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DLC Week of 7/6: Ace of Base and Mom Jeans.

“Infectiously hooky” can apply to disparate genres, as Ace of Base “All That She Wants” and Mom Jeans. “White Trash Millionaire” convincingly demonstrate! You’ll definitely want to pick up this new DLC debuting Thursday in the Rock Band Music Store.

If you were sentient in the mid-‘90s you’re certain to still have the chorus to “All That She Wants” by Swedish group Ace of Base indelibly tattooed into your consciousness. Even those born well past the initial release-date of the track – the first U.S. single from the 1993 LP The Sign – are likely familiar with the song’s catchy melody and quirky wordplay. Reggae-inflected pop wasn’t necessarily “new” in ’93, but Ace of Base brought the formula to the pop charts and the dance floor to a degree previously unheard of. “All That She Wants” was a truly global phenomenon, topping the charts in many nations around the world and peaking at #2 on the U.S. Hot 100. 

Kicking off with a simple but infectious – and strangely… ominous-sounding – keyboard line over a pulsing electronic “bass drum,” vocals and additional instrumentation are added at around 10 seconds in. After the first vocal stanza, the song’s instantly recognizable whistled melodic tag is introduced and then, following the first true verse, at :51 we are treated to the refrain that dominated clubs, parties, and weddings for months and years to come. This is the kind of chorus at which you can throw all the go-to synonyms for “catchy” and they all apply and simultaneously not really do the relentless earworm-y nature of this melody justice. 

The sometimes clunky (and at other times downright bizarre)) non-native English lyrical prowess of the artists were in no way an impediment to connecting with listeners everywhere – and in some respects may have actually helped the track. "I think it was to our advantage that English was not our mother language," Ulf Ekberg, vocalist and keyboardist for the band, has said, "because we are able to treat English very respectless, and just look for the word that sounded good with the melody." Hey, it’s a theory, and you certainly can’t argue with the single’s success!

Whatever the factors – intentional or incidental – behind the nearly universal embrace of “All That She Wants,” ultimately what Ekberg and singer-songwriter Jonas Berggren created was a taut 3 minutes and 31 seconds of no-frills pop gold. There are enough unique elements within, be it the occasionally unintentionally amusing lyrics, the at-times incongruously sinister sonic backdrop, relentlessly driving beat, or brightly textured synth flourishes, that this track is at once approachable, but reveals more and more upon each listen. Whether revisiting this hit from your past or checking out Ace of Base’s 30-year old tour de force for the first time, you’re sure to have this hooky, danceable banger in your head for days!

“White Trash Millionaire,” from Mom Jeans.’ third album, 2022’s Sweet Tooth, is a hard-hitting banger that leans into the bands’ youthful influences from those genres. If you’ve been following the Berkeley, California quartet’s career and creative evolution, this newer material seems to be a byproduct of both a growing comfort in their collective skin and diminishing interest in establishing/defending artistic or “street” cred. Frontman Eric Butler has even said of their and his growth on the album, “I didn’t [used to] wanna think that I was a normie and maybe I’m not, but parts of me definitely are. Parts of all of us in this band definitely are, and we’re okay with that.”

As well they should be! One of Mom Jeans.’ immediately apparent strengths when they emerged on the scene in the mid 2010s was their relatability and with songs like “White Trash Millionaire” they up that factor well past 10. Lyrically the track explores the nearly universally relevant themes of both navigating the early – or at least early-ish – days of a relationship while separated by distance and trying to keep it together amidst the uncertainty of such times. Musically, the track mines familiar songwriting tropes and devices, but comes up with an end-product that is decidedly singular. After an intro of Butler singing plaintively over strummed acoustic guitar, at the 14-second mark, someone (likely drummer Austin Carango) shouts out the punk rock call to arms (“two-three-four!”) and then we’re off to fast-paced energy.. Adding to Carango’s snappy, relentless drums are the pulsing, confident bass of Sam Kless, Bart Thompson’s fuzzy and precise guitar work, as well as Butler’s own guitar. The song’s soaring refrain is introduced at the 35-second mark and the melody and rhythmic accents really hit the mark. At 1:38 Mom Jeans. adds their secret weapon: horns! Half the band also play brass instruments on top of their more traditional rock instrumentation with Butler on trombone and Carango on trumpet and the added sonic color really fills out the arrangement in a satisfying manner. Throughout the track there are also multiple moments of gang vocals, but these truly have to be the most upbeat “gang vox” on any song in the larger rock milieu ever put to tape. These bright, smiley group vocal moments are about as far from oi or hardcore as you can get!

Eric Butler has said, “Ear candy is the goal, so Sweet Tooth is the record.” As “White Trash Millionaire” convincingly demonstrates, the band succeeded in reaching their stated goal. Do yourself a favor and check out this furiously catchy scorcher which manages to cram quite a lot of content into just over two and a half minutes of fiery performances and relatable lyrics.

Ace of Base “All That She Wants” and Mom Jeans. “White Trash Millionaire” are each featured in the Season 32 Pass. Pick both up today and enjoy the full season of DLC! Both are available for $1.99 each.

  • Ace of Base – “All That She Wants”
  • Mom Jeans. – “White Trash Millionaire”

VIDEO: Rock Band 4 DLC Week of 7/6: Ace of Base “All That She Wants” and Mom Jeans. “White Trash Millionaire” 



*Please note that this week’s DLC tracks will be available for purchase on Thursday, July 6th.