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New Radicals - Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too (MCA)

New Radicals are led by singer/songwriter/producer and multi-instrumentalist Gregg Alexander. On his debut album he challenges pop culture for being a victim of its own hype. "Wake up kids / we've got the dreamers disease / Age fourteen / they got you down on your knees," sings Alexander on the song "You Get What You Give". Whether you're fourteen or forty-four, we're all sucked in to hype in some form or another; now we're being sucked into the hype of popster Gregg Alexander.

Alexander grew up in Michigan, where he immersed himself in the Detroit music scene—everything from R&B and techno to punk rock. This album, however, sounds like what would have happened if World Party, Todd Rundgren, and Electric Light Orchestra got together to make a record.

Alexander is a highly opinionated artist. Lyrically the album is one of the most provocative of the year. His take on popular culture, the music industry, and society as a whole are quite interesting. Throughout the album he addresses a social landscape filled with all sorts of inconsistencies including political leaders who are more interested in their own agendas rather than their constituents, and cultural icons who offer up uninspiring art.

Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too is a fantastic debut album from a promising new artist. On songs like the title track, "Technicolor Lover", "You Get What You Give", and "I Hope I Didn't Just Give Away the Ending", Alexander is telling people to wake up and smell the deceit. His messages would sound clichéd if they werent so insightful and articulated with such uninhibited truth.

by Bruce Warren

 

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