Friday, July 8, 2011

Terrible Song from My Youth: Crash Test Dummies' "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm"

So, for this edition of the Terrible Song from My Youth I've decided on...

"Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" by the Crash Test Dummies

First... what kinda dick names a song after a humming sound?... And not just one humming sound.  Four.  There are four Mmms.  Couldn't we have just named it "Mmm" or even "Mmm Mmm."  Could have been called "Pointless Stories," or he could have been pretentious and called it "Untitled" but no... I mean, that's 12 Ms, for fuck's sake. 

What makes this song so terrible is the lyrics.  With a capable songwriter (and a non-congested singer), this could have been a decent song.  (More after the jump)

Once there was this kid who
Got into an accident and couldn't come to school
But when he finally came back
His hair had turned from black into bright white
He said that it was from when 
The car had smashed so hard

The dude's voice is just.. Did Sesame Street say it was okay for Cookie Monster to sing this?  Because it wasn't even educational.  (Granted, gorging yourself on cookies isn't very educational...)

None of it rhymed, but whatever.  We'll call it poetic license... but that's only forgivable if there is a point.  I have no idea what the point is.  Like all three "stories," I have no fucking idea what in the blazes is going on.  I mean... I can read/listen... There's a kid... who got into an accident... and it turned his hair white.  WHAT THE FUCK?!!  I sure hope there's more to this story because otherwise it's a waste of time and breath.  Oh... no, it's time for the chorus.  Great.

Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm
Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm

That's the chorus?  That's not a chorus.  It's like homeboy had to turn in a song draft and hummed the parts he hadn't written yet.

Once there was this girl who
Wouldn't go and change with the girls in the change room
But when they finally made her
They saw birthmarks all over her body
She couldn't quite explain it
They'd always just been there

Again... there's a girl... who, presumably, didn't want other girls to see her changing because of her birthmarks.  Is it about bullying?  Is it about being uncomfortable as who you are?  Wait... She couldn't explain why she had birthmarks?  Kinda implied in the name, isn't it?  Birthmarks...  How do they not notice birthmarks ALL OVER her body?  Do they all wear sweaters and long pants at this school?  Shouldn't we sing about school fashion facism?

Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm
Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm

But both girl and boy were glad
'Cause one kid had it worse than that

Worse than what?  Dude had white hair .  Girl had birthmarks.  It doesn't even say anything about people being a-holes or bullies because of it! 

'Cause then there was this boy whose
Parents made him come directly home right after school
And when they went to their church
They shook and lurched all over the church floor
He couldn't quite explain it
They'd always just gone there

Okay... so parents made him come home directly after school... Well, damn them!  And then they went to church... (Oh... GOD DAMN THEM!!!)  And then they all acted weird... And no one could explain it... I can't explain it.  You can't explain that.  Is this song about things you can't explain?  (Did Bill O'Reilly write this song?)  ... And therefore this is the pefect song?

Maybe there is a point to all this... Maybe there is some deeper meaning... but if there is a point and a deeper meaning, why not state it more overtly?  If there is some importance to this, why be ambiguous? 

As for the video... In all honesty, I kinda like the video.   It's a group of kids acting out what the group is singing.  It's visually interesting, at least.  What I hate is that it is intercut with footage of the lead singer mugging and looking like a smug douche for the camera.  I can't really explain it.  I guess he's always been there...

To cleanse the pallet... The Raconteurs' "Carolina Drama."  It has a similar ominous feel, and it also tells a story of a kid.  And it might not have a point, either.  (Jack White even starts it, "I don't know if there's a point to this story, but I'm gonna tell it again")  But at least you know what in the crap is going on.  There's a clear narrative.  And though it has no chorus, it is MUCH better than a chorus that sounds like your cell phone on vibrate... Really annoying vibrate.

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