Review Summary: I'd rather a band from the 90's rip of the 60's then a band from 2013. Good job Blind Melon!
I hear this album a few different ways.
On one hand, you've got to consider that Shannon is dead. This band, in this form, can no longer make music.
That's sad. So in that sense, it makes you think "Wow, its great to hear him singing. This is how this band is meant to sound!" Basically, its *their* sound. And sometimes I'm in the mood to hear Blind Melon. Not all the time, but once in a while, it good to hear them. They aren't really my favorite band or anything, but I'd definitely rock a t-shirt (if I had one).
And then I start thinking about the context of this music. The 90's. Having grown up in the 80's and 90's, I have a bias towards thinking the music from that time is special. I just think its true. If you ask me, music isn't like this now. But that's how people in the 1960's thought about things when, say, the 1980's rolled around. They're probably all like "These guys suck, the 60's was better." And now that its 2013, I'm saying "The 90's were cool, the 2000's and 2010's are nowhere near as good..."
Another part of me is like "This is just one of those boring blues rock bands..." I'm not huge into the blues, or folk-rock, but Blind Melon isn't really blues rock, or folk rock, strictly speaking...they're a bit weird, sort of old jazz-influenced, or say psychedelic-tinged. You can't really pin one genre-tag on them. There's a bunch of stuff going on here. I'm pretty judge-y though, and sometimes I just kind of think of them as a kind of generic band. They've definitely listened to a lot of Zeppelin, you can hear that for sure. Even their name brings to mind blues (to me). Its just weird that there's the Smashing Pumpkins, and Blind Melon, and they were both famous at the same time, and their names...ah, you get it.
...but, listening to this again, after however many years, it does sound like Blind Melon. I gotta say it does strike me as being better than a lot of *** I hear. Like, if a band is going to rip off the 60's, I'd rather it be these guys than some band from the 2000's. I'm sure all the bands that are just kind of copping the 60's thing think they're the real deal. They all grow the beardy beards, and try to look like some 60's band appearance-wise. Do the drugs, get the emaciated girlfriends, wear sun glasses. The whole bit. I don't know, I guess Blind Melon did it pretty good. I kind of appreciate that they don't just rip off one style. And you can always tell Shannon's voice. Its very distinctive. Perfect for Guns 'N Roses backup vocal parts, even. Oh yeah, he did that, didn't he? I really just think that in 1000 years, if some people are finding the remains of some used cd store after the apocalypse, sort of scattered on the ground, or they find a hard drive a bunch of unlabelled tracks...like, these throwback bands are counting on this, because they probably wouldn't mind if people in the future said "Oh, Zeppelin wasn't first. Blind Melon was first!" Or "Black Keys came out a full 100 years before Black Sabbath...its a historical fact!" Or, in a music article in the year 12 568, some guy writes, "White Stripes were the first rock band to mix blues and rock...they are the forefathers of blah blee bloo whatever..."
Anyway, I do like this album. Its not original at all, but that's not what music's about for most people. Its a pretty cool Blind Melon album.