Review Summary: Collective Soul headed back to the studio quickly and recorded a short album with only a few worthwhile tracks.
Blender was Collective Soul's follow up to 1999's hit Dosage. Collective Soul tried to expand their audience by adding elements of hip-hop, such as scratching. All that this accomplished was making a lot of their fans angry. This is their worst selling album and the only thing in their discography that resembles anything close to a stinker.
Collective Soul are:
Ed Roland: Guitar, vocals
Dean Roland: rhythm guitar
Ross Childress: lead guitar
Will Turpin: bass, backup vocals
Shane Evans: drums
1. Skin-Starts off on an awesome guitar riff. Great guitar throughout the entire song. A little scratching every now and then, but it really doesn't bug me. The only thing that bugs me is the never ending HEY's yelled out throughout this song. If you read the lyrics you'll discover that this has somewhat of a naughty meaning behind it. 4/5
2. Vent-Originally titled "Prick" but changed to vent after Atlantic Records wouldn't allow it. Starts out with a voice saying, "I love you cuz you're such a prick." This song has quite a bit of good guitar work in it but the best part is obviously the vocals leading up to the chorus and then the great chorus. "Your conversation never sticks, cuz no truth in you exists, yeah you bite before you lick, I love you cuz you're such a prick." Overall a pretty good song. 4.5/5
3. Why Pt. 2-This is pretty much the best song ever. First you hear a basic drum beat, a heartbeat bass line, and then a heavily distorted and simple guitar riff. Ed's lyrics in the verses are a little strange but the chorus is amazing. A beautifully written song. The verses are great, the chorus exceptional and the entire rhythm perfect (thanks to Dean Roland). Before the chorus is sung a final time Ross has a great solo. All three guitars play different parts, each of which are very cool. I know you shouldn't give a 6, but what can I say. 6/5
4. Ten Yrs. Later-This song is basically a total bore. I guess I find the chorus somewhat catchy because I catch myself singing it to myself a lot. Ross has another exceptional solo in this one to save it from being completely worthless. I doubt very many people like this song. 2.1/5
5. Boast-In my opinion, a terrible song. Basically all that happens is the phrase, "you want to, cuz you said so," being repeated a lot with variations throughout. There is a little good guitar part. It just confuses me when I hear other Collective Soul fans say that this is a great song. 2.5/5
6. Turn Around-Starts off with some Sheryl Crow-like guitar strumming. This song is supposedly about how Collective Soul is not popular and Ed wonders what would happen if they did things to make people like them more (or sell out). Ed's vocals are basically flawless, as is the guitar. This song also has some great keyboards played in it. The song ends on a beautiful piano solo. 4.5/5
7. You Speak My Language-A cover of a song originally done by a band called Morphine. I'm pretty sure this is a tribute to their recently deceased lead singer. Plenty of odd lyrics, but is basically about how only one person understands him. There are a few sound effects you would normally only expect to find in rap. Wild guitar solo in the middle. 3/5
8. Perfect Day-A great duet between Ed and Elton John. It's about a girl that a guy wants to give everything to. There are plenty of good three way harmonies between Ed, Will and Elton. Once Elton John starts singing his keyboard comes in. One highlight of the song is Elton John's keyboards, and his nice little solo. Another good thing is the guitar that blends in perfectly, which you may not even notice. You'll be humming this to yourself for a long time. 4.9/5
9. After All-Another one of the better songs on the album. It's kind of hard to tell exactly what it's about. Ed's voice during the chorus of this song is so wonderful that is hard to explain. "Maybe, something means nothing here after all." A very highly underrated song, despite the only standout part of it is Ed's singing. 4.7/5
10. Over Tokyo-Ed wrote this long before Collective Soul was formed. He sent in the demo to a record company and was turned down and was told that it was the worst song the man had ever heard. Eventually it was put on his solo album. It begins with some cheesy singing and guitar playing. Once the bass and drums come in, it becomes a much better sounding song. The entire rhythm guitar part helps a lot. Ed's voice is pretty powerful during the chorus. The really bad part of the song is the voices of Japanese people in the background. It's just stupid effects like this that made the album a lot worse than it could have been. 4/5
11. Happiness-Begins with a crazy, distorted, and very fast played riff. Ed's voice has a lot of energy in it. It's good that they picked a fast crazy and fun song to end the album. Ross's guitar playing throughout the whole song is just absolutely fantastic. 4/5
Overall a crappy album that you probably won't like unless you are big on Collective Soul, like me. If you've never heard Why Pt. 2, download it or find the music video because it's definitely worth listening to. Without that song, the album would be totally worthless. If you are big on Collective Soul, you should definitely buy this.