There has been mixed opinion about Third Eye Blind performing at this year's FlashFest. While some say the band is washed up and irrelevant, others are excited to relive their youth through the music of these four dudes from San Francisco who were so huge in the late '90s.
If you're scoffing right now, let me tell you I can personally recall multiple parties and bar crawls where nearly every attendee broke out in song when “Semi-Charmed Life” began pumping through the speakers. And it wasn't just the chorus, either. It was every damn lyric. Whether they were genuine fans, singing along to be ironic or just drunk, it was a song that united the bros, hipsters and every other stereotype within our generation. And it's a song about crystal meth.
Admittedly, Third Eye Blind's last decent single was 1999's “Never Let You Go,” but that doesn't stop us from brushing the dust off our old 3eb CDs and remembering just how good some of their tunes actually are.
Of course the band's biggest hit is also their best song. It's catchy, and that opening riff is extremely recognizable. The song is poppy and fun even though its subject matter is actually quite dark and disturbing. If you
haven't shouted this chorus at the top of your lungs, you haven't lived. The song also contains some very poetic lines, such as “The four right chords can make me cry/When I'm with you I feel like I could die/And that would be all right.” Okay, so those lyrics are cheesy. But I'm sure you can imagine how many dudes put this on mixtapes for their girlfriends in 1997.
More melodic than some of the band's other tunes, this song chronicles – you guessed it – the feeling of narcolepsy. It starts of soft and sweet, but as the sleepless narrator “slides into another nightmare,” the song picks up and progresses into a killer guitar solo. This band really has a knack for singing about depressing things - “How'd you like to be alone and drowning?” - in a really fun, upbeat way. Such is the complex anomaly that is Third Eye Blind.
3 “Losing A Whole Year”
This is just as much a sing-along anthem as the band's number one single but not as well known. If you think of the band's self-titled debut album as kind of a story, this opening track is very much the pre-curser to the drug-laden lyrics of “Semi-Charmed Life.” It's a little more aggressive than some of the band's other tracks but it's still quintessential Third Eye Blind. Still the same storytelling about relationships and still the same cute vocals, if not a little more screechy. “I remember you and me used to spend the whole goddamn day in bed!” sounds so angry when Stephan Jenkins sings it, but you know he liked it.
4 “How's It Going To Be?”
Probably the most musically appealing single the band has put out, this song was a good one to pout and cry to in 1997. We were all probably kids then, so maybe you remember playing this song when your mom made you clean your room or the girl or boy you had a crush on in social studies wouldn't let you sit with him or her at lunch. That's some tough stuff, man. Anyway, we as kids probably missed how sexy this song actually is: “I wanna taste the salt of your skin/The soft dive of oblivion.” Yowza!
5 “I Want You”
No one likes this song, but I stand by it. It's definitely more toned down than 3eb's other party anthems, but as far as unrequited love songs go, I think it's a pretty good one. Lyrics like “Here I am/And I wanna take a hit of your scent/'Cause it gets so deep into my soul” are at least a little better than overused pick-up lines. Someone could totally hold a boombox outside of my window blasting my song and I'd actually take them more seriously than if they played Peter Gabriel. Take a hint, John Cusack.
Honorable Mentions: “Jumper,” because everyone loves that song and knows all the words, and “Graduate” because it's a really great song to sing at the top of your lungs every day leading up to graduation.