She's So Mean
|"She's So Mean"|
|Single by Matchbox Twenty|
|from the album North|
|Released||June 12, 2012|
|Genre||Pop rock, power pop|
|Writer(s)||Rob Thomas, Kyle Cook, Paul Doucette|
|Matchbox Twenty singles chronology|
"She's So Mean" is a song by American alternative rock band Matchbox Twenty. It was released on June 12, 2012 as the first single from their fourth studio album North. The power pop song talks about wanting a girl that's not good for you. The song received generally favorable reviews from music critics, who complimented its fun content and catchiness. The song performed moderately well on the charts, peaking inside the top-twenty in Austria and New Zealand, and the top-forty in Australia, United States and Canada. A music video was released for the song on July 30, 2012.
Background and release
After a decade without releasing a new studio album, the band gathered to work on a full-length studio album, since their compilation Exile on Mainstream, released in 2007, featured seven new songs. Its vocalist, Rob Thomas, stated that, "It could sound like the Kinks, it could sound like Maroon 5, but follow that thread, follow it all the way through." The two-year writing and recording sessions (started in 2010 and ended in 2012) led to over 60 ideas that longtime producer Matt Serletic helped the group chop down to the 12 songs that made North. Among the 12 tracks, "She's so Mean" was included. Speaking to Artist Direct, Matchbox Twenty drummer Paul Doucette commented,
"This one came out of a simple chord progression. We had to write an entire song over this chord progression. Everyone would come up with a section. The basic melodic structure was written in a few minutes. We were fairly drunk at the time [Laughs]. We were recording everything we were doing. We traded off singing different melodies over it. It's pretty funny to listen to, I have to say."
Thomas says the song's about "the wrong kind of girls that we've probably all dated," though as a band of mostly married men for the last decade, they turned to other sources of inspiration. "Luckily, you have single friends who are making really bad decisions, so you can draw on their experiences," he laughed.
"She's So Mean" was written by Matchbox Twenty members, Rob Thomas, Kyle Cook and Paul Doucette, while production was handled by Matt Serletic. It is a power pop song, with handclap intro and catchy guitar refrain. David Greenwald of Billboard Magazine commented that the song "recalls the band's late '90s early days," and that "With lyrics about a bad girl who "drinks Bacardi in the morning," it's ready to soundtrack a future 'Jersey Shore' episode, or at least a summer at the beach." For Melinda Newman of HitFix opined, "The song is redolent of ‘70s power pop—that territory that Fountains of Wayne has mined so successfully — yet it never sounds overly retro."
Lyrically, it talks about wanting something that's not good for you. According to the band, it can be interpreted in two ways; a guy wanting a girl who's not nice to him or wanting things that are bad for you, not knowing they're bad for you, and saying, 'I still want it'." “Every now and then she makes you a little bit crazy/she’ll insert a knife in your back and then she’s calling you baby," Thomas sings. For Paul Doucette, "'She's So Mean' is more lighthearted and tongue-in-cheek than we usually do because we haven't done that yet."
"She's So Mean" received generally favorable reviews from music critics. Melinda Newman of HitFix was positive, calling it "an ear worm waiting to invade your brain and not let go for the rest of the year." She also complimented the production, calling it "deceptively simple, but each drumbeat, every little yelp by Rob Thomas, only makes the song more seductive." Glenn Gamboa of Newsday wrote that the song "works, picking up the pace, adding some snark and turning up the drums in the mix so they're almost dueling with Thomas' vocals." James Hunter of Rolling Stone named it "a droll look at addiction and a master class in snappiness."
While reviewing the album, Steve Lapore of PopMatters was mixed, writing that the song "sounds like Matchbox Twenty are trying to teach young whippersnappers like Adam Levine a thing or two about this hit-makin’ business. The problem is, sadly, that they can’t and don’t. They sound uncomfortable and too old to be singing about an 'uptown/downtown/anything-goes-girl'."
In the United States, the song debuted at number 91 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart week of June 30, 2012. It fell off the chart the following week, but re-entered at number 90 on the week of July 21, 2012. After climbing for weeks, the song peaked at number 40, in its tenth week, on the chart issue dated September 15, 2012. In Canada, the single proved to be even more successful, debuting at number 61 on the Canadian Hot 100 chart week of June 30, 2012, and peaking at number 31, on the week of September 15, 2012. In Austria, the single debuted at number 65 on the Ö3 Austria Top 40 chart, on the week of August 31, 2012, and peaked at number 19, on the week of September 21, 2012.
"She's So Mean" debuted on the Australian ARIA Charts at number 48, on the week of July 1, 2012. Later, the song climbed to number 36. After weeks of rises and falls, the song peaked at number 26, on the week of August 12, 2012, remaining at the peak position for another week. After two weeks of falling, the song climbed again to number 26. The song spent 20 weeks on the Aria Charts and was certified Platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for selling more than 70,000 units of the song. The song performed well on the New Zealand Singles Chart, debuting at number 39, on the week of July 16, 2012. It re-entered at number 35 on the week of July 30, 2012, while in its third week, it jumped to number 29, remaining for two further weeks at the same position. The song kept climbing for two weeks, before peaking at number 19, on the week of September 10, 2012.
The official music video was uploaded to YouTube on July 30, 2012. It features the band singing. While this is going on, a girl (Danish model Stephanie Corneliussen) walks in and causes mayhem, such as by destroying Brian Yale's bass, throwing vinyl records at the band, crashing a bicycle into Paul Doucette's Drum kit, ripping wires out of the wall, pouring coffee on the Mixing console, setting the drums on fire, and spraying the band with a fire extinguisher. As of April 18, 2014, it has 6,980,14 views.
Charts and certifications
|Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)||19|
|Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)||38|
|Canada (Canadian Hot 100)||31|
|Japan (Japan Hot 100)||42|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||19|
|South Korea (Gaon International Chart)||35|
|US Billboard Hot 100||40|
|US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)||21|
|US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)||6|
|US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)||11|
|Canada (Music Canada)||Gold||40,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||500,000*|
*sales figures based on certification alone
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