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Single Review: Len, “Steal My Sunshine”

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Siblings Marc and Sharon Constanzo search for acceptance in the opaque “Steal My Sunshine.”

Spacey, airy sounds start the single. Following the rocket ship takeoff sounds is a bit of the Andrea True Connection hit “More More More.” Over the sample, bandmates Tim and Matt discuss lead singer Marc’s glum mood. Although its suggested it may be from chemical enhacements, from Tim’s knowing laughter. Matt suggests curing his munchies with breakfast pastries.

“Tim: Hey Matt./Matt: Yeah Tim?/Tim: Hey you talked to Marc lately?/Matt: Uh..haven’t really talked to him but..he looks pretty uh..down./Tim: He looks pretty uh..down? (while laughing)/Matt: Yeah, well maybe we should cheer him up then. /Tim: What do you uh..suppose we should do?/Matt: Well does he like butter tarts?”

A gruff Marc remarks that he moped around and slept on his lawn during the weekend. He pitied himself and likely smoked marijuana to fog his mind. Otherwise, he couldn’t think. His thoughts didn’t make sense. Even though he’s low, he’s become accustomed to it. He had been groggy and fatigued all week. It caused him to give people the wrong impression of himself. He views his what-ifs as useless. He can’t consider himself an adult if he only thinks of the right thing to do and not act on it. As a result, he was left out of those people’s plans for the weekend. “I was lying on the grass on Sunday morning of last week/Indulging in my self-defeat/My mind was thugged all laced and bugged all twisted wrong and beat/A comfortable in three feet deep/Now the fuzzy stare from not being there on a confusing morning weak/Impaired my tribal lunar-speak/And of course you can’t become if you only say what you would have done/So I missed a million miles of fun.”

In the chorus, Marc is sure he doesn’t have any chance to prove himself. Sharon then chirps if anyone should knock them down anymore. Marc is trying to keep himself on his toes and not screw up. He doesn’t want to take on more than he can handle.

“I know it’s up for me/If you steal my sunshine/Making sure I’m not in too deep/If you steal my sunshine/Keeping versed and on my feet/
If you steal my sunshine.”

Tim gossips about Sharon to another bandmate, Chad. Tim beckons Chad to see Sharon’s worn face. Chad is shocked at how awful she looks. Tim comments he’s seen Sharon that one way one other time. But this is the worst by far. Chad wonders exactly what she did the night before. Tim and Chad chortle. Tim mocks Sharon, pretending she was drunkenly throwing herself at a guy they know.

“Tim: Chad..come here come here come here./Chad: Wow! Look at her./Tim: I know./Chad: Wow..I’ve never seen Sharon look so bad before./Tim: I did once before..but this is pretty bad./Chad: Yeah..what do you think she got up to last night?/(Tim and Chad laugh)/Tim: Well..I..Jared, I love you!”

Sharon explains that she was napping on a bench in the park. She was playing with her slurpee and making thin straws out of she had left. People gave her weird looks, observing her weight and making fun of her as she created frozen soda straws.. People didn’t want to be around her. She pouts that it was lonely pigging out by herself.

“I was lying on the bench slide in the park across the street l-a-t-e-r that week/My sticky paws were into making straws out of big fat slurpy treats/An incredible eight foot heap/Now the funny glare to pay a gleaming tare in a staring under heat/Involved an under usual feet/
And I’m not only among but I invite who I want to come/So I missed a million miles of fun.”

The original chorus is sung once.

In the second chorus, Marc says everything is over for him if people take away what little happiness he has. He’s like regular people and people may find it difficult to see the real him. He decides to keep to himself and toughen up.

“I know it’s done for me/If you steal my sunshine/Not as some and hard to see/If you steal my sunshine/Keeping dumb and built to beat/If you steal my sunshine.”

Sharon and Marc alternate at the end. She chirps “my sunshine” and Marc says “if you steal my sunshine” until the end.

