11/26/2005

Spending the whole goddamn day in bed.

Remember Third Eye Blind? Yeah, the "Semi-Charmed Life" band. I wasn't any more into that song than anyone else, and I thought the followup single, "How's It Gonna Be", was even worse. It took until the third single from their first album, "Jumper", before I really got into them at all, and then I never really heard anything else by them, and just kinda forgot about them completely. That was true for a few years, until a girl I was dating put their song "God of Wine" onto a mix CD she made for me. This was the summer of 2002, and I had one particular sleepless night where I stayed up for three hours listening to that song on repeat. It wasn't that much like any of the songs I'd heard before by Third Eye Blind, being a much more guitar based rock song. It was slow but not a ballad, and got loud on the choruses in a way that cut right through me. I was moved, which wasn't something I'd expected. It made me wonder what else Third Eye Blind had to offer.

It took until just this past week before I ever found out, though. After I quit listening to that mix CD, I didn't think about them all that much. Then a message board I read constantly (and am starting to mention pretty regularly in this blog) had a thread about 90s alternative rock, in which several people sang the praises of Third Eye Blind, their first album in particular. Some felt that they'd never done another good album, while others appreciated their second album but thought the third one was bad, but all agreed on the quality of the first one. I finally broke down and obtained a copy. At first I didn't really listen to any of the songs but "God of Wine", but I finally played the whole thing a couple days ago while cleaning my room, and I loved it. I've been listening to it constantly ever since.

"God of Wine" is the last song on the album, and I expected it to be the best, but it's actually rivaled by the opening track, "Losing A Whole Year". This song gives us a more uptempo version of what "God of Wine" already accomplished, creating a catchy rock song with the slightly sad sound that I associate with minor chords. The chorus is based around the line "I remember when we used to spend the whole goddamn day in bed", which makes me think of the honeymoon period at the beginning of relationships, when nothing seems as important as spending time with one's new love interest. It never lasts, though, and this song takes place at the end of a relationship. The narrator laments the changes his girlfriend has gone through, feels that she's less real now than when they started dating, and wonders if he even wants to continue bothering to keep up the relationship. The lyrical sentiment is not too far from Avril Lavigne's "Complicated", but with the crucial difference that Stephen Jenkins' lyrics are well-written and evocative, instead of riddled with cliches like Lavigne's. The idea of "losing a whole year" because the work he's put into a relationship has turned out to be wasted effort is something we've all felt at one point or another.

There are a bunch of other really good songs on the album too. "Narcolepsy" and "Graduate" are both guitar-driven rockers that use distortion to add weight to the melodies on display. "London" is faster than anything else here, almost punkish, and quite enjoyable. The album lags towards the middle, but if anything I think this is a result of it having too many songs. There are 14, it's almost an hour long, and tracks 7 through 9 are all very similar. If two of those songs had been left as B-sides, it probably would have helped album flow. But that's not a major problem.

I had wondered if "Semi-Charmed Life" would sound better, more natural, in the context of the entire album, but I still find it kind of annoying, and it definitely sticks out like a sore thumb. The production used on that song is very different from that on the rest of the album, with drum machine beats augmenting the real drums, and a completely different (much wimpier) guitar tone used through most of the song. What I keep imagining when I hear this song in the context of the entire album is a record company higher-up saying, "This is the single, so let's go back in the studio and beef it up." It could have been a really good song if they'd left it alone, but as it is it's well on the way to being ruined. "How's It Gonna Be" is still every bit as bad as I remember it being, too, but it sounds less like the result of studio trickery and more like a band attempt to write a song that would play well on the radio. Where "Semi-Charmed Life" seems built around the core of an honest attempt at writing a good song, "How's It Gonna Be" doesn't seem like it ever had any honesty to it at all, seems like a song with its genesis in rational thought and not feelings. This is probably why I hate it the most of anything on the album.

