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Flavor of the Weak (2000)
Scale of Angst
Why This Song
This week's song is Flavor of the Weak by American Hi-Fi. I actually didn't know it was "weak" and always thought it was "week" until Google corrected me before writing this.
It was from the band's first album, American Hi-Fi, and released on December 20, 2000. Nothing like an angsty pop punk anthem just in time for the holidays, eh?
This song is credited as one of the early crossover pop punk hits in the early 2000s. The song put the band on the charts with Flavor of the Weak peaking at #40 on the American Hot 100. Unfortunately for American Hi-Fi, this was their only commercial success and they fell victim to one-hit-wonder syndrome.
The song was written about a female friend who was being treated poorly by her boyfriend. Pretty solid angsty theme. Here's a quote from the band.
"My angle wasn't 'she should be with me.' It was, 'Man, these guys are idiots,'" Stacy Jones (Lead Singer, American Hi-Fi)
"Her boyfriend he don't know anything about her..."
Again, many of us can probably relate to a crappy and potentially toxic relationship in our past where we see one person "using" the other. I saw lots of this go on in high school so I think the theme from this song is pretty in line with the pop-punk mantra.
At 152 beats per minute (bpm) this song is upbeat and has some catchy guitar riffs. There's even a guitar solo at about two minutes into the song. It's not just a generic and chord laced one, either. As far as pop punk goes, it's a pretty solid solo.
During the verses, there's some power chord chugging. A crappy, non-guitar player like me could probably pick up a guitar and learn the chord progression to rock out to this.
The hook is pretty memorable to millennials who remember when this song was popular. While it's catchy, this isn't a song that you just want to randomly belt out at the top of your lungs.
The song is more about telling a story than eliciting emotion. The main emotion that I get from this song is annoyance. The lyrics complain about a girl being treated poorly but there's no action being taken. Why not do something to win the girl over?
Regardless, I feel the emotion in the singer’s voice.
If you couldn't tell, I'm not a huge fan of this song. However, I respect it for what it is. This song was on the cutting edge of pop punk coming into the mainstream in the late 90s/00s.
Along with some other bands at the time, Flavor of the Weak introduced a new population to the genre and for that reason, the song scores decently in this category.
There’s no Hoppus Hype here and at 3:08, the song barely misses out on bonus points.
Total Score: 68/100
With 7s in theme, melody and hook, this song is a pop punk classic. It gains great points in its impact but only average points in the emotion category.
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