Third Eye Blind - Third Eye Blind (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Third Eye Blind

Third Eye Blind (1997)


Third Eye Blind's debut album didn't revolutionize the industry but it was a picture-perfect snapshot of how alternative rock ruled the late '90s. It was mainstream, commercial and most of all, a catchy success. MTV and VH1 lapped it up and I think that's because there wasn't any gimmick behind it. Vocalist Stephen Jenkins just wanted to drop foot-tapping, head-bobbing melodies in a time where the likes of Everclear, The Offspring and Sugar Ray were doing the same, realizing that punk rock could be iced with alternative. After all, Green Day were baking the hell outta that cake so why not everyone else?

Radio loved the mid-tempo sprawls of "Semi-Charmed Life", "Jumper" and "How's It Going To Be" -- emo, love-stricken and well, brutally honest. Third Eye Blind was a record of failed relationships but that's a big part of coming-0f-age. "Graduate" was one of the lesser recognized tracks that spoke on this note, talking about fearing the future instead of a woman leaving you heartbroken. "God of Wine" and "Motorcycle Drive-By" were two other songs that I thought should have been bigger and by all means, I think they were. They just weren't released as singles. In those days, so many albums came out from all the bands I mentioned which had quite a few songs that were geared to be singles. As with this record, you could pick any one and it'd be a smash on Total Request Live or Pop-Up Video. When all's said and done, 3EB couldn't recapture this magic, especially two years later on Blue. Why? Because this debut wasn't a work. It was just an earnest piece of art that didn't care where it stacked up. What transpired after though clearly had to be a cash grab because the heart and soul was no longer there, just a hunger to repeat success for the bank account.