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Manufactured mayhem: A*Teens

posted by Paul on 6/27/01

Musical success is a difficult formula to prepare, and on the evidence of recent examples, a hard one to justify. Take the A*Teens, for instance. Formed in 1998 as a teenage version of the wildly successful ABBA, these four youngsters from Stockholm, Sweden have tried to capitalize on the manufactured craze. Basically, they were TEEN ABBA, and their first single, "Mamma Mia" established them as, well, shit. As we at W-D have shown on countless occasions in the past, musical talent doesn't guarantee success, and lack of said talent doesn't rule it out.

And if we're talking talentless, we might as well talk about A*Teens, the most sickeningly faux-wholesome group in the history of post-Monkees music. These days, the only wholesome groups are those that are manufactured to squeeze into a tired image. Even at that, there is a knowing wink at the camera. The Spice Girls knew we knew they weren't what they claimed to be. Mel B was scary as fuck, Mel C looked sporty (ugly), and Posh Spice was cheaper than a "bag of chips" and about half the weight. However, there is no such postmodernism with A*Teens, a group so bland and colorless, they might as well be managed by Adolf Hitler and called "The Utopia Four".

Here's a group who decided to rip off ABBA, which was basically two ugly men, one decent woman and one above average blonde chick. These days ABBA are scarier than Freddy Kruger. I swear, I've seen the men. They look like those prunes you'd see thrusting their miniscule whackers in cheesy German soft-core movies. Err, so I've been told. Why anyone would want to rip off ABBA is beyond me. ABBA wrote songs about dancing gay men and century-old wars and they wore terrible clothing. Just imagine the impersonators. Ten times worse with one tenth the charisma.

No cheek, no personality, no sly nudges to the viewers.

Just piss-poor music, cheesy morals and awful miming.

The Scandanavian Brady Bunch....

Be afraid. Be shit scared. Run.

As you can plainly see, Dhani is one scary looking guy. I think he's a guy. Chances are he's an Android or the world's first Nazi popstar. Most likely he's one of those "stiff as a board" people they throw in pop bands to make up the numbers and keep the rest of the band on their toes. No-one knows why he's there, but they sure as shit aren't going to confront him. And with good reason. He has that Ivan Drago look about him-gormless yet deadly. He won't even let you know that he's about to throw a 1850 lbs punch to your face, which looks to have been the fate of some of his bandmates. The sad news? He's taken.

I'm waiting for an upsurge in suicide rates.

Strengths: Looks like he would be a good Nazi servant

Weaknesses: Can't sing, dance or even look vaguely intelligent.

Most likely to say: "Hitler is my God!"

"I am 50% Indian, 25% German and 25% Swedish... " and 100% ugly. Honest to Jesus, it is truly amazing that Amit is allowed to live let alone flaunt his unsightly gob in some talentless Abba rip-off. His bio assures us he is single. Umm, how do you say "no fucking wonder" in Swedish? Amit is the baby of the group. In other words, he shits himself at least twice a day and needs to be burped. Did I mention that he was ugly? Well, maybe he has some redeeming features (toes?) but those teeth could do with meeting a dental drill. It would be like "Marathon Man", but rather than the patient cowering in fear, it would be the unfortunate dentist.

Not only is this droid brutal, he's got to be one of the most boring AND stupid bastards alive. Asked to list his favorite magazine, he states "I don't read magazines, but I like Donald Duck.".. Ok, asshole. And we should care why? His favorite TV show is "I don't know". Hmm, I'm certain Tony Danza was in that one. Christ, he's been in everything else. Including women's underwear.

Much like every guy in every mixed pop band, Amit mixes looking clueless with looking incredibly gay. His Mom must be proud. Almost as proud as the time his grimy Swedish head popped out of her pie.

Ok. Enough. I promise.

Strengths: Self-delusion.

Weaknesses: Ugly, smelly, ugly and ugly. Also ugly.

Most likely to say: "Why are those people throwing up?"

Marie is easily the hot one and I struggle to think of anything to say about her. Other than the fact that she's Swedish and blonde and likely to be a big, big Bimbo. OMG!11 ROTF..

It's notable that she lists as her favorite movie...."Love and Basketball". Whoa! That's a five star classic. Everyone can agree that out of every cinematic masterpiece out there, "Love and Basketball" stands proud..

