Third Eye Blind - Third Eye Blind (Cover Artwork)

Third Eye Blind

Third Eye Blind: Third Eye BlindThird Eye Blind (1997)

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:

Contributed by: eatdogseatdogs
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One album held dearly in, what I assume is my generation, would be Third Eye Blind's self-titled debut. Released in 1997, this album pretty much dominated the alternative music world, and no one could escape its catchy grasp. There were five singles, three of which were in the top 10 of the Billboar.
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One album held dearly in, what I assume is my generation, would be Third Eye Blind's self-titled debut. Released in 1997, this album pretty much dominated the alternative music world, and no one could escape its catchy grasp. There were five singles, three of which were in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. But, of course, you already know this. "Semi-Charmed Life", "Graduate", "How's It Going to Be", "Losing a Whole Year" and "Jumper" were the tunes that resonated within the confines of adolescent youth in the late '90s, and to this day, everyone knows the songs like they know how to ride a bicycle, or tie their shoes. And if you don't know them or that, well, it isn't hard to catch on.

I got to see the band perform this past year and they opened with the intimate song "Motorcycle Drive By". A fan favorite and one that's so potent and very relatable that it becomes sort of timeless. I gotta admit before I get too deep into the review that this album alone saved me from the hardship of a major breakup. (Clich├ęd, no???) Not to say that other artists haven't helped in the same way (Bob Dylan, Off with Their Heads, Radiohead, Deftones...), but there was just something about this album that stood face to face with my emotions and got everything perfect, right down to the horrible details.

Singer/songwriter Stephan Jenkins knows how to write a damn good song, and with tracks like the abovementioned "How's It Going to Be" and "Jumper", you should understand why that statement rings true. But behind this album was the original creative force of other members: Kevin Cadogan on guitars, Arion Salazar on bass, and Brad Hargreaves on drums. These members complemented Jenkins very well, helping him flesh out the tracks and make them seem more than just academic, journalistic diary pieces. Songs like my favorite jam "Narcolepsy", "Burning Man" and "London" were rockin' tunes, carried along by the tight musicians. Everything seems organic, never holding anything back and letting it all come out.

There were some trademarks on this album that one can remember very well, such as Stephan's sort of rap stylings on "Semi-Charmed Life" and how the first half of the album almost feels like one long track, divided up by the few seconds before each song. The flow is amazing, never seeming to stop once it's started. The second half proves to be the divider, though, as the singles are long gone and the "filler" tracks make way. But wait, something is different here. These songs aren't as bad as some might think. In fact, they might be even better, seeing as how they are radically different from those catchy singles. Not having the ultimate hooks that makes one remember certain lines, the songs are more aggressive and steadfast in their execution. The highlight is definitely "Motorcycle Drive By", my other personal fave. Words like, "Visions of you on a motorcycle drive by, / The cigarette ash flies in your eyes / And you don't mind / You smile / And say the world doesn't fit with you" and "There's this burning / Just like there's always been / I've never been so alone / And I've never been so alive" make it known that lyrics are just as important, if not more so than the rest of the song. This album has great writing–some of the best from that decade.

Looking back, there were times when, whatever music that seemed good was accepted by almost everyone. The radio had its huge influence on us and the songs that were spewed out had to be almost perfect. Perfection in a song is one thing, but to have an entire album of perfection is an amazing experience. There is a deep longing for those older times once we age much higher than we ever imagined. Back then, these songs might have seemed like the catchy singles of the week, quickly forgotten and ushered away for the next big thing. But later on, when it's a sporadic moment and the music of yesteryear starts to play, we can go back and remember with whatever fondness we can muster...


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anchors (August 9, 2011)

This is absolutely one of the top records of the 90s. I realize that all you fucking too-cool-for-school try-hards that have Touche Amore tattoos think you're above this band because they had big radio hits, but there's better songwriting on this record than in most of punk and hardcore released in the last 10 years.

JayTee (August 8, 2011)

Ya know, I thought I'd given up on the whole "Not punk!" thing with this website, then this piece of shit shows and and gets 5 stars.

Semi charmed... kind of.... FUCK YOU.

powerbait (August 8, 2011)

3rd Eye Blind is awful.

eatdogs (August 8, 2011)

you know what, everytime i hear the "do do do-do do do do do" part i am always reminded of MTX's song, "ba ba ba ba ba" or the promise ring's "why did we ever meet?", with it's catchy, "ba duh badda ba duh buh do duh duh" "do do doodo do do do ah do..."

