Skip to main content
Loading...

Featured Post

Air Fryer Sausage Balls

Air Fryer Sausage Balls are a perfect make-ahead breakfast that takes just a few minutes to cook in the Air Fryer. Mix up the Sausage Balls and store them uncooked in the freezer until you’re ready to cook them.

Flipboard

Flipboard

Third Eye Blind - Thanks for Everything Music Album Reviews

Stephan Jenkins puts a modern-rock spin on Bon Iver, Chastity Belt, “Song to the Siren,” and more on this intentionally earnest but unintentionally tragic covers album.

Third Eye Blind reserve their rendition of Bon Iver’s “Blood Bank” until the end of Thanks for Everything, their intentionally earnest but unintentionally tragic set of seven covers. Justin Vernon’s most exquisite song, the original was a readymade finale, with the arching guitars and mewling vocals of its climax igniting the narrator’s lovesick innocence to fill the sky with phosphorescence. For their faithful take, Third Eye Blind charge from its ruminative core into the coda with cranked amplifiers and walloped drums, turning Vernon’s wistful haze into a melodramatic fit. It’s certainly a conclusive exit. But its position on the tracklist is an implicit acknowledgement of listeners’ morbid curiosity: If you’re going to listen to Thanks for Everything simply to hear what the “Semi-Charmed Life” dude does with a song by the “Skinny Love” guy, Third Eye Blind are going to make you wait, as if you’re sticking around till the end of their set just to hear “Jumper” in the encore. Except the “Blood Bank” cover isn’t worth it.

Thanks for Everything is, at the very least, a noble endeavor. Recorded at scattered tour-stop sessions over the last year, it collects the band’s interpretations of “mostly little-known” songs (as a press release describes them) by the likes of Santigold, Tim Buckley, Chastity Belt, and Queens of the Stone Age. These are songs that inspire singer Stephan Jenkins. What’s more, proceeds go to Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum, a band favorite; the EP’s cover is a cover, if you will, of Warhol’s iconic Skulls, splashed with graffiti by stencil-and-spray-paint artist Uncutt. “It’s a visual version of what we’re doing with these artists’ songs... In both cases, I hope it will yield renewed interest in the originals,” Jenkins has said, both aspirationally and condescendingly.

Without exception, Third Eye Blind are out of their league here, trying to render sophisticated and involved songs through the big, blundering vernacular of modern rock. Jenkins’ voice—a brusque, inflexible instrument better suited to declarations and exclamations than to deep questions—is the heart of the problem. During “Blood Bank,” he enunciates each word as if he’s reading from a teleprompter, stripping the song of its wintry intrigue. He can’t play it cool like Chastity Belt’s Julia Shapiro or maintain the mystery Santigold embodies on her recording of “This Isn’t Our Parade.” Happy Diving frontman Matt Berry often sounds lost amid and overpowered by his raging rock band, but Third Eye Blind’s take on “10,” which epitomizes Happy Diving’s aesthetic, always pushes Jenkins above the surface to float inside his own rock halo.

The same curse afflicts his bandmates, who move with the confidence and decisiveness of a polished, professional rock machine. With their surging guitars and meticulous rhythm section, one might say that Third Eye Blind in 2018 have real chops. But they’re tackling idiosyncratic music on Thanks for Everything, and they seem hidebound to 20 years of precedent dictating what their band should be and which standards of production it should uphold. Their quality-control mechanism strips these songs of the character that makes them interesting.

Take Third Eye Blind’s cover of the Babyshambles single “Fuck Forever.” Pete Doherty’s belligerent reflection on the choice between rock’n’roll martyrdom and real-life contentment. The original is an anthem in, well, shambles, with slurred vocals and skeletal drums and a closing kiss-off to the DJs who will “never play this on the radio.” But Third Eye Blind’s slick delivery feels custom made for the FM dial. It’s as if Jenkins is making a case for Doherty the songwriter as something more than a madman. But “Fuck Forever” is Doherty’s gleeful assertion that he doesn’t care; in his quest to sound gigantic, Jenkins gets the meaning all wrong.

