Third Eye Blind

Dopamine

Written by: PP on 27/09/2015 20:33:19

Even the most consistent alternative rock bands have problems. The first three Third Eye Blind records established the band as being able to deliver album after album of slightly naive, but ultimately easily enjoyable and straight-forward pop rock tunes that would appeal to a wide audience outside of the mainstream realm thanks to the songwriting talent of Stephan Jenkins. "Ursa Major" followed in 2009, but since then it's been quiet: Jenkins had been suffering from writer's block according to reports. It took six years for their fifth and final album "Dopamine" to surface but fortunately the quality hasn't suffered - at least not by much.

In interviews, Jenkins stated he wished to explore different influences for this album. Opening track "Everything Is Easy" proves that: it's basically like listening to a song by The Killers. Elsewhere, the electro-indie world of Arcade Fire is being explored, as well as the lofty and floaty atmospheres from Angels And Airwaves records, just to give you a taster of what to expect. So no "Semi-Charmed Kind Of Life" type of material for you any hopefuls of a return to their roots.

Instead, the superficial comment on the band's sound is easy: pop rock for the masses, safe, easily accessible sound destined for the softer radio stations wanting to showcase a little rock on their programme. But underneath the surface, the band still know how to write a melodic rocker as good as ever. "Shipboard Cook", for instance, features a melody explosion so good towards the end of the song that if you're not convinced, then it's unlikely any pop rock will do that for you. "Get Me Out Of Here" is almost Queen-like in its ambition. This is where the band go slightly overboard in my books. But when they keep their feet on the ground, writing arena-sized, yet perfectly honest and soothing alternative rock like on "Rites Of Passage", they're exactly the band that pop rock needs.

Overall, "Dopamine" mostly consists of the latter type of material. Sure, it's simplistic and slightly formulaic, but the light touch to alternative rock that has always been their signature sound makes their expression just so easy to like. The songs are soft pop rock songs with acoustic guitars used interchangeably with electric ones, soothing vocals alternating against soaring choruses, and ambitious soundscapes challenging more down-to-earth ones. In summary, Third Eye Blind as they've always been, just with an updated sound. And maybe it's not as good as their old material, but it's still as good as you'd expect it to be.

7

Download: Everything Is Easy, Shipboard Cook, Rites Of Passage
For the fans of: The Killers, Angels And Airwaves, Arcade Fire, Coldplay
Listen: Facebook

Release date 16.06.2015
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