Dante3000 (August 8, 2011)

Okay, I'm not going to get into a big debate here because there are a certain section of people here that feel if something is a "radio record" it's crap and deserves no stars. That's fine.
However, this band did a few things incredibly well. Name Jenkins had a knack for writing songs where the narrator wasn't really the good guy. All over this album you encounter the perspective of a narrator who isn't acting honorably or out of the best interest of anyone but himself. But it's not self loathing either, it's a written from the inside looking out and the character can't seem to see how so many of its own actions have created the problems it's currently facing. It's very well done and something Jenkins has had difficulty recreating.
As for the person who criticized the "Do-do-do-do-do-do-do" on "semi-charmed life" that's kind of the entire point. You have a song about the worst depravity associated with hardcore drug use wrapped up inside this bouncy jingle, that I'd guess 90% of the audience didn't even catch on to at first. But it's just a reflection of the self-aware style that flowed through the album (check out the "The four right chords can make me cry" part of that song). This album, whatever your opinion of it may be, was incredibly well thought out and crafted. I'd like it if more radio friendly bands put this kind of thought into their music.

kidgotham (August 8, 2011)

It was shit like this that made me listen to punk in the first place, so I guess it deserves a 10 based on that alone.
I can't stand this peice of shit record.

infiniteopera (August 8, 2011)

This record is incredible, I don't know what you all are on. Definitely in my all-time top ten, if not top five.

Misanthropee (August 8, 2011)

There are only like seven albums in the history of rock music that deserve a 10/10. This is most definitely not one of them. Christ.

greg0rb (August 8, 2011)

I think eatdog's response to all the comments was incredible. So level-headed and chill. I could have used some of that back when I started writing here, back in the *cough* anonymous days... MAN, good times!

thepopeofchili-town (August 8, 2011)

Oh my world, it is okay.

BluthCo (August 7, 2011)

This was one of my favorite albums around the time it came out, and for a few years afterward. Listening to it more recently, I would say I really liked 7 or 8 of the songs and thought the rest were solid but not that memorable.

I saw them live two years ago and they were a lot of fun. They played mostly stuff from the first two albums and were still into it. It's always nice when bands don't just half-ass it through their hits.

bud_boomer (August 7, 2011)

punk is dead.

eatdogs (August 7, 2011)

Oh, and I remember polar bear club doing a great cover of "graduate". Awful waffle also cover "semi charmed life", but in ska form. Lol

eatdogs (August 7, 2011)

I liked vertical horizon, but liked the gin blossoms even more!!! Heck, better than Ezra were great as well. :p

hismadness (August 7, 2011)

Jesus, so much negativity over this review.

Here's the thing... This album has more in common with the Smashing Pumpkins or even My Bloody Valentine than with bands like the Goo Goo Dolls, Vertical Horizon, Everclear, etc. That's not to say they don't have a knack for catchy rock, but it is most certainly alternative rock, in the truer sense of the term. It's pretty much the best of both worlds. Those guitar tones... orgasms.

Tonic was also very good.

OVERdefined (August 7, 2011)

Not as great as Dog's Eye View.

Dante3000 (August 7, 2011)

You know who was great? Vertical Horizon.

flowerfeeder (August 7, 2011)

One of my favorite albums of all time. One of the few perfect albums ever recorded.

OVERdefined (August 7, 2011)

Skolarx - you're up in the WEW waxing big time about what is "punk" and calling people 15 and then you're up in this review defending this record? Who are you?

scorpiondeathlock (August 7, 2011)

this was the first album i ever became completely obsessed with. saw them live a few months back and it was still a great time.

skolarx (August 7, 2011)

for those complaining about this not uping the punx or whatever, true this has very little to do with punk but a lot of people here are into these guys (for whatever reason, i have seen them a few times and don't understand the fascination) and they had a ton of influence on punk bands who came out after them in the past 15 years or so.

ozmanx (August 7, 2011)

Is this the band that sings "Sasa chaweya" ???

marcjbannes (August 7, 2011)

punx get stoked about this one, never really got why.

thegreatestmanalive (August 6, 2011)

These guys are pretty decent, but mainly it just made me want to go listen to everclear. I fucking loved so much for the afterglow like crazy

sleepwalker (August 6, 2011)

I was 17 when this album came out, and I absolutely hated the singles I had heard on the radio/seen on TV. When asked to sit down and give the record an honest chance, I found solid songwriting and an overall great album. It's still a favorite to this day. Their second album too.

And I know this is "Punk" news, but do we really want to limit ourselves with what we can review and discuss? I love hip-hop and reggae at least as much as punk/hardcore, and am always thrilled when someone chooses to review an album that is outside of what this site seems comfortable with. If we're into it, then lets talk about it, punk or not.

Great review too.

Chesterfield_King (August 6, 2011)

I suppose punknews is a fitting name, since "punks" really tend to be assholes about other music genres. Listen up; if you guys really don't like Third Eye Blind, then you didn't have to click to read the review. Jesus christ guys, it's only music.

Half_Idiot (August 6, 2011)

Jesus christ, really?

