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4.3 out of 5 stars
Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 1999
Format: Audio CD
...by some of the greatest power pop and rock artists of the last 30 years, but this guy puts a fresh spin on every track. The first time I caught "You Get What You Give," I stood absolutely still, convinced that I was hearing Todd Rundgren's protege...I bought the CD that instant and haven't stopped listening. Every cut has a different sound but the through-line is always the same incredibly versatile vocalist/songwriter. My second-favorite cut is the very last, "Church on Monday" -- reminds me very strongly of Gregg Allman's "Sweet Melissa," with a touch of the Stones' "You're a Fool to Cry." It's one of only a handful of CDs in existence that you can listen to from beginning to end, without skipping over the 'duds' because there are none. And what a refreshing change from the angst-ridden, self-absorbed posturing of the untalented recording masses! I hope Alexander doesn't get brainwashed by the jaded music industry and keeps his creative groove, because he's a tall cool one for an audience thirsting for more. Amazing harmonies, arrangements and lyrics -- what a concept. You definitely get more than you give for this!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2005
Format: Audio CD
In the late 90's, it was an era getting into the full swing of plastic pop-music, laced with atrocious orchestration, where gyrating hips and busty pseudo-blondes were dominating the airwaves, accompanied by male counterpart bands whos gimmick was the ability to sing in unison and dance at the same time (a step above walking and chewing bubblegum). As if it were a greek comedy, ironically, out from the middle of all this came the album "Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too" like a rose straining up between weeds and kudzu. The single "You Get What You Give" was music that actually sounded like genuine music, and from a major record label, and on top of that, it was getting airtime and had a video. I marvelled at this and had to find out who was behind it and what movement they were leading, so I did a brief internet search and found out "New Radicals" was pretty much a solo operation (Gregg Alexander) with the exception of studio musicians. Although some songs on the album do contain a few drug references, and Gregg at some points is not mild about his language, one reading of the lyrics to the album's title song (Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too) is comparable to the lyrics of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On?", or some singers and songwriters from the 60's but with a much sterner tone. Gregg brought out to the forefront many issues that musicians today are oblivious to, or are too delicate to touch. Anyone from this generation who would go through a collection of old albums would be in store for a real culture shock, not just on the quality of the songs, but of their content one might say "Wow, people actually used to sing about this stuff, and they were hits?". Yes, the problems didnt go away just because we stopped looking at them. Gregg himself claims he is a firm believer in the power of music, unfortunately much of the music out nowadays has about as much power as a hill-bound Hyundai.

Getting back to the quality of the songs, not all of them are upbeat and positive, but one thing Gregg always comes back to is life and love. He sings about real things, some songs are sad, but they're not dismal. Some songs have drug references, but they're not about drugs. He has a knack for being able to write songs that convey emotions that we've all felt. He sings them like he really relates to you but you can't find the words to express yourself. "Someday We'll Know"--The second single from the album has already been covered by two other artists/groups, one of them being the great Hall&Oates, and the other, Mandy Moore. It's no surprise that Gregg turned out to get the BMI music award in 2004 for his hand in writing "The Game of Love", a song that received over one million airplays in a year, sung by Michelle Branch. He has since written and produced for dozens of other artists after he disbanded New Radicals, and even if "Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too" did come out years ago, there obviously continues to be a small, but growing fanbase of his work.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2006
Format: Audio CD
William Cooper's review is very thorough ~ and thanks for answering the baffling lack of synchronicity between the printed lyrics and actual lyrics on "Maybe You've Been Brainwashed Too" ~ at least acknowledging it! I've been searching forever for an explanation or response regarding that. I bought the CD for the same song most everyone else did, but my hands-down favorite is "Someday We'll Know...." The only thing that WC may have left out is the "soulful" quality in some of the selections. Darkcloak states, "it's a willful indulgence in pop with some interesting highlights." I agree, and can only add that overall, the CD is brilliant.

I can agree with others that at times the lyrical content seems what I would call amusing at best and immature at worst, but I think that if the band had stayed together, they would have easily worked through that - it wouldn't have taken very long. (Similar "mistakes" were made by Prefab Sprout and they've succeeded, imho, in spite of them).