One thing I will give Third Eye Blind: even when their music is lackluster, the lyrics are always interesting and well-written. I used to hate "Semi-Charmed Life" most of all for its lyrics, with their unflinching and seemingly positive portrayal of crystal meth usage (it was funny to me how it took six months of radio play before the stations in my town woke up enough to bleep out the name of the drug). There are some brilliant lines in that song, though; I really can't fuck with "the four right chords can make me cry". Additionally, the fate of the meth-addicted girl, the one who said "I want something else to get me through this semi-charmed life" in that song's lyrics, does not seem promising. I may be reading too much into the parallels between different songs on this record, but I get the sense that a lot of these songs are the story of the same couple. If this is the case, it gives added weight to the last three songs, which (other than "Losing A Whole Year") are my three favorite songs on the album anyway.

This trilogy begins with "The Background", a song about the aftermath of a relationship, long enough after the breakup that the former couple aren't talking to each other anymore, but soon enough that the male protagonist still walks around thinking of his ex all the time. "The plans I make still have you in them," he says, as he talks about the guys at the liquor store asking where the girl he used to get drunk and fight with is. There's an ominous note, especially when considered in light of all the talk of drugs that permeates the earlier tracks on the album, when he says "I don't see you anymore, since the hospital." Is the girl dead? This song isn't saying. It seems obvious that the drug problems got so bad that she ended up with health problems, and this was enough to drive him away. He still misses her, though, and this is reflected in the downbeat, emotional sound of the song, which replaces the schmaltz of "How's It Gonna Be" with riffs that really do convey a feeling.

The next song, "Motorcycle Drive-By", is still quiet and slow, at least at the beginning, but seems much more hopeful. This is a song that talks about a moment at the end of a relationship that one doesn't see mentioned in song too often; the times you hang out with your ex a few months after you've broken up and you still don't know how to act like friends and not lovers. The narrator of the song obviously still feels very strongly about his ex, but he's trying to move on. "We'll be friends again, and I'll get over you," he promises her. The fact that elsewhere, he says of her, "Careening through the universe, your axis on a tilt, you’re guiltless and free. I hope you take a piece of me with you," makes the listener wonder how easy it'll be for him to keep his promise... but we all know how that goes. It's always hard.

Finally, we have "God of Wine". This song is still just as awesome musically as it always was, but the lyrics are even more affecting in the context of the rest of the album. If "Motorcycle Drive-By" represented hope for the former lovers to become friends after some time has passed, "God of Wine" is the flip side of this hope, the narrator's sincere worry at what will become of his former girlfriend. She's survived the hospital, but if the meth is out of her life the wine is definitely not. The narrator's still trying to be there for her, but as we all know, once one is no longer playing the role of significant other, one's capacity to be there for people is significantly reduced, and even trying to be there can get awkward. He's still trying, but he knows it's futile. "I see you searching for something I could never give you", he says, then follows that with an even harder realization: "There's someone who understands you more than I do." This is the note on which we leave the entire album; a feeling of hope for the one you still care about, overlaid by a greater feeling of failure, of having tried to help in vain. The cumulative effect of these last three songs is positively crushing. It always feels good to identify with songs about emotional pain, to know that at least you're not alone, but at the same time it can feel like the worst thing ever.

This is how life has been for me lately, though. Bad feelings are lingering from relationships I thought I'd be over by now, and new friendships that I thought would last are already souring. I'm uncomfortable with admitting just how much of it's my fault, but it's true. I've been playing this album a lot, not even skipping the few songs on it I can't stand. Even "How's It Gonna Be" has a little bit of catharsis to provide for me. The last three have a ton.

Maybe I'll feel better tomorrow.

10 Comments:

Blogger Al said...

Excellent review mang. It's always nice to see after all these years of loving this album that it's still out there moving people much like the way it moved me. Though I'd sorta have to disagree with your sentiment that tracks 7-9 should have been b-sides. "Thanks A Lot" is, I think, the best pure rock song on the album with a really great guitar riff and vocals (and GREAT lyrics, of course). "Burning Man" used to be my least favorite song on the album but after a while it really grabbed me with its, um, vibe. It just feels really reggaeish to me for some reason, the great guitar riff that seems to waltz around my ears... and the way Stephan yelps the lyrics out "maybe I thought you'd call... or leave a light on in the hall" anyway, I think it's a great song. "Good For You" a pretty average 3EB song, though it still has really great lyrics (which sort of gets to be a trend as you noticed). anyway that's my thoughts. great review. I recommend you check out the song "Slow Motion" by 3EB which was a song from Blue that the record label forced to be an instrumental. It's an incredible song, on par with the last three songs on this record.

