Dec 282009

A Short, Belated Review

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So the new Third Eye Blind album, Ursa Major, is alright.  I’ve tried hard to love it unreservedly, but I just can’t.  There are times where it tries too hard to be experimental.  Others where it tries too hard to be current and “relevant”.  All in all, the album feels like a band worried they’re losing their edge.

Exceptions to prove the rule are those few songs where the band lets its guard down.  “Bonfire” has an incredibly infectious guitar hook supporting classic Third Eye Blind power pop.  “Dao of St. Paul” is pretty good, if a little hokey and U2-ish.  And really, the only bad thing I can say about “Carnival Barker”, the instrumental closing track, is that it’s way too damn short.

This really makes the album a frustrating one.  There are moments of unmitigated awesome, but they’re diluted with that grinding sounds of a band trying too hard and sacrificing their music on the altar of being “current”.

Nov 182008

Okay, so last week my excuse for no column was craziness while my job got done.  This week it’s that things at my new job are crazy as I get brought up to speed.  But I PROMISE you’ll get a full column next week.  For this week, here’s a few quick hits to keep you going until I can get organized enough to go back to the Tuesday Playlist.

1.) Via the Onion: Donald Fagen Defends Steely Dan to Friends.  And Steely Dan performing one of my favorite tunes, “Kid Charlemagne”:

2.) Tool and A Perfect Circle frontman Maynard James Keenan has finished his slide into irrelevancy and has made it official by doing a cabaret show in Vegas.  Here he is in the good old days fronting A Perfect Circle as they rock the hell out of “Judith”:

3.)  There’s a new Third Eye Blind EP out.  I just grabbed a copy earlier this evening and haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet.  It’s only three songs, so it even stretches what it means to be an “EP”, but since this is the first music the power-pop combo has released in 5 years, I’m prepared to cut them a little bit of slack.  They also have a new album, called Ursa Major coming out in February.  There’s supposed to be a single out this month off that album.  But since I’ve found naught but rumors about said single, here’s “Semi-Charmed Life”, the song that launched the whole 3EB phenomenon, back in 1997:

4.) The Boss has a new album slated for January release.  If it’s anything like his last album, it’ll be in my stereo from then until sometime in May.  I mean hell, I think I spent months of my life just dancing my ass of to “Radio Nowhere” alone:

5.) And finally, apparently there are still people dumb enough to do business with Michael Jackson.  Seriously, he’s not only most insane artist in the industry (despite some stiff competition), but also the least professional.  At any rate, here he is in marginally less insane days performing “Smooth Criminal”: