Review Summary: Overall, “A Collection” does Third Eye Blind’s first three releases justice with a compilation of 19 excellent or better tracks.
Chances are you’ve heard of Third Eye Blind. These alternative pop-rockers took the 90’s music scene by storm with singles Semi Charmed Life
and others, while still receiving acclaim from critics. Their sound is dynamic; high energy, emotional, and hook-laden. Although this may seem typical of most bands, Third Eye Blind just has something about them that elevates the band to the next level. Lead singer Stephan Jenkins serves as the driving force behind the band; you can sense his anguish, passion, or anger on each note as he pours his heart out. His high energy, one-liners, and occasional comic relief are just more of the characteristics that have made him such a prolific front-man. Jenkins has been backed by innovative guitars, slick bass-lines, and powerful drumming that have completed such a defining sound.
In 1997 the band released their self-titled debut, in which was extremely popular in the mainstream and was received a great deal of critical acclaim. “Third Eye Blind” was a very diverse and passionate record, ranging from catchy single Semi Charmed Life
to the tragic Motorcycle Drive By
. The band’s second full-length record, “Blue” did not disappoint as well and was their most creative effort. “Blue” may not have been as successful, but was more ambitious than its predecessor and featured some of the band’s best songs. Unfortunately guitarist Kevin Cadogan left Third Eye Blind after “Blue” and was replaced by Tony Fredianelli. Cadogan had been one of the major contributors to the songwriting, and the quality of the music after he left suffered to an extent. “Out of the Vein” was released in 2003 and while much of the album impressed, overall the effort was below Third Eye Blind’s potential. Three years later, this greatest hits compilation, “A Collection” was released.
“A Collection” represents most of the band’s best work throughout the three albums, and included two never before released tracks. “Third Eye Blind” receives the most praise here, with seven diverse and truly excellent tracks. Singles Jumper
, Semi-Charmed Life
, and How’s It Going to Be
make appearances, the latter standing out as arguably the best of the group. How’s It Going to Be
is a passionate mid-tempo ballad in which fully utilizes somewhat ironic lyrics. “How’s it going to be when you don’t know me anymore?” Jenkins’ high energy propels the bridge into the outro, yelling “Want to get myself back in again. The soft dive of oblivion.” Graduate
offers a stark contrast, with its aggressive tendencies and upbeat feel. Self-titled would not be represented properly with at least two of its closing tracks, Motorcycle Drive By
and God of Wine
. These are absolutely brilliant songs that are jam-packed with emotion. Motorcycle Drive By
is a tragic track that makes use of Jenkins’ tormented lyrics and singing, “And there’s this burning, like there’s always been. I’ve never been so alone and I’ve never been so alive.”
This particular compilation also does “Blue” a great deal of justice from the straightforward single Never Let You Go
to the heart wrenching Slow Motion
. In the band’s most ambitious track, Slow Motion
both lives up to its title and features some of Jenkins’ most powerful vocal performances. Follow-up single Deep Inside of You
is tremendous as well, for it utilizes beautiful instrumentation that even features strings. “A Collection” also represents much of “Out of the Vein’s” high points, including mid-tempo ballads such as Crystal Baller
and Can’t Get Away From Me
. Single Blinded
is somewhat of a typical Third Eye Blind track; it is chuck-full of Jenkins’ one liners, hooks, and energy.
Even never-before released tracks Tatoo of the Sun
and My Time in Exile
are fitting and different tracks. Tatoo of the Sun
is a bit of a funkier track than we are accustomed to hearing with Third Eye Blind and My Time in Exile
is a piano-laden ballad in which Jenkins delivers a goodbye message. “We have grown, I've overstayed awhile in my time in exile and oh time has flown. And the only thing I've learned, I want a life now of my own. Of my own.” Overall, “A Collection” does Third Eye Blind’s first three releases justice with a compilation of 19 excellent or better tracks. Although some gems were not included here such as The Background
and My Hit and Run
, this collection is enjoyable for fans of the band and offers a substantial starting point for those who have not listened to the band.
How’s it Going to Be
Motorcycle Drive By
Deep Inside of You