These missed messages sound most embarrassing in a cover of Tim Buckley’s “Song to the Siren,” a gentle rush of vexing questions. (At the risk of nitpicking, Third Eye Blind even insist it’s called “Song of the Siren.”) The centerpiece of Buckley’s audacious 1970 folk-and-electronics fusion experiment, Starsailor, “Siren” wonders about the doom and destiny inherent in love, about turning yourself over to something that may destroy you. But above a simple acoustic guitar arrangement that imparts none of the original’s oddness, Jenkins sings like he knows the answers, as though he’s solved humanity’s riddles of life and love.

He does the same with “In the Fade,” an irascible Queens of the Stone Age creeper about life’s seemingly endless mix of sadness and madness—a fate that cannot be fought, only endured. When Mark Lanegan delivered the song during one of his sporadic stints in QOTSA, the former Screaming Trees singer seemed to push against that burden with his hulking baritone. But Jenkins and his band sound as though they delight in it, as though misery were a gift. Rather than digging into Lanegan’s soul blues, they dig out until the song’s colossal weight is diminished to a mere wisp.

Jenkins has spent the last quarter-century striving to be more than a hitmaker—to be a misfit making weird but weirdly popular rock. He’s never gotten there. Still, Third Eye Blind’s earliest albums betray genuine art-rock ambitions, with intricate structures and flourishes of dub, post-rock, and even IDM. In more recent years, Jenkins has written candid tunes about the price of fame, his personal failures, and America’s ruinous inequality. (To wit, Third Eye Blind even released a somewhat endearing Black Lives Matter ode in 2016.) On Thanks for Everything, he is shoehorning his voice into the kind of music he wishes he could have made, daydreaming about his career had the major-label system not drained him of his best ideas and then ejected him, like so many of his peers, when his band no longer made financial sense. It is a little heartbreaking, hearing this successful 53-year-old man striving to be anything besides what he has become but getting pinned yet again inside a structure of his own design, unable to make a musical break. At least he has excellent taste.


View the original article here

Comments

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Loading...

Popular posts from this blog

Oppo RX17 Pro Review

Though similar to the OnePlus 6T the Oppo RX17 Pro is very different thanks to the software. Here’s our full review
Should I Buy The Oppo RX17 Pro?
The RX17 Pro is a great looking phone with good performance and a lush display. But with a Snapdragon 710 rather than the better 845 it’s just impossible not to compare it to the OnePlus 6T which looks the same, has better software for the western market and, importantly, costs less.
If you like the look of Oppo’s interface though then there’s a lot to like. The two colour options are premium as is the build quality and the cameras are above average if not great.

2019 Lincoln Continental Review

If you’re tired of the same old luxury options, the 2019 Lincoln Continental provides a refreshingly retro-cool alternative.
The 2019 Lincoln Continental is a big, luxurious American sedan at a time when Americans are hardly buying big, luxurious American sedans anymore. Regardless, it’s a throwback ride with plenty of character, great value, lots of power, and a classic nameplate. We give it 7.5 out of 10 overall.
Among European and Japanese rivals with established models – S-Class, 7 Series, LS – this Lincoln stands out for several reasons, chief among them its nameplate. With the Continental, Lincoln has one of the most storied American car names.

Moto Z4 Play Release Date, Price & Spec Rumours

We investigate rumours surrounding the Moto Z4 Play, which could be announced in June 2019 with an in-display fingerprint sensor.
Announced in June 2018, the Moto Z3 Play was never joined in the UK by the standard Moto Z3. It's possible that for the Z4 series we will again see only the Play model go on sale here, with the Moto Z4 Play expected to be announced in the UK in mid-2019.

Synology Mesh Router MR2200ac Review

You probably know Synology for making NAS drives but the firm has also turned its hand to mesh networks. Here we review the MR2200ac.
Should I Buy The Synology Mesh Router MR2200ac?
Synology could do a little more to explain the many features of the MR2200ac for first-time users, but the strong performance of this mesh system, and the fine-control provided by its web browser interface make it a good option for business users or home users who have a little more experience of networking technology.

Best kids' Tablets 2019

If you want to buy your child a tablet, here are the best and the most affordable out there to ensure they get the most suitable tablet for their age By Simon Jary | 02 Jan 2019

Like Fan Page