Definitions

Cumbersome

Cumbersome

[kuhm-ber-suhm]

"Cumbersome" is a song by Seven Mary Three and the lead single from their breakthrough album, American Standard. It was originally included on their independently released debut, Churn, in 1994. The single was released in 1996 and became the band's most popular and well known song. "Cumbersome" reached #1 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks, and on their list of Top Mainstream Rock Songs of the Decade, the song ranked in at #5 for 1996. An acoustic version of the song is included on the "Cumbersome" and "Water's Edge" CD singles. A live version appears on Live in the X Lounge IV, released in 2001.

Overview

The original six minute version of "Cumbersome" served as the opening track to Churn. After airing on a Florida radio station and generating great response, the song propelled Seven Mary Three to a record deal with Mammoth Records. The band then re-recorded "Cumbersome" for their Mammoth label debut album, American Standard, and the song catapulted the album to platinum status. As of 2008, "Cumbersome" allegedly receives over 500 plays a week on popular radio.

However, as the band's debut single and their most successful, "Cumbersome" has, according to some observers, pigeon-holed Seven Mary Three among the one-hit wonders of the 1990s. In a 2005 interview, drummer Giti Khalsa called the song "a blessing and a curse." He added, "It definitely was the beginning of our success. We were able to sell a lot of records because of that song and a couple others on that first record. But, at the same time, with each record that we've made - it's like the 'monkey on the back.' This was reinforced in 2003 when the band opened for 3 Doors Down on tour. The latter group, having surpassed Seven Mary Three in popularity, claimed to have covered "Cumbersome" among other Seven Mary Three songs during their early days. Khalsa also expressed disappointment in a 2003 interview where he stated that a considerable amount of people leave their shows after "Cumbersome" is performed. "Cumbersome" boasts aggressive, universal lyrics which describe regret over a couple's separation, particularly a woman's disinterest in her significant other. It also arguably highlights the group's songwriting abilities with unique lines such as "She calls me Goliath and I wear the David mask. Aiding the song's catchy melody, its chorus features a rapid succession of rhymes including "Too heavy too light, too black or too white, too wrong or too right, today or tonight/Cumbersome." The song opens with guitar chords which are strummed conventionally and then strummed muted between every chord transition. This pattern carries on throughout the song. "Cumbersome"'s prominent bassline is highlighted during the bridge and also provides a sense of liveliness to the song.

The "Cumbersome" video was directed by Julie Hermelin. A stripped down performance video with little-to-no story concept or special effects, it revolves entirely around the band playing the song in a bar during the day.

Track listings

  1. "Cumbersome" (LP version)
  2. "Cumbersome" (acoustic version)

Chart positions

Chart Peak
position
Year
Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 7 1996
Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 1 1996
Billboard Hot 100 39 1996

References

External links

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