LET’S KILL THESE SONGS FOREVER: ALIEN ANT FARM - SMOOTH CRIMINAL

8/9/18
Alien Ant Farm - Smooth Criminal

[Editor’s Note: The views expressed here are entirely those of the writer. We don’t know what his deal is…. He must have some sort of anger issues or something.]

Some songs just shouldn’t exist anymore.

So, we’re taking it upon ourselves to weed out the bad of the bad, the guilty pleasures that are so guilty that they should be serving consecutive life sentences (without chance of parole) in song prison, you know, the plain old shit. This is We Are: The Guard’s new column: “Let’s Kill These Songs Forever.”

We live in the day and age where Smash Mouth is the ultimate meme group. No one is ever quite sure whether or not internet enjoys “All Star” ironically or genuinely, with thousands of YouTubers, meme freaks and Karaoke Trolls making sure to make the issue even more confusing for all of us. So instead of attacking the Internet’s favorite band (which we’d love to), we’ve decided to pick on another act from the same era.

In 2001, the year of 9/11 and Smash Mouth’s cover of The Monkees’ “I’m A Believer” for the Shrek soundtrack, there was another alternative music travesty that seemed to go completely by the wayside.

I am of course talking about Alien Ant Farm’s cover of “Smooth Criminal.” C’mon, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Annie are you okay? Are you okay? Are you okay, Annie?

You’ve been hit by
You’ve been struck by
A smooth criminal.

 

ALIEN ANT FARM - SMOOTH CRIMINAL

Now, I know this one may have been fun at the time, but it’s 2018 and we’re better than that. It was the tail-end of Nu-Metal and bands like Alien Ant Farm were making the heavy funk sounds of bands like Buckcherry and 311 more palatable for the masses. No longer did you have to be stoned or strung out in a college dorm room to enjoy these sounds any longer. No, here was a classic, re-imagined into something for Generation X. Absolutely radical. Even Dads liked this! I think that was probably the first sign this song was going to be axed in the future...

The music listeners of 2001 are no longer the litmus test of what is cool. In fact, if they haven’t evolved since then, they are the polar opposite of it. Sure bands like 311, The Foo Fighters, and Pearl Jam still play live to sold out crowds and end up in heavy rotation on rock radio, but let’s suppose for a second, that they shouldn’t? How have there not been a bevy of new, worthwhile, radio friendly rock songs over the past twenty years? Is Jack White and The Black Keys really all the world has given us? Are we really so desperate to relive the aughts in 2018 that somehow Alien Ant Farm’s “Smooth Criminal” still gets played? Let’s change that.

This song should have died alongside Michael Jackson. In a time where Harvey Weinstein, Louis CK, Woody Allen are all “cancelled,” somehow baby Michael still gets a pass. Maybe it’s because his music is transcendent and we can’t stomach the idea of never listening to “P.Y.T.” or “Billie Jean” ever again. Or maybe this is all just cyclical and we’ll forget the atrocities that all of these men committed by the time we enter the next decade. I don’t know. But what I do know is that one simple action we can take upon ourselves, is to not let this mediocre-at-best cover make it out alive. Maybe we can’t cancel Jackson, but we definitely CAN cancel this.

Bye bye “Smooth Criminal,” for your crimes against musical humanity your punishment is death by guillotine. OFF WITH THEIR HEAD!

[Alien Ant Farm Image Screen-grabbed from YouTube]
[Cancelled Image Labelled for Reuse with Modification] Cancelled - Alachua County - https://www.flickr.com/photos/alachuacounty/25168022601]

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From deep within the murky depths of the Los Angeles River emerged a creature: 50% raver, 50% comedian, 10% Robotcop. Kurt Kroeber doesn’t own a dog, operates Soundbleed (the world’s only dance party comedy talk show rave), and is down to party with you. Come up some time and say “Hey dude!” But definitely make sure to casually drop the secret Illuminati password.