Marie is the prominent singer in the group, the rose among the thorns. And, in her spare time, she claims to do "normal teenage stuff" which, in Sweden, equates to copious amounts of sex. That aside, Marie is the one saving grace of this band of societal misfits, and the only reason I can even bear to look at them.

Strengths: She's one hot Mama.

Weaknesses: I'd presume she's no rocket scientist.

Most likely to say: "Sure, I can do that!!"

If you took Jennifer Love Hewitt, beat her with concrete and threw her into a blender labelled "rough", Sara is what you'd get...

Sara is yet another piece of trash from the ugly bin. Not very nice, yet harshly true. But talking about ugly Swedish singers is like bowling spares. So, I'll talk about the other STRIKES against her. OMG what a segue!1

1) She's stupid. She lists as one of her favorite movies "Three to Tango", probably one of the worst comedies ever perpetrated on the helpless public. Diversity of opinion is good and encouraged, but when anyone lists a preposterous Matthew Perry/Neve Campbell "comedy" as a favorite movie, a questioning of their mental faculties is in order.

2) She likes Freddie Prinze Jr. That's fine in itself. Many girls like his brand of "aww, shucks" dorkishness. Won't earn her any brownie points with me, though. LOL.

3) She's Scandanavian, who in my experience, tend to be pretty humorless and say stuff like "I'm from Schweeden" a lot. And that's their idea of humor. Who knows? Maybe I just met a lot of bores.

Strengths: She can sing...decently.

Weaknesses: A face like a bag of spanners.

Most likely to say: "Oui"

B.A drives the A*Teens van. He's afraid of flying, drinks plenty of milk and beats people up.



The songs

A mixture of Abba covers and downright Abba rip-offs. These guys have serious originality issues. Recently, they hit big with a song called "Upside Down", a likely prophecy about their careers. This song has some of the most ridiculous lyrics you'll ever hear:

UPSIDE DOWN
My grades are down from A's to D's
I'm way behind in history
I lost myself in fantasies
Of you and me together

Is it possible that your grades are down from A's to D's because you're actually a dumb mook with a low attention span? Sure, blame your educational under-achievement on fantasies. That's a new one.

I don't know why - I - I but dreaming's all I do
I won't get by-I-I on mere imagination
Upside down
Bouncing Off the ceiling
Inside out
Stranger to this feeling

Does this sound like a drug reference or what? Upside down, bouncing off the ceiling?! What the sweet fuck? That's either a reference to getting high or performing some wild sexual antics. Knowing those Swedes it's probably a combination.

Got no clue what I should do
But I'll go crazy if I can't get next to you
My teacher says to concentrate
So what - his name was Peter the Great
The kings and queens will have to wait
Cuz I don't have forever

I'll go crazy if I can't get next to you? Who wrote this shit? STAN!111 And allusions to history class? I find it hard to believe that these beings would be allowed to study. Anyone else getting tired of songs that throw in rhymes for no reason? Treason.

I wish that I - I - I could walk right up to you
Each time I try- I-I the same old hesitation
Upside down
Bouncing Off the ceiling

Ah, the familiar feeling of teen awkwardness. Most people have felt it. Hard to believe that A*Teens have felt it to. They're so handsome and sweet and have four inch snaggleteeth. Can't imagine why they'd get nervous talking to the opposite sex. Nope. Not at all.



I decided to ask some of our icons about A*Teens. Here's what they said:

Mitch Leery- "I must say that I find the level of their success quite perplexing. I think my son, Dawson, and gay Jack would make a better boyband. However, I must say that I do like the little blonde one. She's very WB, and Mini-Mitch likes.. "

Ivan Drago- "I cannot be defeated!!"

The Nome King- "I'd get rock hard for young Marie. Get it? Rock on! Get it?!"



Above all, A*Teens are an inoffensive band, yet they do offend my eardrums and conciousness since they have no right parading their wares. They move awkwardly, sing badly and pollute the air-waves with more unnecessary inanity. Or as their driver, Mr T, might say...

"A*Teens be shitty, sucka!"

Low grades from me.


Paul
AOL IM: paulwdfans
paul@whatever-dude.com


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