Should you still care about Third Eye Blind?
I wish you would step back from that………… you knew the rest of the lyric right? Chances are if you grew up in the 90’s, or have any memory of the radio, and what an actual radio hit sounded like, you heard Third Eye Blind. From the huge single Semi Charmed Life ("Do, do, doo!"), to the slow acoustic burner track Jumper (Thanks, Jim Carrey), 1997 was Third Eye Blind. There are two types of Third Eye Blind fans. The casual listeners, the ones who have one too many Rolling Rocks and don’t know any of the words during the verse but belt out “I WANT SOMETHING ELSE” when the chorus comes on at a house party, and then…
Then there are the die-hard fans. The fans that know the songs that lie beyond the singles, the ones with actual sustenance, and songs with true emotional value. And these are the types of fans that keep Third Eye Blind making records, playing shows, basically keeping a 90’s hit band alive and kicking.
The year is 2015. Gay marriage is legalized, a woman is running for president, and a new Third Eye Blind record, Dopamine, is not on Napster, but it is at Best Buy. San Francisco alt-rockers come back with their first record in 6 years, and pick up where they left off in 2009.
Dopamine is not an entire departure from the 3eb sound that most are familiar with, just a watered down version of that. They incorporate electronic elements into their familiar sound of alternative rock, to create a very approachable radio pop rock record.
The album starts off with the catchy “Everything is Easy,” making fans reminisce about other massive Third Eye Blind hits, but maybe also realizing its not quite as good. Stephan Jenkins (the lead singer and arguably Third Eye Blind himself), still sounds great, still can transition from falsetto to soaring tenor at the drop of a hat. Stephan touches on subjects of love (duh), heartbreak (duh), growing old (duh), and other typical jaded rock and roll subjects. Lyrically, Third Eye Blind has always had the knack to paint and articulate heartbreak, love, pain, sex, and relationships so beautifully. The lyrics are there, they are trying, they just fall short on this album.
‘Dopamine’ is segregated into two halves. The first half is full of rock songs, full of energy, fun, and youth. The title track ‘Dopamine’ is the perfect example of this sound. It’s a song that could be played right after a Maroon 5 song on the radio. The second half of the record (after Something in You), is stripped down. It’s mostly piano and soft instrumentals accompanying Jenkins’ restrained vocals. It’s a style that Third Eye Blind can pull off (Slow Motion, How’s it Going to Be, Good Man), but it’s a style that Third Eye Blind doesn’t need to rely so heavily on, or even devote an entire half of a record to.
So should you still care about Third Eye Blind? The short answer is sure, yeah, why not. Because this album didn’t push any boundaries, and it’s definitely a record that your mom wouldn’t mind listening to on her way to get her car washed. But I guess the real question here is why would you pick such low hanging fruit when there is tastier stuff out there?
by Andy Wilcox (@wilco204)