Review Summary: A much darker and experimental piece from the former Pop-Punkers that gets overlooked because it's so different, so much darker, experimental, and aggressive.
On that day in 1995, a bunch of bright and sunny Southern California boys began a Pop-Punk band much in the vein of the hugely successful Blink-182 and Green Day. They had a dream to be the band with the posters in every pre-teenage boy and girl’s room, slicked up in tight clothes; bright and colorful hair to top it off. They took their first steps to succeeding this goal with 1998’s Self-Titled, which was not much more than a radio friendly, soccer mom encouraged Pop-Punk album complete with one massive single which labeled them as a one-hit wonder. By 1999, Eve 6 had done what they set out to do. However, they were apparently not very happy with what success their self-titled granted them, as when they returned to studio in late ’99 and early 2000, they created a much more experimental, alternative rock album with shades of their former self, but it was much more electronic, anthemic, and was a whole rock album that seemed awkwardly tied together. However, it strayed away from being the extremely experimental rock album that killed the band, as it had three massive singles that proved they were much, much more than a one-hit wonder.
When Eve 6 decided that they were going to strip it all apart and make a much darker, experimental album, this is where things went astray. While being a great album, the album was much too hard to comprehend for the fanbase Eve 6 was shooting for; imagine Green Day releasing Nirvana’s In Utero
, or a realistic example of Sum 41 releasing Chuck
. When It’s All in Your Head
dropped, a lot of young head’s began to wonder what they were listening to, it was much faster, heavier, and darker than any of their previous releases. Surprisingly the album spawned a hugely successful single Think Twice
which demonstrated the album’s heavier, moody tone to the masses. This did not go over to well, the album’s sales were amiss and the record label RCA dropped them. So, in fact, It’s All in Your Head
can be credited as the album that successfully cracked Eve 6 for good.
But why? Did It’s All in Your Head
deserve the criticism it received? Absolutely not, in fact I’m sure if the album was released in today’s society of all the indie fans and crap on the radio, it would be a blockbuster. I’ll relate it to Weezer’s Pinkerton
; as it was just too dark and abrasive, ahead of it’s time for the mainstream and the fanbase. Looking back at this album, about 6 years after the release, it’s time for the knock upside the head; “Hey, it’s not so bad!” It’s an insane mixture of hardcore punk in Still Here Waiting
, brooding alternative rock in Think Twice
, tasteful melodic radio rock in Bring the Night On
, and, quite simply; depressing alternative rock in Good Lives
. It all fits together too, the album seems to have a tight grip on one another and carry that same profound dark tone, despite the multitude of styles showcased here. But unlike past albums which are mostly satirical and light-hearted, In Your Head
’s lyrics are much more introspective and retrospective; it’s a collection of reflecting on good memories, fear of the future, bad times, girl issues, and all the stuff-however, Collins adds his sarcastic, ‘smart-alecky’ style here, perfectly inputted. Like he wails in Good Lives
Good lives are gold/Like the oldest stories/Will mine be told/While I’m still young and horny?
At the point of sounding like a homer, let’s state that It’s All in Your Head
suffers from some horrid pitfalls most bands in the Pop-Punk shadow struggle from; they just experiment a bit too much and make an album so radical, so different that it’s a head-scratcher. This sounds nothing like previous Eve 6 albums. At all. This sounds a bit bloated and lengthy at points, and drags just a bit in the middle. There’s no epic or amazing stand-out track to blow you back on your feet. The album gets a bit depressing by the end. However, it’s all good as most of these are minor, because the album consistently keeps you interested by keeping it fun, different, and new for it’s length.
Realistically, they’ve gotten much more depressing and brooding. They have strayed from their Pop-Punk style, and fit in line with the Alternative Rock acts of the time; as they’ve matured successfully and that’s all good. It’s all gritty, underappreciated, and absolutely intricate in style. It’s emotional, but it’s not “emo”, and it’s not too playful. It’s the perfect mixture of both. Eve 6 knew this would be a challenging album, it’s tough, experimental, and definitely a ‘grower’, and never got the time to shower in all it’s well-deserved glory. Still, their growth as musicians and maturation into something more than Green Day shows here, with one of the era’s most under-appreciated albums Eve 6’s It’s All in Your Head