village Voice. ISSN 0042-6180. Retrieved August 6, 2005. 
  8. ^ a b c d Feinberg, Scott. "Found Star: New Radicals' Gregg Alexander Grants First Interview in 15 Years". Billboard. Retrieved December 6, 2016. 
  9. ^ a b Wild, David (November 17, 1998). "The New Radicals: Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too". Rolling Stone (801). ISSN 0035-791X. Archived from the original on April 29, 2009. Retrieved September 10, 2011. 
  10. ^ ""You Get What You Give" at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved December 7, 2016. 
  11. ^ "You Get What You Give [UK]". AllMusic. RhythmOne. Retrieved April 5, 2017. 
  12. ^ a b "Someday We'll Know". Discogs. Retrieved December 7, 2016. 
  13. ^ a b "Mother We Just Can't Get Enough overview". Discogs. Retrieved December 6, 2016. 
  14. ^ a b c d Larkin, Colin (2009). "New Radicals". The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-199-72636-1. Retrieved March 5, 2017. 
  15. ^ a b Hochman, Steve (December 25, 1998). "New Radicals, 'Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too,' MCA". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 4, 2016. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f Gerber, Justin. "Dusting Em Off: New Radicals Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved December 7, 2016. 
  17. ^ Larkin, Colin (2000). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Nineties Music (1 ed.). Virgin. p. 284. ISBN 0753504278. Retrieved July 26, 2017. 
  18. ^ a b c Hunter, James (February 1999). "New Radicals: Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too". Spin. 15 (2): 108. Retrieved January 15, 2017. 
  19. ^ "The New Radicals album review". High Fidelity News and Record Review. 44 (7-12). 1999. Retrieved July 26, 2017. 
  20. ^ Purdue University People. PediaPress. p. 95. Retrieved July 26, 2017. 
  21. ^ Moore, Allan (April 1, 2016). Song Means: Analysing and Interpreting Recorded Popular Song. Routledge. ISBN 131705265X. Retrieved July 26, 2017. 
  22. ^ Hunter, James (February 1999). "Album Review". Spin. 15 (2): 108. Retrieved July 26, 2017. 
  23. ^ Sansone, Glen (July 26, 1999). "New Radicals Frontman Dissolves Band". CMJ New Music Report. 59 (628): 5. Retrieved 27 July 2017. 
  24. ^ Mann, Brent (2003). 99 Red Balloons And 100 All-time One-hit Wonders. Citadel Press. pp. 175–176. ISBN 0806525169. Retrieved 27 July 2017. 
  25. ^ Bell, Carrie (November 14, 1998). "The Modern Age". Billboard. 110 (46): 85. Retrieved 27 July 2017. 
  26. ^ Sullivan, Caroline (April 9, 1999). "New Radicals: Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too (MCA)". The Guardian. 
  27. ^ a b Empire, Kitty (April 13, 1999). "New Radicals – Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too". NME. Archived from the original on August 17, 2000. Retrieved May 3, 2017. 
  28. ^ "New Radicals: Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too". Q (152). May 1999. 
  29. ^ Warren, Bruce. "New Radicals – Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too". WXPN. Archived from the original on February 10, 2005. Retrieved August 6, 2005. 
  30. ^ "Billboard 200 The Week of November 28, 1998". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved July 25, 2017. 
  31. ^ "Billboard 200 The Week of January 16, 1999". Retrieved July 25, 2017. 
  32. ^ "Billboard 200 The Week of February 13, 1999". BIllboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved July 25, 2017. 
  33. ^ "Billboard 200 The Week of February 20, 1999". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved July 25, 2017. 
  34. ^ "Billboard 200 The Week of February 27, 1999". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved July 25, 2017. 
  35. ^ a b c d e f "Chart Search". Billboard.biz. Retrieved November 14, 2016. 
  36. ^ a b "Billboard 200 (year-end) chart history". Billboard. Retrieved December 7, 2016. 
  37. ^ McGuire, Colin. "In Defense of New Radicals". PopMatters. Retrieved December 7, 2016. 
  38. ^ "New Radicals search results". RIAA Gold & Platinum. Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved January 14, 2017. 
  39. ^ a b "New Radicals UK Album Chart Overview". Official Charts. Retrieved November 14, 2016. 
  40. ^ a b "Austriancharts.at – New Radicals – Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  41. ^ a b "Charts.org.nz – New Radicals – Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too". Hung Medien. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  42. ^ a b "Offiziellecharts.de – New Radicals – Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
  43. ^ a b "Swedishcharts.com – New Radicals – Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too". Hung Medien. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  44. ^ a b "Dutchcharts.nl – New Radicals – Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  45. ^ a b "Swisscharts.com – New Radicals – Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too". Hung Medien. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
  46. ^ Zaleski, Annie. "New Radicals’ Only Hit, "You Get What You Give," was Secretly Influential". The AV Club. Onion Studios. Retrieved January 4, 2017. 
  47. ^ a b "New Radicals - You Get What You Give". HitParade.ch. Hit Parade. Retrieved July 25, 2017. 
  48. ^ "New Radicals Singles Chart History". Official Charts. Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 4, 2017. 
  49. ^ "New Radicals - Someday We'll Know (Chanson)". LesCharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 25, 2017. 
  50. ^ "New Radicals". MusicLine. Retrieved December 6, 2016. 
  51. ^ "Brazil" (PDF). ABPD. October 6, 2001. Retrieved July 25, 2017. 
  52. ^ Album Credits at Allmusic
  53. ^ "New Radicals | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart Retrieved January 8, 2017.
  54. ^ "The New Radicals – Chart history" Billboard 200 for The New Radicals. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  55. ^ "Canadian album certifications – New Radicals – Maybe You've Been Brainwashed". Music Canada. Retrieved March 1, 2017. 
  56. ^ "British album certifications – New Radicals – Maybe You've Been Brainwashed". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved March 1, 2017.  Enter Maybe You've Been Brainwashed in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search
  57. ^ "American album certifications – New Radicals – Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved February 19, 2017.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  58. ^ "New Radicals sales certifications". RIAA. Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved February 19, 2017. 

External links[edit]

New Radicals ‎– Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too (list of releases and formats) at Discogs