The New Radicals have all the symptoms of a one hit wonder. Unbelievably generic and completley forgettable name, one song which is fucking great but which is utterly of it’s time and a frontman (Gerry Alexander) who no one’s heard of in ages.
Except the story’s a little more interesting than that. Putting aside – for now – the fact that this song is so good that if the band really were a ‘one hit wonder’ it would be a crying tragedy, a little bit of digging (which anyone can do, provided they’re as bored as I am and know what wikipedia is) reveals that New Radicals are actually a little bit radical. Which is, let’s face it, a little bit surprising because nothing screams suburbia like calling your band New Radicals.
They’re a little bit radical in that they quit the music industry after one album (and, indeed, this one single), or rather Alexander did, because “the fatigue of traveling & getting three hours sleep in a different hotel every night to do boring ‘hanging and schmoozing’ with radio and retail people, is definitely not for (me)”. So, basically, this is a band that followed through on their bored, disaffected image. It’s an image which every band since the start of time has attempted to pedal. But if these bands really were so bored and disaffected with ‘the system’, why did they continue on their huge record deals?
Because they weren’t bored, or at least they weren’t bored enough to outweigh a 90s style advance cheque. Alexander, on the other hand, can be seen to have worn his heart on his sleeve. He carried through, and showed us what would happen if we got what we wanted.
And that’s the crux of it. Genuine authenticity would lead to great music lost, like the rest of the New Radicals’ one and only album.