Our play opens on an everyday street of an everyday neighborhood. The sun is out, the sky is blue, and everybody’s happy. Two kids are sitting on the curb, talking about all the latest music releases. One of them has a copy of Elan’s new album, All Roads in his hand and is trying to convince the other kid to go out and buy it whenever it’s finally released. After all, no info was given about this. And now, the play:
Kid Cool: Hey, man! Speaking of all this new music, have you checked out Elan yet?
Kid Righteous: Who? Who the hell is Elan?
Kid Cool: Some new dude who’s burning up the charts with his hot single “I’m in Love with You, Girl”!
Kid Righteous: Man, that sounds LAME. I bet he looks better than he sounds, too.
Kid Cool: Well, he is rather photogenic. (Kid Cool then pulls out the 8X10 glossy of Elan.) See!
Kid Righteous: Bah! I knew it! Look at him, all sleek and shiny there. You know, my cats like to lick those glossies. Lemme give it to them.
Kid Cool: Are you crazy? No way! Here, just listen to this song (Cool then proceeds to play “I’m in Love with You, Girl” from his ghetto blaster.)
Kid Righteous: Wait! Play that back again. I’m not actually hearing this, am I? “I’m in love with you girl/Are you in love with me?/Let’s spend some time together/Live in harmony”? God, that sounds like Sugar Ray at their most popular and horrible! And what’s with that phony reggae thing going on there? Who is that toaster? Milton? “Hererereere to all the girls who aren’t too clear/Elan to set da record straight”? Yeesh, that accent’s as believable as Miss Cleo’s!
Kid Cool: So you don’t like it? Man, how can anyone not like Sugar Ray? They’re the coolest! And reggae is all the rage! Why, just look at Shaggy
Kid Righteous: Yeah I was just about to say, sounds like some watered down Shaggy as well. So “boombastic”, don’tcha know.
Kid Cool: Well how about the way “No Easy Way Out” sounds like Sugar Ray incorporating the famous chords from “Blue” by Spandau Ballet?
Kid Righteous: Didn’t P.M. Dawn do that ages ago? And no, I don’t like Sugar Ray! And those lyrics are horrible again: “There ain’t no easy way out/Let’s try and make it work out”. Yeah, some real thought went behind that rhyme!
Kid Cool: I think you’re being awfully harsh here.
Kid Righteous: Aw c’mon! You know I’m right. This disc’ll sell like crazy ‘cause the dude looks halfway decent and is doing Sugar Ray. It can’t miss! Although it does, because it’s completely vacuous of any originality. Oh yeah, let’s play it safe.
Kid Cool: But what about the reggae? You don’t think that’s sincere?
Kid Righteous: It’s Elan’s gimmick! No, I don’t think it’s very “real” reggae. Anyone can hit the reggae button on their keyboard and get that effect. I especially like Elan’s attempts at being Lenny Kravitz in “Check Yourself” there. Can this guy not hit upon anything of his own? And what’s with that “reggae version” of “I’m in Love with You Girl?” I love it when obvious product like this crams on more versions of an annoying song than it needs.
Kid Cool: Hmm. Maybe you’re right. Both the “remix” of “Seeing Things” and the “Neptune’s Mix” of the same song aren’t really all that sharp, are they?
Kid Righteous: Of course not! But people will eat it up like it’s something hot.
Kid Cool: So this will sell then. Is that what you’re saying?
Kid Righteous: Oh yeah. I can see Elan’s face plastered all over MTV.
Kid Cool: Well that’s good enough for me, then!
Kid Righteous: How surprising. Now hand me that Alice Cooper. And so the sun sets on the two kids, neither one of them finding a common ground. Will Elan’s All Roads be a part of your music collection? Well if Sugar Ray + diluted “reggae” = good vibrations to you, then jump right in. Elan’s counting on your doing so, in fact.