Review Summary: Overall, “Out of the Vein” is a very good record, but lacks the creativity of “Blue” and the consistency of “Self-Titled.”
Replacing band members is often a tall order for most bands. It is especially difficult losing a band member that had a major impact on both the songwriting and shaping the band’s signature sound. Third Eye Blind was forced to replace guitarist Kevin Cadogan, who left the band in 2001 due to personal reasons. Cadogan and lead singer Stephan Jenkins were considered to be the band’s most significant members, contributing to the majority of the songwriting. Tony Fredianelli was added to replace Cadogan prior to the recording of their third full-length record, “Out of the Vein.”
“Out of the Vein,” was released in 2003, six years after the spectacular self-titled review and four years after the innovative follow-up “Blue.” Despite the departure of Cadogan, much of Third Eye Blind remained the same. The new songs were passionate, fun, and complete with hooks. Jenkins’ energy and emotion were still present, and Salazar and Hargreaves were familiar on the bass and drums respectively. “Out of the Vein,” is a solid collection of alternative-rock songs, ranging from the high energy Company
, to mid-tempo ballads such as My Hit and Run
. Despite this, Third Eye Blind still seemed to be missing something.
The opener of “Out of the Vein,” Faster
is an indication that the band’s sound has not changed entirely. Faster
may possibly have been the band’s best opener to this point, its high energy chorus and emotional bridge really sets the tone for the entire album. Lead single, Blinded
is a catchy mid-tempo love song that is not far off from Never Let You Go
, its message is delivered in a simple fashion. These mid-tempo tracks seem to dominate the record, only Danger
, and Company
The focal point of the record is Crystal Baller
, which is one of the greatest songs the band has written to date. Jenkins is the lone songwriter on this track and really delivers on all cylinders here. He almost whispers the opening lines, “I close my eyes and I see a freak, I think it's me and I'm afraid to speak. I keep on going from week to weakness way out in a line.” The track builds to a more upbeat chorus, and Fredianelli’s simple outro solo gives the track a fitting close. The following track My Hit and Run
is another underscore of the album about a car accident. The lyrics are effective and fervent, “Always think we get more time, now flying through the air, maybe living, maybe dying. In this motor crash it's you who comes to mind, don’t we always wish had more time.”
Wake for Young Souls
has a great deal of sing-along value; the track is conveyed very well with a mix of acoustic and electric guitars. Danger
is fun at all degrees, it has a very jumpy feel and hooky-chorus. The closer Good Man
is a fitting way to complete “Out of the Vein,” it isn’t depressing or dark like its predecessors, but rather hopeful.
Overall, “Out of the Vein” is a very good record, but lacks the creativity of “Blue” and the consistency of “Self-Titled.” Third Eye Blind was indeed impacted when Kevin Cadogan left, they just haven’t been entirely the same.
My Hit and Run
Wake for Young Souls