Third Eye Blind Show That They Still Make Poignant, Passionate Music in Our Bande Apart
4.3 out of 5 stars
The new album Our Bande Apart by Bay Area legends, Third Eye Blind, is a refreshingly familiar sound made anew by pulling inspiration from loads of other artists to help craft something different than a usual 3EB album.
The album starts out with “Goodbye to the Days of Ladies and Gentlemen” which appears to be a social commentary on political correctness and the fallout of cancel culture, but the lyrics are a bit ambiguous on that front. Hell, it could even be sung from a 3rd person perspective of a social conservative just to make the point more ironic. It's hard to tell exactly.
Third Eye Blind are always socially and politically conscious, and this album is no different. However, some of the statements are just not as clear as they could be if they were coming directly in speech versus a song. Maybe that’s intentional.
Sometimes it is good to not cloud too much of the music with a message, but with a band like Third Eye Blind, who once played a Cleveland fundraiser that was tied to a Republican party for Donald Trump (and essentially told them to all fuck off while being booed for blasting the conservatives for their politics), it just seems like the messages of a song like this first one on the album would be just a bit more direct.
A lot of the songs on the album are more of a poetic practice to drive a narrative around the end of a large number of things. Whether it is a song like “Time In Berlin” or "Silverlake Neophyte" that talks about the end of a relationship (or maybe more accurately, a past relationship being reflected upon). The latter specifically taking a shot at social media fame seeking.
Time keeps moving forward, and this album seems to want to hold on to the past - at least lyrically. The music of this album actually pushes the band forward in a lot of ways that make contemporaries like Bleachers and The Killers seem like try-hards attempting to achieve a similar position for their music.
Not to say anything about those bands, they are both good, but all these bands have released new albums this year, and, in my opinion, only Third Eye Blind found a way to move into a direction that didn’t hold the band back.
“Funeral Singers” is one of the more catchy songs on the album, but it’s subject matter seems to imply that between the pandemic and the chaos of the world everyone is destined to misery with death and sadness surrounding their lives. It’s not entirely wrong, but the song may be a bit more dramatic than necessary especially considering the tone of the song is a complete reversal of the lyrics.
All this to say that this album is really good, and my favorite part is that it leaves a lot to be dissected. Lead singer Stephen Jenkins always makes things interesting, that’s for sure.