LEN – You Can’t Stop the Bum Rush: #402 of best 1,000 albums ever!

So why is LEN’s You Can’t Stop the Bum Rush on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?

LEN is one of those bands where I was very aware of one of their songs and song titles for many years – and I’m guessing most of you will be familiar with it as well (that’d be “Steal My Sunshine”) – but I had no idea what the name of the band was, what other music they may have produced, or anything else about them.

During the lengthy research phase for this here best 1,000 albums ever project (nine months or so!), I gave LEN and You Can’t Stop the Bum Rush a closer look, and I was immediately blown away by not only how good the band is, but how wildly rangy their sound is as well. And then every time I revisited the album, it seemed to “demand” a more prominent slot in my final rankings.

Let’s start with “Steal My Sunshine,” which perfectly captures the emerging indie rock sound that would become popular in the 2000s, while sprinkling in a compelling electronica element and, most importantly, monumentally catchy beat and chorus.

I know it’s up for me
If you steal my sunshine
Making sure I’m not in too deep
If you steal my sunshine

So “Steal My Sunshine” is a great song. But that’s just the leaping off point with You Can’t Stop the Bum Rush.

Jump from that song to “Cryptic Souls Crew” and it’s unbelievable that this is the same band in terms of how different it is. It’s a fabulously fun hip hop track with a throwback old school vibe replete with jumping funk samples.

“Man of the Year” fuses that old school hip hop flavor with an LMFAO-ish party vibe.  

And “The Hard Disk Approach” (great song title, as aside) is a deliberate Kraftwerk homage that is the best song to not get featured on Halt and Catch Fire.

Talk about rangy!

Personal stuff that has something to do with LEN’s You Can’t Stop the Bum Rush

The year 1999 was a unique one in my life. It was my first full year living in California after having grown up and lived in New York state up to that point (save for six months or so living in England). And it was also the year I met and started dating my now wife.

In terms of music, I associate my first summer in California (Berkeley, in San Francisco’s East Bay, specifically) with Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Californication LP. And while Beck’sMidnight Vultures came out that year, I was heavily into his early catalog at that point, especially the brilliant folk-grunge album, One Foot in the Grave. And then by 2000, when my wife and I would take road trips to visit her family in Southern California, we’d often throw on Mellow Gold as we cruised down the I-5, to use Cali parlance.

And of course, you couldn’t get away from “Steal My Sunshine” in 1999 as well, as well as songs like “All Star” by Smash Mouth and “Fly Away” by Lenny Kravitz.

Some stats & info about LEN – You Can’t Stop the Bum Rush

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Canadian Bands, Rock Music, Indie Rock, Pop Music, Hip Hop, Rap
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating – 4 out of 5 stars
  • When was You Can’t Stop the Bum Rush released? 1999
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #402 out of 1,000

LEN’s You Can’t Stop the Bum Rush on Spotify

A lyrical snippet from LEN’s You Can’t Stop the Bum Rush that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe

I know it’s up for me if you steal my sunshine.

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.