So, every couple years or so I check in with Hanson. If you've been around any length of time on this blog, you've probably noticed. I've been a fan for nineteen years and six albums now--not counting the demo recordings, live albums, the Christmas album, songs written for movie soundtracks, and rare exclusives they throw in as a bonus disc if you buy the live DVDs or behind-the-scenes stuff. According to iTunes, I actually have fifteen albums. And I don't even have access to the fanclub EPs. (Yet.) The reason I check in with them every couple of years or so is that they are always working on something new. Also, since Taylor is my age, and I kind of grew up with this music as they were growing up themselves and growing as artists, I see particular albums as signposts for my life. Each release connects to a different memory. I imagine I'm not the only Fanson who feels that way. (Yes, that's what we call ourselves.)
You know what's weird about Hanson though? With the nostalgia for all things 90s wafting through the stratosphere these days, I feel like that first album--particularly the song "MMMBop"--has become retroactively cool in a way it just wasn't in 1997. I've talked before about the dismissive fuckery I have put up with my entire adult life for being a fan, and it was no easier in the early days. People lump them in with TRL regulars like *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys in terms of both fanbase and the surrounding culture, but that's not really accurate. When "MMMBop" first came out, young teenagers weren't listening to pop music. We were listening to Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana, The Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, REM, Alice In Chains, Live, Garbage--it was a VERY different scene. So if you were the one 14-year-old in the mall covertly trying to buy a copy of Middle of Nowhere
while your friends were in the back of the music store, you had no one to geek out with. And I mean no one.
Meanwhile, we Millennials have grown up into twenty-and-thirty-something bloggers, content creators, and artists, and we've started looking at the culture of our childhood with fresh eyes. There's a whole fleet of vloggers devoted to critiquing and analyzing our favorite things from the 90s. One such vlogger is Todd In the Shadows, Channel Awesome's resident pop music expert. Last year he did a One Hit Wonderland episode on Hanson, and "MMMBop," which is a pretty good refresher course on their career up till now.
Well, sort of:
ONE HIT WONDERLAND: "MMMBop" by Hanson from Todd in the Shadows on Vimeo.( Read more. . . )