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Jesse said...

Interesting that you covered Buffalo Tom and 3EB back to back, in my mind they've always been connected as two of the keystones of great 90s power pop (along with Matthew Sweet, Superdrag and maybe a few others).

The 2nd 3EB CD, "Blue", is more hit-or-miss but it's got its moments (Anything, Wounded, Darwin and the original version of Slow Motion with the lyrics being my personal favorites). If nothing else, its absolutely worth a download.

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Music said...

Thank you for the informative blog
Here Is some additional Music resources for free music
Music if you or your readers are interested

5:41 AM  
Anonymous foxx jamie lyric music unpredictable said...

Hi Fellow! I was just searching blogs,and I found yours! I like it!
If you have a moment, please visit my foxx jamie lyric music unpredictable site.
Good luck!

10:27 AM  
Anonymous golden books music lyrics said...

Hi Blogger, I found your blog quite informative.
I just came across your blog and wanted to
drop you a note telling you how impressed I was with it.
I give you my best wishes for your future endeavors.
If you have a moment, please visit my golden books music lyrics site.
Have a great week!

7:00 AM  
Blogger Maggs said...

Please visit Taylor Hollingsworth music site Taylor Hollingsworth who according to Allmusic.com is a vibrant mix of Sticky Fingers-era Rolling Stones and Pleased TO Meet Me Replacements which course through the standout rave-ups. When Hollingsworth gets his rock & roll elements right, he can create impressive, memorable music, and Tragic City holds enough excellent material to suggest that this Birmingham, AL, native has a very promising future. Listen to a clip from his latest cd Tragic City!

5:57 PM  
Blogger STL said...

Please visit Taylor Hollingsworth music site Taylor Hollingsworth who according to Allmusic.com is a vibrant mix of Sticky Fingers-era Rolling Stones and Pleased TO Meet Me Replacements which course through the standout rave-ups. When Hollingsworth gets his rock & roll elements right, he can create impressive, memorable music, and Tragic City holds enough excellent material to suggest that this Birmingham, AL, native has a very promising future. Listen to a clip from his latest cd Tragic City!

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Rachael said...

i discovered this third eye blind album after my sister had already owned it for a few years. i forgot about it for a while then a few years later i fell in love with it again. motorcycle drive by, god of wine and losing a whole year are my favourites by far off that album and reading your views of these songs brings back all the feelings i have when i listen to them. i am missing someone and i'm not sure how it will work out. i envy and at the same time love stephen jenkins' ability for writing. and i was just about to mention "slow motion" as well, because i can't stop listening to that song..it's on repeat. "deeper side of you" has crawled up there, not as high but somewhere, because just the opening guitar kills me. i fell in love with third eye blind twice in my life. i'm glad i found your blog.

12:06 AM  
Anonymous 3eb rox my sox said...

Hey man, I like the blog; I just wanted to add a few thoughts...
3EB closes their shows with God of Wine(I saw them on Tuesday and they rocked Lupos in Providence), so you are on the money for being drawn to it; they know how good it is too.
But I wanted to disagree about "How's it gonna be"; I don't think it's as shallow as you make it out to be. The chord progression is pretty straight forward, but so is that in a lot of classic rock songs that people love. 3EB does a great job creating tension in this song, that leads up to a bridge that can't do anything but make you feel relieved and energized by tragedy, like a catharsis. At least, I can empathize with the message, that is, being in a relationship headed for the rocks, and stepping outside or yourself, and seeing your partner as a different person or a stranger. Relationships shift over time, and while third eye blind ask a simple question, they imitate the climax and fall of a breakup with beautiful sadness. Check out the lyrics; their weird and so true.

