When it comes to 3 Doors Down’s millennium-era classic “Kryptonite,” there are two camps of audiophiles: Those who see it as an endearing look back at the relative innocence of music at the time & those who see it as a scapegoat to use when trying to describe just how cheesy & awkward the industry was back then. Despite being performed by men who looked like they were already in their forties, everything about this track is childish as can be; From the simplistically Poppy instrumentation to the introspective-superhero aesthetic, every element of “Kryptonite” feels so naïve & corny that it’s almost hard to stomach in any serious manner, a vibe that makes sense given it was written by drummer & lead vocalist Brad Arnold when he was only fifteen in the middle of math class – Of course, it’s probably a telling sign of just how strange the music industry was at the turn of the century, as this is really nothing more than a crappy teen garage band song yet it reached an immense success which virtually no one saw coming.
As Arnold beats away at his drums in an all-too joyful skipping pattern, the guitars seem to disappear in to obscurity under the persistent presence of his vocals, filling up nearly every measure of the song with happy-go-lucky lyrics that ask the listener to stick up for him in not just his moments of failure, but his moments of greatness too; He touches on the notion that people are really only there for you when you’re weak & feeble, as your successes will only stir up jealousy & disdain within their hearts, causing them to turn a cold shoulder when you’re hurting or need a helping hand. The accompanying music video sort of touches on this, following a washed-up superhero as he dives back in to the world of crimefighting even though he’s broken & bruised from years of vigilantism; In a way, it tries to show that you should always respond to injustice no matter what your personal situation may be, but – like all videos in the late nineties & adjacent – it’s shot like a freak show with unnerving visuals & sped-up footage that just don’t fit the upbeat personality of the song; Yeah, it’s entertaining as all hell & a goofy look back at just how different pop culture was 20 years ago, but that doesn’t change the fact that it ‘s simply the wrong vibe for “Kryptonite.”
"Kryptonite" is the debut single of American rock band 3 Doors Down. It was originally released as a demo for local play by 97.9 WCPR-FM in Biloxi, Mississippi. It was picked up by several radio stations during November and December 1999 and was officially serviced to radio on January 18, 2000. The song first charted on the US Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, reaching number one for nine weeks, then hit number one on the Modern Rock Tracks chart for 11 weeks. It also reached number one on the Mainstream Top 40 chart for five non-consecutive weeks, number four on the Adult Top 40 chart, and number three on the Billboard Hot 100, the band's highest-charting single on the listing.