Sometimes one of my favourite songs will start playing, and I just don’t feel like listening to it. Whether it’s been over-played, or just doesn’t fit my mood, I’ll hit that “skip track” button without a second thought. That said, I’ve never found myself not in the mood to listen to Third Eye Blind.
With a music collection consisting of a single rap album, it was time to diversify. Big Shiny Tunes 2 introduced me to “Semi-Charmed Life”, and “Jumper” was one of my favourite songs on the radio, so Third Eye Blind seemed like a solid choice. It was time for a trip to Music World.
The thing is, Third Eye Blind wasn’t just lumped in with all the other “Rock/Pop” music. No, this CD was nestled snugly in the “Alternative” section. I still remember the look on my mom’s face when I picked this gem up off the shelf. She looked at that ominous Alternative label, looked back at me with an unsure expression, and asked, “Are you sure this is the one you want?” Wanting some of that bad-boy cred that could only come along with getting your mom to buy you a CD in the Alternative section, I said yes without skipping a beat.
Honestly, the lyrical content went way over my head at the time. I cared more about the “do-do-doo”s, and “I would understa-ia-iand”s from the choruses, than the lyrics about meth addiction, and suicide attempts. But that’s the magic of this album. They managed to make upbeat, sing-a-long tunes about some genuinely dark stuff.
The rapid-fire delivery of the lyrics may have helped mask some of this to an extent. I mean listen to anybody sing along to “Semi-Charmed Life”. With the background music turned down, it probably sounds a lot like, “The sky was gold, it was woze, I was takin’ sip sabba dabba nose…*mumble mumble chorus*”.
Over the years, the album’s just grown on me more and more. No matter what’s going on in my life, or what mood I happen to be in, there’s always a Third Eye Blind track that fits the moment. Individual songs that manage to be both sombre, and hopeful at the same time. Simultaneously energetic and relaxing. Take “Motorcycle Drive By” for example. It has this calm, melodic, acoustic intro that tells a story of love found and lost. As the tempo picks up, more instruments kick in, and sadness transforms to acceptance and optimism. All that, and it doesn’t even have a traditional chorus. Just a kind of pre-chorus that serves as a constant buildup to more of a realization, than a resolution.
I don’t know that I’d label Third Eye Blind as my favourite album of all time, but I can pretty much guarantee that it’s seen the most playtime.