Third Eye Blind – Ursa Major

April 12th, 2010 by WLOY Staff

I was sitting in a friend’s dorm the other day with approximately 4 or 5 other people when a startling yet predictable phenomenon occurred. None of us were paying any particular attention to the background music that was playing from an adjacent computer. Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, each one of us began to sing, move, and hum, all in harmony and melody with each other. The results were almost frightening, and it took each of us off guard considering we had not planned this in any way. What could have caused this strange event, you say? Yes, it was none other than “Semi- Charmed Life” resounding around the room. Scientists have been baffled for years by this phenomenon. Studies show that it is physically impossible to not join into the music when subjects hear that doo-doo-doo, du, du-du-du-doooo off the beginning of “Semi-Charmed Life.” While I give Third Eye Blind some credit for wanting to recreate that same mystique they managed to develop so well on their self-titled, I’m also a little sad at how they failed to do so and in turn put a little blemish on their legacy. Ursa Major, the first release of their two-disc set, isn’t a horrible record by any means, but it is a blight on that alternative band that you sang along to so many summer nights.

Ursa Major begins well, with a throwback to their self-titled, catchy-as-catchy-gets, days with “Can You Take Me.” Stephan Jenkins’ one-liners are just as sharp as they ever have been as he sings “Let’s start a riot/ let’s start a riot me and you/ cause a riot’s overdue!” Honestly, I’m not even asking for progression on this album. I realized after hearing “Can You Take Me” that I would be perfectly fine with Third Eye Blind ripping off their old songs and giving us something new to sing.

Sadly, this ceases to be the case. While the first half is riddled with a few delights like “Can You Take Me” and “Bonfire,” Third Eye Blind gave me hope that they hadn’t lost what made them so special 10 years ago. Then came the second half of Ursa Major. If this was any indication of what Ursa Minor will sound like, count me out.

Ever wonder what a band would sound like when they are stripped of their energy? Take a listen to “About to Break.” Still not convinced your favorite sing-a-long 90’s heroes haven’t lost it? Please take a moment to play “One In Ten,” Third Eye Blind gone piano. The last songs of Ursa Major leave little to like, and it’s almost as if they somehow contaminate the previous songs.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s still hope. A few great songs on here (“Can You Take Me,” “Bonfire,” and “Why Can’t You Be”) stand out. There’s still some hope for follow up to Ursa Major, Ursa Minor. If you’d like an average record that lets you reminisce over the catchy band Third Eye Blind and the good times you had listening to them, then Ursa Major may be for you. But please don’t go into Ursa Major expecting a phenomena like the ones that “Semi Charmed Life” or “How’s it Gonna Be” produced.

Recommended Songs:

Can You Take Me


Why Can’t You Be

Overall Rating: 50% F

Download on Third Eye Blind - Ursa Major (Bonus Track Version)

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