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Ursa Major (Bonus Track Version)

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Editors’ Notes

Whether it was years of writer’s block or simply a longer-than- planned vacation, the six years between albums for San Francisco’s Third Eye Blind find them in a world not much changed. The band’s punchy hooks jump out of the boombox with the same urgency as when “Semi-Charmed Life” took over modern rock radio stations with its shameless hooks. Third Eye Blind singer Stephan Jenkins knows it’s called “pop” music for a reason and he does his best to keep things jumping on this “comeback” of sorts. “Can You Take Me,” “Don’t Believe a Word” with its fake close, and “Bonfire” come out racing as if they’re afraid they’re going to blow another deadline. When Jenkins does slow things down for serious contemplation, the results are a little less decided. “Dao of St. Paul” and “Monotov’s Private Opera” stretch themselves for a self-importance that isn’t as endearing as the band’s best pop moments. Third Eye Blind are a radio band and should be heard as such.

Customer Reviews

PLEASE READ

Third Eye Blind has impressed me in the past. They have been sucessful with singles like Jumper and Semichamed Life, but the latest single Don't Believe a word didn't seem as strong. My friend is hassling me on this decision: Buy Or Not? Please help me with my desicion... Answer Yes or No Ill check it in a few days and then decide. thx

Different, But Great

Before I begin this review, I would like to say that Third Eye Blind has been my favorite band for as long as I can remember, without question. Their songs are just everything I enjoy about music from meaningful lyrics to addictive beats. I have all their albums, and I am going to buy this one too. That being said, anything I say about this album is only to be constructive, not insulting. 1. Can You Take Me (6.5/10) – It a good song to begin the album. It’s very upbeat, but still not one of my favorites. 2. Don’t Believe A Word (6.5/10) – In my opinion this was the single that they were counting on to change their style to more pop, which will be played on the radio. In my opinion, Third Eye Blind had unfortunate timing of making albums when listeners were transferring from alternative/rock to pop. It is just an o.k. song, not the best. 3. Bonfire (11/10) – My favorite song on the whole album. It has a haunting beginning, which crescendos into n extremely catchy chorus. And then the original whistling to end it. Great vocals, nice melody. The organization of this song reminds me of their old stuff. Just perfect!!! 4. Sharp Knife (10/10) – This song is almost tied with Bonfire for best song on the album. I love how the beginning is so quiet and soft with the cool guitar, and then the chorus comes with a very strained sound which works excellently. Its definitely one of their best songs. 5. One In Ten (7/10) – This song is o.k. It is almost identical to “Why Can’t you Be” though. I honestly thought I was hearing the same song, without stupid lyrics. Also, I really question why they added the trumpet and piano to the song. I really liked it when performed acoustically. 6. About to Break (8.5/10) – This is a perfect mixture of styles. Soft Acoustic and hard rock. It really reminds me of “Darkness”. I love this song. Both parts of the song are equally good. 7. Summer Town (9.5/10) – This is going to be their hit. I’m sure of it. It’s beautiful. I personally like Bonfire and Sharp Knife the best, but I can tell this will be a huge hit!! One thing I would change is the terrible beginning and the last minute, where he’s just talking. It’s really not needed. I am so happy for them. Finally, people will recognize their talent. 8. Why Can’t You Be (8.5/10) – This is a perfect example of a song that could potentially have been the best on the album, but ends up as a beautiful melody, with hideous lyrics… “Waterpik shower massager”? Really? I know what the song is originally about, the true-first-love-shower-head deal, but still they could have made it easier to listen to. This is only one of the few stupid quotes from this song. I still love the song without lyrics. 9. Water Landing (7.5/10) – I like this song because of its extreme mixture of styles. It’s nice and all with the acoustic beginning, rock middle, but most interesting, SJ’s rapping. Also, this song does a nice job of building up a lot, then delivering a big and loud ending. 10. Dao of St. Paul (8/10) – This is a song which I unjustly labeled before pre-ordering. It has a nice melody, but the lyrics to it are what I enjoy the most. “A blessing in disguise.” – So true. Nice song. 11. Carnival Barker (8/10) – Wow. I can only pray that there will be a version of this with lyrics. This is great. The whole guitar and melody are awesome. I am not a fan of instrumental songs but this has really changed my mind. 12. Monotov’s Private Opera (9/10) – This song gives me the chills every time I hear it. I thought it would stink by looking at its title, but it turned into one of my favorite acoustic songs. The whole meaning of the song is very sincere. I am not sure it will be popular, but a great song to end the album. Overall this album is extremely different from the first three. An example of the significant change is a comparison between the song Graduate and Why Can’t You Be. In my opinion, the only real song that reminds me of the self titled album is Can You Take Me. The music is changing from a rock/alternative style (Losing A Whole Year), to a more soft rock, acoustic guitar style (One In Ten). Although this occurs frequently throughout the album, they don’t forget to leave out the awesome guitar, old-stuff (Can You Take Me). This side of Third Eye Blind is just as good if not better than the old Graduate-Style music. In my opinion, they did an excellent job with Ursa Major. Best songs: Bonfire, Sharp Knife, Summer Town, About To Break

Third Eye Blind is Still in Top Form

Third Eye Blind's first album in six years has been well worth the wait. The album's first two tracks, "Can You Take Me" and "Don't Believe a Word" blare from the speakers with an aggression and urgency that's found all too rarely on the radio today. But coupled with that aggression is a passion for the material and an honest insistency, a creative well that the band taps to full effect. It's hard to get more honest than "One in Ten," a plaintive love song written for a lesbian crush of Jenkins's. But the band shows its raw power and emotional appeal with "About to Break," "Water Landing," and "Monotov's Private Opera," tracks that show Stephan Jenkins is still a songwriter in top form, and more passionate than ever before about the material his band has written. The album is not without a single misfire, however. "Summer Town," a song that's been in the works for the better part of four years, now features the rap section that the band first previewed at South by Southwest in March 2009. Fans are split between this song. Some like the rap section, believing it gives the song an undeniably unique edge, while others preferred the song in its original, more radio-friendly form. Either way, Ursa Major shows a mature band that has become even more adept at wielding raw power and honest emotions and crafting them into beautiful, catchy, and instantly memorable songs. Even if you're not sure what Third Eye Blind is about, you should buy this album. It's a great addition to any rock fan's collection.

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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