366 Songs 055: Trouble (1)

I remember, when “Trouble” was first released in 1994, that Shampoo was a band that was supposed to be taken seriously, and treated as an authentic example of youth culture or some such, because the two members had previously put out a Manic Street Preachers fanzine; this, somehow, conferred some legitimacy to their brand of clunky pop. Looking back, almost two decades later, that seems ridiculous, especially when you listen to the song again and it sounds terrible – vocals that alternate between bored and whining, tinny and cheap production and lyrics that singularly fail to convince on any level. They were, of course, a novelty act set to appeal to proto-hipster adults and kids that should’ve known better, but didn’t. It worked, of course; “Trouble” was massive, getting to #11 in the charts during the height of Britpop and ending up, hilariously, in the soundtrack of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie as well as countless TV shows that wanted shorthand to denote that – uh oh – their characters were in trouble.

If there’s a saving grace to this song, it might be that it’s so brazen in its own disinterest in itself, a false aloofness that made both the song and the band seem far more interesting than either one actually was.

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