Have a listen to “You Get What You Give” by The New Radicals here.
“You Get What You Give” is one of the best one hit wonders of all time, to such an extent that it might be one of the best songs of all time. It’s a wonderful blend of nonsense and contradictions. It’s a perfect pop song pretending to be a commentary of culture and society. The New Radicals are only known for this song, but the writing team of Gregg Alexander (the band’s lead singer/ frontman/ only real member) and Rick Nowels, have written loads of massive pop songs for people like Santana and Lana Del Rey
As with lots of songs on my list, I like that “You Get What You Give” is a traditional band setup style pop song. I like the pop soul piano sound. I like the one note guitar solo. Gregg Alexander has a great voice, he manages to hit some good high bits but also has a bit of gravel to him. I like that the lyrics are at times so anti corporate America, but in the most gimmicky way possible in an aggressively catchy pop tune. There’s the intentionally controversial digs at big artists of the time straight after some political criticism. All to prove that the media is focused on the superficial stuff. At the same time this is a song featuring Paul McCartney’s guitar player, cowritten by a guy who was also writing for Madonna. It’s the most music business song of all time. It’s hard to know if it’s cynical or oblivious, but I enjoy that ridiculousness.
But when the night is falling
You cannot find the light (Light)
You feel your dreams are dying, hold tight
You’ve got the music in you
Don’t let go, you’ve got the music in you
One dance left, this world is gonna pull through
I love that pre chorus and then the chorus. That pre chorus is so hopeful and then the chorus is just nonsense.