Okay, so it's been quite some time since the last collection of new 3EB music dropped. Off the top of my head, and I'm probably a little off, it seems to me that '03 was the last time we'd heard from them, minus a best of collection/greatest hits they released at some point. This means that, besides the typical stress and expectations of a normal album, there's a whole slew of over-expected hopes and ideals just because it's been so long. I mean, the typical expectations of an album are surely stressful enough... But, after being on hiatus for so long?
Geeze, do the 3EB boys have their work cut out for them....
Well, let's see if 3EB could pull it off...
Back from being Out of the Vein, let's look up and count the stars in Ursa Major.
Title: Ursa Major
Artist: Third Eye Blind
Label: Mega Collider Records
Track One: Can You Take Me
High pitched whining and crunchy guitars... Sound effects; oh yeah, this is 3EB... Jenkins is almost a little too drowned out... Sex, ideals, and excellent pop rock... Yep, 3EB land, indeed. And, you know what, maybe a riot IS overdue... It's nice to know his voice hasn't faltered in however many years it's been... Great opening track that, with all its styles, will quickly acquaint any newbies to what this band does.
Track Two: Don't Believe a Word
This is pretty much the leading single for the album, so let's see how it goes.....
Big rock music.... I like it..... Digresses into the semi-rap/quick lyrics that's Jenkins' style... It's catchy as all get out... Nice little lyrics there... "give me back my photos...." I love it.... But, yet, I can't help but to think that this is just Jenkins' outlet to complain about the times, and thus be relevant... Maybe taking hiatuses isn't such a good thing...
Track Three: Bonfire
I hear bongos? YES, I hear bongos... Or, some other sort of percussion thing... It strangely fits. This is really good; it's like proof that they can drop the hooks and effects, and still be a darn good and honest act... "if nothing else I am myself / it's all I have to give" I love it...
Track Four: Sharp Knife
Jenkins, slow down..... Oh, well, I should be used to your style by now. My bad, darling. Oh, well... When you do slow down, it's really effective. "At least you left a mark on me" -damn, doesn't everyone...? The slow-fast is really good on this... The music's fantastic... This is so honest and powerful; he's always singing from some pained, honest place... I wish other songwriters would drift there and sit a spell... "careful, you might hurt someone"
Track Five: One in Ten
I hear strings? Yes, maybe.. and piano?... Yes.... I dig. Oooh, and horns... Yes?... Hmmm, I like this a lot... The point is so simple, so powerful, and... so awfully easy to relate to, and the music's divine....
Track Six: About to Break
Wow, Jenkins, do you hate humanity that much? Are you sooooo misanthropic, love? "If there's one thing I can't stand, it's standing next to my fellow man" -geeze, man... You're starting to sound a little Art-ish here... I'm not digging this, but I am digging it, but I'm not, but I am...... It's another soapbox song, and the squeaky/whining guitar is a little too rough/jarring... *eyes narrow*
Track Seven: Summer Town
I really like this one a lot... A whole lot... "I told you everything I knew in a manic, rushing line" -god, who doesn't when they're in love.... This track is amazing. Makes me think of their first release... It's that good, y'all.
Track Eight: Why Can't You Be
Acoustic?... Okay...... Let's go, Jenkins, take me on a trip... I ain't gonna lie, I smiled at the first comparison, and then just nodded along with the rest... This is great.... A fantastic way to explain the hollow desires and hopeless, overly high expectations that love and lust brings... Good job, Jenkins. Good job.
Track Nine: Water Landing
Techno-y... But, a nice highlight of his voice and his words... These guys are a lot like 1,2,3Crows... It's more about the words... When this one breaks down, it kinda goes meh... But, oh, well, it's okay.
Track Ten: Dao of St. Paul
This is as great as Summer Town and Sharp Knife... The chaos in the middle is fabulous.
Track Eleven: Monotov's Private Opera
What the hell type of name?.... Oh, well, let's see how this goes... You know what, this is a really good one, too... Third Eye Blind's almost better slowed down.... Every time...
Track Twelve: Carnival Barker
Once again.... What sort of title?... It sounds dreamy/strained/filtered/disjointed/calming.... Nice instrumental finale.... wish it was a little bit longer...
Well, good job 3EB... You're still relevant, even when you seem to be trying really hard to do so, and you're just as honest and moving as y'all've always been... The hooks are still strong and work just as good as they did back in '97, '99.... And so on.
Wish I could've saw y'all on y'all's H-Town stop...
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