Welcome the next installment of my year-long look back at a decade defined by its extremes. Rap versus grunge; mullets versus pixies; Saved by the Bell versus NYPD Blue – the 1990s had it all, and then some. Every other week I’ll be reminiscing about some facet of the 1990s, potentially drowning in some ill-forgotten nostalgia despite my best efforts otherwise. Serving as inspiration is an utterly ridiculous but nonetheless intriguing list created by Huffington Post — 1990 Things from the 90s to End the Nostalgia Once and for All – and I’ll be using a random number generator to pick each week’s “topic.” So don’t have a cow, man, if I ask you to talk to the hand while take this sweet ride through the 90s. Word to your mother.
Week 18: HuffPost list #805 – “Let Her Cry” – Hootie & The Blowfish
There are few bands to which I would rather listen to less than Hootie & The Blowfish.
For example, The Crash Test Dummies. Dave Matthews Band. Gin Blossoms. Matchbox 20. The Goo Goo Dolls.
Huh. I could probably come up with more.
My feelings about Hootie & The Blowfish can be summed up in the following stage directions:
[Stage left, a small office. A dim light shines overhead. A women sits in front of a computer with a cup of coffee on her right.]
She sat at her desk and stared at the screen for what felt like FOREVER before letting out a drastically heavy sigh accompanied by a dramatic eye roll. She took a long, slow sip of her coffee as she steeled herself, trying to not vomit all over her computer at simply hearing the song she’d have to write about. Oh, God. Why had she done this to herself?
It’s not that I hold any particular ire towards the band itself, it’s just that I don’t like the sounds that emanate from it. I think the fact of the matter is that I don’t possess any nostalgia for this particular brand of 1990s music. And it really is a brand, one that I never fully understood. I suppose that something could be said about the earnestness of the band’s lyrics. In an era that was replete with the sarcastic and sarcastically real anthems of grunge and the ear-bleedingly overwrought pop from girl/boy bands, a more folksy, down-to-earth sound probably provided respite for some. I don’t know that Hootie ever took off in my particular social circle, but I did have acquaintances would would have followed Dave Matthews around the world and back. Call me simple and unsophisticated, maybe, but I just didn’t get it.
And I still don’t. Listening to “Let Her Cry” now, for example, just makes me want to drown myself in my coffee. It’s exhaustively boring, and…I really don’t know what else to say.
If Darius Rucker speaks to you, by god, you go ahead and take all of him. Take him, love him, be the best and biggest and most devoted Hootie fan of ’em all. Don’t let a single thing come between you and your love. Just don’t. My cringing means nothing to you in the grand scheme of life. My torture is futile. My words are fleeting. Hootie & The Blowfish have been delighting sell-out crowds for some 30-odd years, and lord only knows that their smooth and docile ways will entertain folks for 30 more.
Just you, never mind me and go and enjoy your happy place. Your Hootie. Your Blowfish.