“You carry protection, but your heart will go on like Celine Deon…”
Another insight into my childhood comes with this turn-of-the-century banger from one of the most wondrous of one-hit-wonder groups, Bomfunk MCs. Freestyler was at the top of the charts in – according to Wikipedia – Sweden, Germany, Australia, Norway, New Zealand, Austria, Switzerland, Turkey, Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy. That’s a worldwide fucking hit, people. Nought to be sneezed at. Even with this in mind, I can’t help but feel it wouldn’t have quite gotten there were it not for this absolute smash of a music video. Often imitated, never duplicated.
If you were engaged with music on any level in 1999, I don’t have to run through the finer details of the clip. For those of you out of the loop, though, it’s set in a Helsinki train station and follows the adventures of a precocious 15 year old that just happens to have a magical remote given to him. This can only go well, right? The clip feels, at times, like a complete time capsule – I mean, look at the fashion! The dancing! The glasses! The hair! Sure, it was all in Finland; but these people were certainly not uncool looking in 1999. In fact, they’d have looked pretty boss, all things considered.
The video is also a commentary on abuse of power, believe it or not. If you can see that through all the choreography, you’re far more observant than I was when I first saw the video all those years ago. I just wanted to be that badass little kid. Fuck, even in 2013, I still kinda want to be that kid; and he’s probably pushing 30 now. Anyway, reminisce with me – or, better yet, experience for the first time.
“I can’t believe that it’s over, I lost this one tonight…”
Hey, guys! Remember 2004? I sure as shit do. One of the many things that happened in 2004 was a Finnish pop/rock band called The Rasmus, who finally hit the big time with a worldwide hit, In the Shadows, after years of obscurity everywhere except their homeland. Of course, it didn’t last – most have assumed that the band split up or went back to digging ditches or whatever. Alas, no, they’ve kept making this music THIS ENTIRE TIME. Their latest self-titled album is their eighth album. Wuh? Wah? Heh? OK, now we’ve been dealt that blow, here’s another: While In the Shadows was a catchy slice of mall-goth pop, this is U2-aping radio rock at its most tragic. Oh, and it gets worse.
A modern-day parody/homage to Depeche Mode‘s Enjoy the Silence, vocalist Lauri Ylönen wondering around wearing a cape and a crown. Exactly why he’s doing that is never quite explained, and it doesn’t seem to really symbolise anything. It seems like it’s meant to represent some kind of isolation or loneliness or a lack of belonging or some shit. Now, the teenage angst thing is a big go-to for a lot of pop and rock music, but let’s not forget that Lauri is thirty-three years old. It’s got to stop somewhere, surely. This is truly cringeworthy as an attempt to get back on the charts, and I can only assume it’s going to crash and burn something chronic.