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Out of the Vein

Third Eye Blind

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Album Review

Third Eye Blind don't get much respect from rock critics or fans, but the band do have their own weird kind of integrity. Under the direction of Stephan Jenkins — who, after the departure of guitarist Kevin Cadogan, is not just the leader, but the major musical force — they are an unabashedly mainstream post-alternative band, but they have the fervor and righteous belief of U2, only delivered on a smaller scale and with a distinctively American bent. They believe in big-scale music, so they can't help but deliver music that sounds commercial (which in other hands would sound like a sellout), but since they believe it, man, and because Jenkins sings passionately, it doesn't sound that way in their hands. That's especially true of their third album, Out of the Vein, where the bandmembers sound like they have something to prove — which, in a way, they do. While Jenkins was undeniably the band's jet-setting frontman — a heartthrob once linked to actress Charlize Theron — Cadogan was generally acknowledged as the band's secret weapon, crafting the songs and playing the hooks that kept TEB in the charts where other post-grungers fell behind. Without Cadogan, they have to prove that they can still deliver, and the band responds by rocking harder than ever — a move that coincidentally happens to emphasize the aforementioned inadvertently mainstream integrity, since the harder sound gives this a harder sheen (not a harder edge), even to the handful of mid-tempo songs and ballads.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Although often lumped into the post-grunge category, Third Eye Blind sported a brighter sound than many of their late-'90s peers, taking as much influence from classic pop/rock traditions as the angst-ridden music that dominated the decade. The group scored its first hit in 1997, when the debut single "Semi-Charmed Life" cracked the Top 10. Third Eye Blind built upon that success throughout the following three years, releasing a number of singles (three of which cracked the Top 10)...
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Out of the Vein, Third Eye Blind
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