Third Eye Blind – self-titled album (1997)
You’ll like this if you like: good music.
Why Should You Care?
When grunge rock was dominating the early 1990s, bands like Third Eye Blind would have been called pussies and booed off the stage by posers in flannel shirts across the U.S. But after 5 or 6 exhausting years of talking about manufactured depression and angst (and especially after Kurt’s death in 1994), catchier and poppier rock music became acceptable again. No band benefited more from this ray of sunshine than Third Eye Blind. Their brand of rock sounded upbeat and positive, despite its sometimes dark lyrics. Quite frankly, as a suburban kid with an average middle-class upbringing, I generally thought at the time that grunge was bullshit…so Third Eye Blind was a breath of fresh air. There were plenty of other great things going on in rock like Sublime/Oasis/etc, but nothing quite hit home for me like what I heard on Third Eye Blind’s debut record.
Forget about the big picture stuff for a second…these songs are great! Now, when I say “great” I don’t mean that we should stack them up against The Beatles. Give it a listen…start to finish, this record provides thoughtful lyrics, catchy hooks, and the full range of rock sound from acoustic strums to distorted fuzz. Nothing better exemplifies this explanation than the standout track ‘How’s It Going To Be’…it’s a picture perfect slow jam for rock lovers, written somewhere in movie soundtrack heaven. The popular single was ‘Semi-Charmed Life’…and who could blame us for loving its doo-doo-doo hook and memorable chorus?? Third Eye Blind also proved they could get serious with their single ‘Jumper’, which reminded suicidal teens that things start to get better once you step back from the ledge. Lots of great louder/faster stuff for you too, like ‘Graduate’, ‘London’ and ‘Losing A Whole Year’.
But the real buried treasure is rewarded to you for sticking around till the end. Things get kinda slow and introspective on the last 4 tracks, but these 20 minutes are well-spent if you’re paying attention. ‘I Want You’ may be lyrically straightforward, but it’s technically brilliant. ‘The Background’ is beautiful…probably the song that would make other musicians say “I wish I wrote that”. My favorite song on the album is ‘Motorcycle Drive By’, and I suggest you just listen to it to find out why. Album-closer ‘God of Wine’ maintains the mood, and triumphantly slams the door shut on this masterpiece. I put these 4 songs in order at the end of this review…enjoy!
I’m generally not a music snob…I respect everyone’s opinions (unless you like Bright Eyes) and encourage discussion of all music. But if you dismiss Third Eye Blind because you think it’s gonna be a pop record in the vein of ‘Semi-Charmed Life’, you are simply incorrect and have missed an opportunity to witness some of the 90s finest alternative rock music!
music turtle recommends: BUY IT BUY IT BUY IT BUY IT BUY IT BUY IT!
What do you think about this album? Comment below
track 11 – ‘I Want You’
track 12 – ‘The Background’
track 13 – ‘Motorcycle Drive By’
track 14 – ‘God of Wine’
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