Do you remember the anticipation of a birthday morning when you were a kid? There was always some toy or video game you hinted at wanting all year and today you’d find out if anyone was listening. But you’d be disappointed. Your pragmatic parents bought you a new pair of slacks you’d never wear in public. And there was always some odd gift from an aunt or uncle you didn’t see often, usually a CD of a group that wasn’t cool at all.
Mynt’s Still Not Sorry is that totally unhip CD. The group itself is part disco-crazed and part ‘80’s bubblegum. It’s got a peppy, preppy, beat with an extremely light Latin groove. The positive messages abound here- it’s mostly about love, teasing, sex, love – with a little bit of feminist revenge when the idealistic romances go sour. Here’s an example of the deep, scintillating lyrical content from the albums first track “How Did You Know”:
I’m in a spin, I’m giving in, I’m living in a daydream.
When I saw you, your smile shone through and touched me like a sunbeam.
I’m inside out; I’m crazy about, the way you make my heart feel
I’m head over heels; I’m falling more each day.
I guess there’s nothing wrong with that if you happen to still harbor an adolescent crush for Richard Grieco of 21 Jump Street fame. But this kind of Disneyland candy cane schmaltz wouldn’t make it past a lot of sixth graders I know without at least a few groans.
The folks at Ultra Records, who are promoting this album, had a lot of money to put into it considering the heavyweight synth-pop production team of Albert Castillo and Rich “DJ Riddler” Pangilinan. Ultra must expect this product to have the same appeal as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilar, Kelly Clarkson, and Justin Timberlake and so on. And if Amazon sales are any indication, they seem to be raking in the cash from this one.
So what the $%&* do I know? For people who are into this kind of stuff (sorry, I refuse to call this music), it probably is right near the top of dance genre-driven rhythm and beats that seem to be the commercial rage these days. But for me, this genre continually hits me like bad Chinese food. It’s not very satisfactory in the first place, and then it leaves me hungry an hour later. After years of studying the musical complexity of the Doors, the towering metaphors of Ian Anderson’s lyrics in Jethro Tull’s “Thick As A Brick”, and watching performers like Lou Reed and Kurt Cobain writhe onstage in emotional agony like the rock and roll animals they were, the sweet, fluffy wet dreams of Mynt just isn’t captivating.
Or maybe they just piss me off because I was that kid who was disappointed too many times on his birthday, getting an album like Mynt rather then something that could bend my brain into all kinds of twisted directions.
Editor’s note – This has been syndicated to Advance.net, a site affiliated with about 10 newspapers around the country.