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I Don't Care That You Don't Mind

Crash Test Dummies

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Album Review

Having survived their brush with fame in the early '90s, the Crash Test Dummies took a step away from the mainstream and found a comfortable and more enduring niche on the outskirts of pop. Their fifth album shows that they have no intention of going away and no particular intention of being famous again. While they have been criticized for trying too hard and forcing themselves to be something they're not, I Don't Care That You Don't Mind provides evidence that what was perceived as strained forethought may have simply been the band trying things out. Continuing in their tradition of playing with different sounds, this album has a decidedly Southern feel. It's an experiment perhaps, but a successful one. The tracks range from cool, masculine ballads laced with steel guitar and reminiscent of Chris Isaak, to satirical drinkin' and shootin' songs. As if not to discriminate, they even throw in a little zydeco. Despite this strange collection of ideas, the album never loses sight of the sum of its parts. Nothing seems out of place. The Crash Test Dummies feel more in control here. Head Dummy Brad Roberts has finally mastered his unnaturally deep voice. He resists the urge to bellow and finds a new tenderness, making his baritone much more a tool than a distraction. His lyrics remain the same — witty and biting, then suddenly warm. The recording feels even more like his project than previous albums. Female vocalist Ellen Reid plays a noticeably smaller role, only appearing enough to make her presence missed. While the album bears no hits, the haunting "The Day We Never Met" and the more upbeat "Every Morning" stand out as the album's most accessible tracks. For the most part, the songs all weave together to be part of the whole. The result is a pleasant, well-thought-out effort that makes no pretense to be anything else.

Biography

Formed: 1988 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

With their clever lyrics and folk-tinged melodies, the Crash Test Dummies were a perfect rock band for affluent '90s college students and yuppies. Their first album was a multi-platinum hit in their native Canada, but only gained a small cult following in other parts of the world. Thanks to former Talking Head Jerry Harrison's clean, radio-friendly production, the follow-up album, God Shuffled His Feet (1993), broke big in the States and, in turn, Europe. The first single from the record, "MMM MMM...
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I Don't Care That You Don't Mind, Crash Test Dummies
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