I am going a little off script with this week’s Album of the Week because I have a confession to make. I never really appreciated how great the 90’s really was because I was always in awe of the 80’s. I never fully appreciated some of the bands that graced the radios or television screens back in the 90’s. That is why I wanted to take the time this week to cover a band that I absolutely love from the 90’s in San Francisco’s own Third Eye Blind. The band which was made up of Stephan Jenkins (Lead Vocals/Guitar), Kevin Cadogan (Guitar), Arion Salazar (Bass), and Brad Hargreaves (Drums) released their debut eponymous debut album on April 8, 1997 via Elektra Records. The album peaked at number 25 on the Billboard Top 200 charts, but it spent 106 weeks on the charts, it spawned five singles (with three hitting the top 10), and the album went 6X platinum becoming the band’s best selling album ever. The album also featured some variations to the album cover with the one used here as the first one (the first 500,000 copies) and the one everyone knows in red which was requested by the band. The Japanese version of the cover was a negative photo cover.
1. Losing A Whole Year– A very catching track whose tempo changes between the chorus which is in your face to the smooth verses. The track is about wasted time on a relationship. 5/5
2. Narcolepsy– The song starts off with a very melancholic tempo before it kicks into overdrive in a song that is about, you guessed it, Narcolepsy. 4/5
3. Semi-Charmed Life– One of my favorite Third Eye Blind song’s which was the band’s response to Lou Reed’s Walk On The Wild Side. The track’s lyrics also covers addictions to speed and other drugs. 5/5
4. Jumper– The semi acoustic track which is one of my other favorite 3EB tracks that is about a friend of Stephan’s that was struggling with the fact that he was gay and wanted to jump to his death because of it. 5/5
5. Graduate– An absolute rocker that will have you jumping (not moshing) and grooving along in a track that people can relate to. It’s about the working man and how sometimes we feel like we are worth more than the actual job we do. 5/5
6. How’s It Going To Be– A truly amazing song from the band which is another semi-acoustic track. STephan Jenkins once told Billboard, “The song’s inspiration came about when Third Eye guitarist Kevin Cadogan was tinkering around with an autoharp, ‘which is a vintage-sounding instrument that you can’t really play without it having a sort of nostalgic sound to it. That inspired this emotional condition in me. That condition surrounds the idea of lost love, of realizing that there may come a despairing day when the two meet and no longer know each other. ‘I think we all feel violated when we find that a relationship actually has time limits, that it’s not unconditional. That’s the thing that aches in people. That’s something everybody can relate to, even when you know you have no business being with this person anymore.” 5/5
7. Thanks a Lot– a melancholic rock track that explores the idea of what happens when you feel displaced in a relationship. I love the high notes the band hits when they say “Thanks A Lot.”4/5
8. Burning Man– a different kind of track whose riff has a tinge of reggae in it (if you ask me) and the lyrics seem to touch on living life everyday like it’s your last one. 4/5
9. Good for You– I feel like Stephan was writing from his perspective when he was a child cause it seems to be about a dad who may not have a good relationship with his kid. Like he is a constant screw up. 4/5
10. London– a bad ass punk like rock track that shreds and has some balls to it the song itself seems to be about Coke (not the soda). Enough said. 4/5
11. I Want You– a track that seems dreamlike as in you would imagine yourself dreaming and this would be playing about that girl that you want so much, but you can only have her in your dreams. 4.5/5
12. The Background-An interesting track that has shades of Zeppelin (No Quarter sounding guitars) which is almost like the previous track. Stephan Jenkins once said, “Let me put it this way: Have you ever felt like your life was in high gear, and you were right in the moment, and you were happy, and rolling into some glorious unknown future? And then have that all taken away? And then lived in sort of the post-period of that high? That’s what it’s like to live in the background.” 4.5/5
13. Motorcycle Drive By– a very cool acoustic track that follows a guy and girl who are best friends, but the guys want more. 5/5
14. God of Wine– a very melancholic and sad song that is absolutely amazing on the album about having to leave the one you love because staying is just too painful. 5/5
My Final Thoughts– One of the best debuts from a band that never really got the credit they deserved back in the day. If you want to get to know these guys, then do yourself a favor and check this album out. I am going to give the album 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.