“Steal My Sunshine” is a terrific update of the synth pop hits of the 80s (Human League’s “Don’t Want You Want Me” and Animotion’s “Obsession” in particular.) Marc and Sharon obviously studied the 80s and succeeded in recreating the sound. Sharon the standout, though. Her ironic perkiness suits the single and is a near perfect imitation of Susan Sulley.

The Andrea True Connection sample is subtle and used sparingly. It also adds to the nostalgic tone to the single; however the single’s hallucinogenic lyrics are out of place.ED/PUB:LM

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About Pam Avoledo

  • http://www.suddennothing.net LegendaryMonkey

    I know this song… I LOVE this song, actually. But I’m wondering… was there an update recently, a re-release? Because this came out in like, 1999 or 2000, I think.

    Or did you just feel like picking up an older song?

    -LM, confused

  • http://criticalculture.blogspot.com Pacze Moj

    I think we can safely assume that this is the most in-depth analysis of ‘Steal My Sunshine’ ever done.

    I’m really not sure whether to say, “Wow,” or to ask, “Why?”

    ;P

  • http://dusk411.joeuser.com Pam Avoledo

    Legendary Monkey,

    Nope, there isn’t a re-release or anything. I just felt like reviewing it. I usually have to go back a couple years (or twenty, if needed) to find songs I like.

    At least I finally found out the words to the song.

    Pacze Moj,

    LOL! I seriously look for the most ridiculous, obscure songs I can find sometimes. It’s fun because I can’t believe these songs actually existed on radio once.

  • http://www.suddennothing.net LegendaryMonkey

    Awww, “Steal My Sunshine” was good, don’t be that way! Yeah, it was vapid, but still great fun!

  • Pam Avoledo

    Yes, it is great fun. It’s one of my favorite 80s songs not released in the 80s.

    But to clarify, I had always kinda wondered what they were talking about.

  • http://sablog.com/ Shanti

    Jeez, Pam – don’t steal my sunshine or anything.

    Or is this just ironic? 😉

  • http://www.wonderful-electric.co.uk wonderful electric

    erm… are you sure this is a review? It reads more like a literal explanaition of the lyrics. Which is kinda handy because it shows that there’s no real narrative thread to the song.

    But the best thing is that it confirms my initial suspicions that the female singer must be kinda minxy…

  • http://sumof.us PaulZ

    But what is the writing on the pregnant girls belly? And is that the sister?

    You’re right it’s the best 80’s song not written in the 80’s. But I need to tape the clip and watch it with a remote to catch all the stuff at the end.

  • Good Old Grateful Dead Head

    I rememeber it coming out in late 1995 or perhaps 1996. I have always believed that the predominant riff was either based on a riff from “Scarlett Begonias” or a sample of that riff perfomed by the Grateful Dead.

    I also thought the “steal my sunshine” chorus was a reference to the demise of the Good Old Grateful Dead.

    This next verse made me believe that the author was someone who planned to go to a show “one of these days” but never went . . . and now it was too late.

    “And of course you can’t become
    if you only say what you would have done/
    So I missed a million miles of fun.”

    But I’m know for my overactive imagination.

    Good Old Grateful Dead Head

  • http://blogcritics.org/archives/2005/10/20/002426.php Woffle Boi

    I always thought it was the theme song to some movie…

  • sam

    i agree with Woffle Boi. i think it’s from a movie too i just can’t remember which one.

  • becky

    i miss them guyz, what ever happened to them? the singer he looks pretty hot doesn’t he. lol

  • Obsessed

    It was from a movie called “Go,” but the song was not written for the movie.

  • Entertainment Insider

    Band broke up.Brother and sister work as
    accounts for a living.

    Music industry lost interest in them,and although brother and sister,they seem a little to close for comfort,especially in the video for Steal My Sunshine.,

  • Steve

    Actually the song is about the siblings several year spat, and this is Mark’s attempt at getting her back.

    He now works as a exceptionally successful record company exec and lives in Barbados.

    Don’t you people have access to Wikipedia?

  • Patches Rips

    I love this interpretation. I’ve always wondered just what they were getting at. I like the way you’ve cut through the idiomatic language and gotten to the heart of it.