Punk-By-Numbers or Third Eye Blind – Dopamine

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Oh yeah, I remember those post-grunge late 90’s; the punk-by-numbers take on power-pop and bands that had albums built around radio-friendly hit singles. I also remember the crash and burn as there just wasn’t enough Shrek soundtracks to keep them in the public eye (yes I’m looking at you Smash Mouth). All those bands with numerals in their name; I never could keep them straight… and now we have 90’s revival tours…

So here we are in 2015 with that “Semi-Charmed Life” band, Third Eye Blind, releasing a new record and touring. It’s cool, I mean the Sex Pistols and Pixies have given fans a second and third chance to bask in their grand-ness so why not Third Eye Blind?

Problem is they were never really grand to begin with. Yes they had hit songs; tunes that were fun, sometimes gloomy and always catchy about quirky romances, witty break-ups, and just trying to figure out life’s little twists. Sure they’ve also put out four records since the good old days that were received well by their dwindling fan base. It’s just that when you put Third Eye Blind on with their contemporaries, well – they kinda blend into the background.

Dopamine does the same. It isn’t a bad record, but it isn’t memorable either. Stephan Jenkins dreamy brand of poppy-punk bliss rests on his ability to turn a quick phrase, but with lyrics (from “Everything Is Easy”) like “go ahead take up my heart / roll it up like a joint / smoke me out ‘til the feeling gets cashed / when you look at my face it’s like you forget the point,” it just comes off as looking for a metaphor to bring in the teens as opposed to being meaningful.

Essentially Dopamine is like those toys your kids get at fast food restaurants, great for a short time, but ultimately discarded within a short period of time.

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