I told you all the 90s are back. This generation has f-f-f-finally realized how great the era is (duh). To add to the 90s revival, Matchbox 20– a popular 90s pop band led by frontman Rob Thomas–is releasing a new album! You may remember Matchbox 20 from “Push” and “3 am”. Now the boys of Mbox 20 have a new fun pop-rock single out called, “She’s So Mean.” If you exercise or hit the gym, you will want to download this song ASAP! Mbox 20 definitely has a new sound!
They’ve released their own lyric video for the song–interesting marketing, right? And they hired Rob Thomas’ stunning wife to star in it! The color pink and bright lollipops fill the video, but the actual song is bittersweet–something akin to Maroon 5′s single, “This Love”. In fact, there is a whole slew of songs that follow the narrative of “the supposedly innocent, good guy in love (or in lust) with the bad girl.”
How about Third Eye Blind’s “Never Let You Go?” “There’s every good reason for letting you go. She’s sneaky and smoked out, and it’s starting to show.”
Or, Beastie Boys’ “She’s Crafty”, where fictional Lucy steals all the band’s stuff? ” The girl is crafty like ice is cold….when I woke up late in the afternoon, she had taken all of things inside of his room….She had taken the bed and the chest of drawers. The mirror, the tv…she robbed us blind!”
In the “She’s So Mean” video, you see a pair of woman’s legs rocking bright pink hot pants and red lips eating candy behind the lyrics, ”For an angel she is a hot mess.. She’s like a one way ticket/cause you can’t come back./ Yeah, you want her, but she’s so mean!”
I don’t love the connotations of this song…… but I like listening to it. The song equates women with candy (women objectified for consumption? annoying), candy stores (women as something to be bought? really annoying), and childlike innocence with hot pants and candy (okay, women are all adults and don’t need to be taken care of. super annoying). However, I somehow feel better by recognizing its faults? And knowing what it’s portraying? I think we all recognize that there are tons of GREAT books, movies, and songs that are problematic: racist, sexist, gendered, and so on. A great example would be the movie Gone with the Wind. The unnamed Black Americans in the movie were portrayed as the nineteenth century US stereotype of the “Mammy”: a jovial, mother-like, enslaved woman who is happy and complacent with her oppressed condition. This “Mammy” type figure in fact loomed large in 19th century US culture–in stories, poetry, and periodicals–as justifying rhetoric of why slavery was a “positive-good” for the community as a whole. (Did I mention I am an expert in 19th century US popular culture? BB loves pop culture!!) Knowing this, I can still say Gone with the Wind, in some aspects, is a well-made film, but definitely tempered with racist undertones that can’t, and shouldn’t be, ignored. Make sense? There’s today’s pop culture lesson! Cheers!