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

徵信 徵信 徵信 徵信徵信 徵信 徵信 徵信徵信 徵信 徵信 徵信徵信 徵信 徵信 徵信徵信 徵信 徵信 徵信徵信 徵信 徵信 徵信徵信 徵信 外遇 外遇外遇 外遇外遇 外遇 外遇 外遇外遇 外遇 外遇 外遇外遇 外遇問題 外遇問題 外遇問題
外遇問題 外遇問題 外遇問題 外遇問題 外遇問題 外遇問題外遇蒐證 通姦 通姦 通姦通姦 通姦通姦 通姦 通姦 通姦 通姦通姦 劈腿 劈腿 劈腿劈腿 劈腿 劈腿 找人找人尋人 尋人 尋人尋人 尋人 尋人尋人 尋人 尋人尋人 尋人 尋人尋人 尋人 尋人尋人 尋人 尋人尋人 尋人 尋人工商調查 工商調查 工商調查商業調查抓姦 抓姦 抓姦抓姦抓姦 抓姦抓姦 抓姦 抓姦 抓姦抓姦 抓姦 抓姦抓猴 抓猴 抓猴 捉猴 捉猴 捉猴捉猴 捉猴 捉姦 捉姦 捉姦 捉姦捉姦捉姦 捉姦 捉姦 捉姦 捉姦 捉姦捉姦 家庭暴力婚外情 婚外情 婚外情 婚外情 婚外情 婚外情 婚外情婚外情 婚外情 婚外情 婚外情第三者偵探 偵探 偵探 偵探 偵探偵探 偵探 偵探 偵探 偵探 偵探偵探 偵探 偵探偵探社 偵探社 偵探社 偵探社 偵探社 偵探社 偵探社 偵探社 偵探社 偵探社 偵探社 偵探社 偵探社 偵探社 偵探社 偵探社 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探私家偵探 私家偵探
私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探
私家偵探 私家偵探 私家偵探 包二奶 包二奶包二奶 包二奶 包二奶 包二奶 包二奶 大陸包二奶 大陸包二奶 大陸包二奶 大陸包二奶 大陸包二奶大陸包二奶 大陸包二奶 大陸包二奶 大陸包二奶 大陸包二奶 感情挽回 感情挽回 感情挽回 感情挽回 感情挽回 感情挽回 感情挽回 感情挽回 婚姻挽回 婚姻挽回 婚姻挽回
婚姻挽回 婚姻挽回 婚姻挽回 婚姻挽回 婚姻挽回 婚姻挽回 婚姻挽回 婚姻 婚姻 婚姻 婚姻
婚姻 婚姻 離婚 離婚 離婚 離婚 離婚 離婚 離婚證人 離婚證人離婚證人離婚證人 離婚證人
徵信公司徵信公司 徵信公司徵信公司 徵信公司徵信公司 徵信公司徵信公司 徵信公司徵信公司 徵信公司徵信公司 徵信公司徵信公司 徵信公司徵信公司 徵信公會徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會徵信公會 徵信公會徵信公會 徵信公會徵信公會 婚前徵信婚前徵信 婚前徵信 婚前徵信 婚前徵信婚前徵信 婚前徵信 婚前徵信婚前徵信 婚前徵信 婚前徵信 婚前徵信 婚前徵信工商徵信 工商徵信工商徵信 工商徵信 工商徵信 工商徵信工商徵信 工商徵信 工商徵信 工商徵信工商徵信 工商徵信商業徵信 商業徵信 商業徵信 商業徵信商業徵信 商業徵信 商業徵信 商業徵信商業徵信 商業徵信商業徵信 商業徵信 商業徵信 商業徵信 商業徵信商業徵信 徵信服務 徵信服務
徵信服務 徵信服務 徵信服務 徵信服務 徵信服務 徵信服務 徵信服務 徵信服務 徵信服務 徵信業 徵信業 徵信業
seo網站優化網站排名優化關鍵字行銷seo網站優化網站排名優化關鍵字行銷seo網站優化網站排名優化關鍵字行銷seo網站優化網站排名優化關鍵字行銷seo網站優化網站排名優化關鍵字行銷seo網站優化網站排名優化關鍵字行銷seo網站優化網站排名優化關鍵字行銷徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信公會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信公會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信公會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 徵信協會 劈腿 劈腿 劈腿 劈腿 劈腿 劈腿 劈腿 劈腿 劈腿 劈腿 劈腿 劈腿 劈腿 劈腿seo網站優化網站排名優化關鍵字行銷seo網站優化網站排名優化關鍵字行銷seo網站優化網站排名優化關鍵字行銷seo網站優化網站排名優化關鍵字行銷seo網站優化網站排名優化關鍵字行銷seo網站優化網站排名優化關鍵字行銷seo網站優化網站排名優化關鍵字行銷

2:23 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home