Within the first page of the liner notes to the first Third Eye Blind compilation, 2006's modestly titled A Collection, it's revealed that TEB's lead singer/songwriter, Stephan Jenkins, is a Berkeley lit grad who has drawn heavy inspiration from Lou Reed, Camper Van Beethoven, and Jane's Addiction -- three late-'80s college rock staples who never have been name-dropped in association with Jenkins, who nevertheless makes the case for their influence not only within James Hunter's liners for A Collection, but within Jenkins' own track-by-track commentary on the album, too. Musically, Third Eye Blind always seemed far removed from this kind of rock underground; they had a streak of hits in the late '90s that were textbook post-grunge, building on the angst of early-'90s alt-rock, but giving it stronger pop hooks and polishing it up for a mass audience. Certainly, the millions who bought the band's 1997 eponymous debut did so because of the nagging chorus of "Semi-Charmed Life" or the bittersweet pull of their AAA ballad "How's It Going to Be" -- above anything else, they liked how the records sounded, not whether they were a response song to Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side" or not. And "Semi-Charmed Life" is indeed a response to "Walk on the Wild Side," which is one of many revelations that Jenkins spills in the liner notes, where he emphasizes the literary meaning and intent of the songs (for instance, of "Slow Motion" he says, "there's some Richard III" in there). For those who didn't pay close attention to Third Eye Blind, such gravely serious aspirations may come as a bit of a surprise, but upon reflection they make some sense -- after all, apart from the incandescent hook of their best song, "Never Let You Go," and the chorus of "Semi-Charmed Life," there never was a sense of fun about Third Eye Blind. They always sounded sober and somber, and A Collection proves that impression was no illusion -- in fact, it illustrates how Jenkins' self-conscious aspirations to profundity gave the band's music a stultifying serious undercurrent. Early on in the group's career, they had enough hooks and polish that this ambition was easy to swallow -- frankly, the hooks on the hits, not just the aforementioned songs but also "Graduate" and "Jumper," were slick enough that the songs went down smoothly. Even if this collection is not sequenced in chronological order, it does chart that shift in the band's sound. At 19 tracks, A Collection is almost too accurate of a portrait of Third Eye Blind.
|Label:||Elektra / Wea|
Performance CreditsThird Eye Blind Primary Artist
James Hunter Conductor
Technical CreditsDavid Gleeson Producer,Engineer
Ren Klyce Arranger,Producer
Eric Valentine Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Maria Villar Art Direction
Stephan Jenkins Producer,Author
Mike Cresswell Engineer
Steve Woolard Discographical Annotation
Jason Carmer Producer,Engineer
James Hunter Liner Notes
Eric Godtland Management
James Huxtable Management
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A Collection based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Truly the greatest! I can listen to this all day long.
The songs we've all heard on the radio are packed at the beginning of the album. That said, I would not bother going past track 8 because they're all pretty much something you could hear at a battle of the bands competition after that. Its a great CD