Rock band Third Eye Blind has dropped their seventh studio album Our Bande Apart, and it continues to prove that ‘90s can still make a comeback.
Best known for hits such as “Semi-Charmed Life” and “Never Let You Go,” the band released their self-titled debut album in 1997 and have been active since. There’s been long gaps between albums and new members in and out of the band; however, that hasn’t stopped front man Stephan Jenkins from making music.
The San Francisco band had to cancel their “Screamer Part 2 Tour” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Jenkins said in a press statement this is the first time the band has had to cancel a tour in 22 years. He then went into complete seclusion and began work on the album.
Our Bande Apart is not like other work from the band, transitioning from ‘90s pop rock to a more modern alternative rock. Nevertheless, the band still manages to keep its identity while adding more emotional depth than before.
The album’s opener “Goodbye to the Days of Ladies and Gentlemen” is reflective of the band’s new sound. The calming acoustic track reflects on past happiness and togetherness, possibly reminiscent of the days prior to COVID-19. As Jenkins sings, “When we’re smiling at the chaos / As we watch them start to fade,” it’s a reminder of the isolation we’ve endured during quarantine and is a great indication of the rest of the album.
“Box of Bones,” the first single off the album, is the epitome of an indie rock breakup song. The almost anthem speaks on breaking up while the couple is still on good terms and how empty life can become without the one special person in your life. While it’s not supposed to be empowering or encouraging, it’s still comforting to listen to, just like the comfort that an old partner can still bring.
Contrasting the previous track, “Again” is a surf-rock love song that Jenkins wrote to escape the reality of lockdown. He describes being with someone again during a time when he was most secluded.
“I wrote this song while locked in my house in the gloomiest days of the pandemic, as a dream of escape to some feeling that we so desperately wanted back,” Jenkins said to the Alternative Press.
“Again” is probably most similar to the previous works of the band, but the song is still able to incorporate modern indie rock elements to reach new listeners.
The mellow love anthem “Dust Storm (How We Hold Each Other Now)” is about wanting to ignore a connection with someone but not being able to fight off your feelings for them. You might try to find other people, but eventually “you learn tenderness is essential // And you learn the only thing I know is how we hold each other right now.” The overall sound of the track and Jenkins’ vocals are nostalgic of ‘80s pop rock, and they demonstrate the diversity of the band’s new sound.
“Funeral Singers” goes back to the band’s ‘90s grunge roots. Even though it was nice to see the diversity of the band through their transition to indie rock, hard rock is what Third Eye Blind is known for. For fans who have followed the group since the beginning, this is the song for you.
Third Eye Blind proved that the ‘90s can make a comeback but that it wasn't a successful one. Our Bande Apart attempted to show emotional depth, but nothing went beyond the surface level. This doesn’t devalue the album; there just wasn’t enough standout tracks to make it a great one. The diversity in Third Eye Blind’s sound now compared to over 20 years ago is significant, yet it cannot make up personal value needed to make their music.
Correction: A previous headline of this article incorrectly spelled the name of the album. This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information.