Reviewed! Third Eye Blind - 'Ursa Major'

Third Eye Blind
‘Ursa Major’
Sony RED Distribution

So far this year, 1990’s pop rock mainstays like Fastball (‘Little White Lies’) and Sugar Ray (‘Music For Cougars’) have released new albums in an attempt to catch lightning in a bottle and have failed, something Third Eye Blind had to have paid some attention to, seeing as how the band’s fourth, and latest, release ‘Ursa Major,’ isn’t a tired and vanilla sounding record.

With this record you are assuredly listening to a Third Eye Blind record, with all of the trademarked sounds and twists and turns, like uber-anthemic hooks and tight musicianship (drummer Brad Hargreaves is one of the most unheralded drummers of his time). Singer Stephen Jenkins is just as memorable as he has been in years past; his unique vocal harmonies harkening back to the bands dominance of the 1990’s rock scene. He actually began writing for the record six years ago, right after the release of 2003’s ‘Out of the Vein,’ but was not able to complete work for some time to a severe case of writers block.

For as publicized as Jenkins tenured bout of writers block was, he still managed to pen quality tracks for ‘Ursa Major.’ While there may not be radio heavy hitters like ‘Jumper’ and ‘How’s It Going to Be’ among the group, there are still some songs good enough to make an impact (‘Can You Take Me,’ ‘Don’t Believe a Word’). Some of the record is a bit transparent even for 3EB (‘Summer Town,’ ‘Why Can’t You Be’), there are a bevy of strong efforts (‘Sharp Knife,’ ‘One In Ten’).

‘Ursa Major’ is a nice return to form for Third Eye Blind, but ultimately it is just another in a line of pretty good but not great releases stemming back to their second album, ‘Blue.’

Grade: B
Listen to: ‘Can You Take Me’