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Third Eye Blind - Ursa Major Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 9
Musicianship 7.5
Lyrics 8.5
Production 9.5
Creativity 8.5
Lasting Value 8
Reviewer Tilt 10
Final Verdict: 87%
Member Ratings
Vocals 7.83
Musicianship 7.83
Lyrics 8.06
Production 8.15
Creativity 7.56
Lasting Value 7.81
Reviewer Tilt 8.88
Average: 80%
Inside AP.net

Third Eye Blind - Ursa Major

Reviewed by: weworemasks (08/14/09)
Third Eye Blind - Ursa Major
Record Label: Sony RED Distribution
Release Date: August 18, 2009


It seems like most bands from the '90s have either experimented into oblivion or no longer exist. Third Eye Blind remains one of the seminal bands from the decade that have remained consistent and have released great alternative rock albums far after the general mainstream (see: the same fans who attribute their classic works with “Semi-Charmed Life” and “Jumper”) have undertaken new bands and trends to support.

Their last major release was 2003’s Out of the Vein, and Ursa Major seems to pick up right where it left off. The cult-like following that sells out every Third Eye Blind show have restlessly awaited new material, especially after last year’s teaser EP, Red Star. I mean, three new songs are hardly enough to suppress that sort of appetite.

“Can You Take Me” is a nostalgic and highly energetic reintroduction to the band, attributing to lines from “Losing a Whole Year” on 1997’s Third Eye Blind. “Don’t Believe a Word” is another spirited 3eb song, using the tried and true formula of Stephan Jenkins embedding his social and political commentary amongst witty quips and power chords. Aforementioned quips are also prevalent in “One in Ten,” a song about the conquests of a straight man pursuing a lesbian.

Huge choruses and singalongs have always been a staple in the band's repertoire. Songs like “Water Landing” and “Sharp Knife” are two prominent examples, the latter of which display the classic slow-burn that the band has seemed to master over the years. These are the exact type of polished alternative-rock songs that made the '90s so goddamn satisfying.

Due to the six-year absence, some of the songs aren’t as new as they may let on. “Bonfire” has been a paramount in their live sets for years, and after hearing various versions on YouTube, it’s hard to be anything less than satisfied with the final product. Similarly, a live version of “Why Can’t You Be” was tacked on to 2008’s Red Star, and after minor tweaks, shows up in full band version on Ursa Major.

The pseudo-rapping on “Summer Town” and “Water Landing” is as awkward and strange as Stephan Jenkins using the word “blowjob” in a song so freely. Despite a few shifty lyrics, there’s very little filler on the record. It’s hard to imagine that the rabid fanbase of the band will find themselves disappointed with Ursa Major, especially in a time when uninspired pop-rock bands are coming out of the woodwork. Reinventing the wheel doesn’t seem to be in the sights of the band, especially because their candor has always allowed them to remain relevant. Besides, there’s no use in trying to fix what isn’t broken.

www.myspace.com/thirdeyeblind
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 18
11:23 PM on 08/24/09
#2
401KiLL
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great review. you have convinced me to give this album a shot.
12:29 AM on 08/25/09
#3
WhoSaidThat?
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Great review as always, Grizzly (Yes! Got it this time!). You perfectly explained why this album is still in my top 15 of 09 thus far.
02:28 AM on 08/25/09
#4
denissuxx
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Well written.
08:20 AM on 08/25/09
#5
11:11
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One of my favorite albums this year, and this review does it justice.
10:05 AM on 08/25/09
#6
weworemasks
save the drama for wilmer valderama
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thanks to all so far!
02:08 PM on 08/25/09
#7
nebs19
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There are too many slow chilled songs on the album for my liking, first two songs are awesome then i kinda loose interest, its no blue thats for sure
08:21 PM on 08/26/09
#8
Craig Manning
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There are too many slow chilled songs on the album for my liking, first two songs are awesome then i kinda loose interest, its no blue thats for sure
Yeah, since Blue is their weakest album...
05:29 PM on 08/27/09
#9
seraph1214
Sing you to coma, so to speak.
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I've been waiting so long for this band to release a new record, and this album does not disappoint. Definitely will be close to the top of my end of the year list.
05:56 PM on 08/27/09
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Lovin the reviewer tilt! Good to see you're honest about it. I hate that people are always so hesitant to give anything a 10, even when they love it. Kudos.

I must have listened to this album at least 50 times since it's come out. I can't get enough.
However, I'm surprised you didn't mention About to Break! That's definitely the best song, imo.
07:57 PM on 08/28/09
weworemasks
save the drama for wilmer valderama
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Lovin the reviewer tilt! Good to see you're honest about it. I hate that people are always so hesitant to give anything a 10, even when they love it. Kudos.

I must have listened to this album at least 50 times since it's come out. I can't get enough.
However, I'm surprised you didn't mention About to Break! That's definitely the best song, imo.
if i love the band, my reviewer tilt is always a 10. it's supposed to be the most outrageous score up there, you know?
11:07 PM on 08/31/09
Jairbear
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Hopefully Ursa Minor is on the way. This great album makes me want more.
05:11 AM on 09/02/09
And Hours Pass
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I know I'm probably alone in this, but I couldn't have been more disappointed with this record. The lyrics were subpar, and every song sounded like something that fell on the cutting room floor during the making Out Of The Vein. Why can't you be more like a water pik shower massager? Come on. This was a huge let down.
01:10 PM on 09/03/09
weworemasks
save the drama for wilmer valderama
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I know I'm probably alone in this, but I couldn't have been more disappointed with this record. The lyrics were subpar, and every song sounded like something that fell on the cutting room floor during the making Out Of The Vein. Why can't you be more like a water pik shower massager? Come on. This was a huge let down.
i thought that was witty, considering that's what the girl in the song said to him. to each his own, though.
02:44 PM on 09/03/09
And Hours Pass
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i thought that was witty, considering that's what the girl in the song said to him. to each his own, though.
I guess I was just so excited for this that it was a bigger disappointment that it didn't end up being as good as I'd hoped. I thought OOTV was such a brilliant record that I just assumed the next one out would be at that level. It's one of those situations where I'll never know if I'm so disappointed because it's a bad record to me, or because my expectations necessitated an equally awesome record as OOTV. Either way, I'll keep forcing myself to listen in hopes that it grows on me. I had to do the same thing with The Glass Passenger...
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