While others might call this a one-hit-wonder, I rather think the entire CD is better described as a *magnum opus*.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I recently rediscovered this album, while rummaging through my vast record collection. When I was a young-mid adolescent, I really enjoyed the album. Now I not only enjoy the catchy pop-music, but I especially like the lyrical content. Gregg Alexander's subject matter ranges from romance, sex, tripping, addiction, radicalism, faith, etc. I especially like the narratives, "I hope I didn't...," and "Jehovah made..." The title track is very moody, but it does stand out as the most psychedelic/experimental track, and I it sounds great. Like many others I lamented Gregg Alexander's descision to end the project, which lead to the "One Hit Wonder" status. That title isn't too bad though since "You Get What you Give," is my favorite song on the album, which makes the New Radicals my favorite "One Hit Wonder." I'm not a huge fan of "pop" music, but this album has been one of the highlights of my music collection for quite some time now.

If you like or dislike the review, let me know.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is one of the greatest albums I've ever heard. It doesn't ever get played out. Every song on this cd is sheer brilliance and it seems befitting that Greg Alexander decided he couldn't handle the music business anymore......his music is just way, way too profound and real for the dumbed-downed masses to really appreciate or even understand. He did the right thing, one classic record and out he goes.......absolute GENIUS!!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2004
Format: Audio CD
i listen to any and every type of music if it's good. this album blew me away from the day it was released. i have hundreds of cd's, and i estimate listening to this record between 400 and 500 times since i bought it (and counting) i twist friends arms to buy this one, and if they don't i buy it for them and every single one of them loves it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Music enthusiasts rave about "Brainwashed." Many professional critics nitpick, politic, and perhaps secretly treasure this album. See what all the fuss is about -- listen to a few sample tracks.
Many will know the popular "You get what you give." This track is a good introduction to Gregg Alexander's style of upbeat rhythyms and moods, combined with variegated pop rock themes. In each song, Alexander blends several musical and lyrical concepts. Curiousity is sparked by an opening vignette, and momentum is built through creative well-orchestrated progressions. Try listening to this album without head-moving and foot-tapping -- it won't be easy.
Excellent tracks to sample include "Flowers", "In need of a miracle", "Gotta stay high", and "Jehovah." My personal favorites are "Crying like a church on monday" and "I don't wanna die anymore."
Beyond the raw enjoyability of this album, Alexander shows us that he has the talent to become an important and innovative force in the music industry. Rarely does one find an album, like "Brainwashed," where every track is excellent and unique. Hopefully Alexander will rise above the critics and produce more excellent works.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is what music should be. Straightforward without being boring or dated, intelligent lyrics, and positive messages. Sequencers and sampling had overtaken the 90's to the point where I didn't like the majority of what came out.The warm,natural feeling of real instruments was gone in favor of people who had very little talent and really COULDNT play an instrument.When I first heard You Get What You Give, I thought "Wow, that's a great song, I'll buy the CD and hope for the best" This album takes a little bit of time to sink in, but if you keep listening to it,and reading the lyrics along with each song, you will love it all except the title track. Now the reason I bought the CD, is actually my least favorite track. Flowers is a heartfelt piece, as well as Hope I DIdnt Just Give Away The Ending.Listen to this a few songs at a time, and it will become one of your faves.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2000
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Gregg Alexander's recent announcement that he was breaking up the New Radicals was truly tragic - as was the fact that their London show was cancelled and never rescheduled. If it weren't for the radion station Xfm, England probably wouldn't even have experienced the first single.
Most of the tracks on this CD are excellent; "You Get What You Give" was obviously a classic, but "Mother We Just Can't Get Enough", "Someday We'll Know", "Gotta Stay High", "Technicolor Lover", "Crying Like a Church on Monday" - and, in fact, nearly every other song on this, are all wonderful.
The idea that they were either new or radical was never really going to hold water - and Gregg Alexander's 'radical' posturing in the press did come across badly - but it's worth giving this album a chance - it's so good.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I bought this CD when it originally came out. Like many people i was interested in it b/c of the single "You get what you give." As much as i loved that song it isn't even in the top 3 of the songs i love on this CD. Crying like a church on Sunday is amazing. What I found interesting about the lyrics is that they caused me to think a little harder about the message and what the stories related to. I usually listened while driving and this is GREAT music to listen to on long drives when you just want to be in your own thoughts, day dreaming a bit.
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You Get What You Give
You Get What You Give by New Radicals (Audio CD - 2002)


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Someday We'll Know by New Radicals (Audio CD - 1999)
 
     

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