Quit life, just drop out and never speak of this again. You embarrassed your "generation" by writing this review.

likeaparasite (August 6, 2011)

I like this album too, but yeah, this is punknews.org and there is nothing remotely punk about it. A review of it really doesn't belong here.

eatdogs (August 6, 2011)

Eatdogs here, first off, thanks PN for helping me out again. Second, I'm actually glad to see the opinions on this review. There seems to be a division, which takes me back to when this came out, and how certain people felt back then. As for punk music, eh I don't know... I could try and argue something about punk, or pop punk influence, but its no biggie.

This is very nostalgic, but what music isn't. Nostalgia can be whatever you want it to be and I'm glad people have said what they wanted. And honestly, back then in 97, I wasn't so much into punk, but more into radiohead and sonic youth type stuff. I couldn't give a decent enough review over some epifat bands or similar artists.

Oh, and I stand by my score. Thanks everyone!!!

mik88 (August 6, 2011)

Great album. Blue was good as well.

paulsilence (August 6, 2011)

Oh come on now. Seriously, I think this site needs a name change. How about musicnews.org? I don't want to pigeonhole what should be covered here, but it is called Punk News, right? Anyone who remotely claims some sort of esoteric punk rock influence here should be shot. I can't wait for the Lady Gaga, Adele, Snoop Dogg, Esperanza Spaulding, Yo Yo Ma, Travis Tritt, and Lil Wayne reviews...

And everything I ever heard from this album in particular irritated me back then, and it does today, as well.

thirtyseconds (August 6, 2011)

I fucking love this. So much. Not a big fan of "I don't wanna go to London" though.

dlangl4 (August 6, 2011)

I thought it was decent when it came out. I was in middle school though, maybe high school, and not listening to punk music. Now this album is nothing more than generic pop music.

Compared to the absolute sonic diarrhea played on pop radio today, this album is really, really good.

stillanonymous (August 6, 2011)


I suppose we're going to see a five star review of Sixteen Stone next.

hismadness (August 6, 2011)

A perfect score is totally legit. Every song on this thing is a classic, and I wouldn't change a thing about it.

mikexdude (August 6, 2011)

Not even close to a perfect score, but the guitar playing is phenomenal. And the comment saying this is indistinguishable has to be deaf based on that fact alone.

BobbyRad (August 6, 2011)

Amazing album. Actually was listening to this last week, still love it a much as I did in middle school

yourpeanutbutterisok (August 6, 2011)

this album had radio hits. it blows

nicknocturnal (August 6, 2011)

Ok Ok, just found one of their songs on Youtube (the song that says 'do do do do do do do', should have known it was a joke :P I always thought that was Spin Doctors or Smashmouth or some shit...

nicknocturnal (August 6, 2011)

"Looking back, there were times when, whatever music that seemed good was accepted by almost everyone. The radio had its huge influence on us and the songs that were spewed out had to be almost perfect."

In 1997 I was 17, and I listened to punk...didn't listen to the radio then, and I still don't...probably why I've never heard a single song by these guys as far as I know. Just felt like saying that since I guess I'm a part of the same generation that you said held this album 'dearly'...

(sorry if this was a joke review and I just didn't get it.)

harekrishna (August 6, 2011)

This album is fantastic. So glad this band has stuck it out.

MagnetBox (August 5, 2011)

I didn't like it then, and I sure don't like it now.

mattramone (August 5, 2011)

Where's Dante when you need him?

OVERdefined (August 5, 2011)

She comes round and she goes down on me

Hey_Asshole (August 5, 2011)

Seriously, this review is way too fucking coloured by nostalgia.

Looked at objectivley, it is a pretty passable piece of 90's radio rock. There is not anything to really seperate this from any other "alternative radio" hits from 1997. I was 12 when I first heard this record in 1997. I have had no interest in hearing it since then.

The more honest review would be "Of the records that came out in 1997, this is better than Marcy Playground's s/t release, but not as good as Everclear's 'So Much For The Afterglow.' Just another post-grunge, 90's alt rock record."

I mean, really, there is nothing ridiculously special about this record.

OVERdefined (August 5, 2011)

This record sucks. It's fucking garbage. It was garbage in 1997. It's garbage now. Fuck.

Apeman_on_the_moon (August 5, 2011)

And yet, if this were released next Tuesday, everyone here would be hating it. This is FM radio pop music.

bryne (August 5, 2011)

Give me a break.

alpod4 (August 5, 2011)

so good!

MN_DrNick (August 5, 2011)

Really? C'mon, dude...

Hey_Asshole (August 5, 2011)

It is an ok record. But, a perfect score? Really?

TheSniper (August 5, 2011)

One of my favorite albums of all-time. Stephen Jenkins is lyrical genius.

inagreendase (August 5, 2011)

Didn't think this album was all that great when I was younger, but 'Sometimes Things Just Disappear' made me appreciate it far more.

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