Collective Soul is one of my most favorite bands in the 90′s. Unlike other rock/alternative and grunge bands in that time, they are more pop sounding with clean melodies and lyrics. And they have a lot of great and meaningful songs. The album contains a mixture of slow ballad to a heavier grunge-like/alternative music tone. It is why I love this album; you will never become bored listening. And also, this album is a certified three time s multi-platinum record by RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America).
This is entirely manifested in their self-titled album “Collective Soul” otherwise known as the blue album because of its blue color. I first notice this album when I hear their single “December”. I immediately get addicted to this song because of cool guitar lines, nice melodies with hooks, great vocals and poetic lyrics.The funny thing is that I thought this was meant to be a Christmas song because this was aired heavily on FM radio in 1995 holiday season. It is not. I examined the lyrics in detail and it reveals something different. For me it tells of relationship or partnership that gone awful.
The next track that I noticed from the album is “The World I know”. This one is a slow ballad and this became my most favorite songs from the album. It starts with a mellow acoustic guitar and a set of violin string tracks. I can hardly believe Collective Soul can play this slow rock ballad after a year when their smashing hit single “Shine” hits the radio; I always thought they rock hard. The meaning of the song lies on hope; in reality there are problems in life that every one of us should face. It is the “World I know” that a failure gives a meaning to success. There is always hope in everything you do, just don’t give up. Well, this was exactly the message of the song official video. Try watching it and it’s very emotional and captivating.
Then there is “Gel” which is a fast-paced song that can make you dance. It remembers me of the old “My Sharona” beat. It is similar in beat but “Gel” is way much heavier.
Other tracks that made this album a very memorable one:
1.) “Where the river flows” – this one is very heavy. I love the guitar riff on this song. Although this song is not as popular as their other hits on the 90′s; I have some great time listening to this song on the late NU107 Rock radio.
2.) “Reunion” – this sounds very different from the rest of the albums. I find this a personal song to Ed Roland (the band songwriter); the lyrical phrase “I am coming home” is very symbolic, it can mean many things.
3.) “Smashing Young Man” – this is another single on the album. Although not everyone knows this because it is not heavily promoted; but this single is great.
Overall: If you love the best of 90′s alternative music; Collective Soul self-titled album is worth listening to.
Guest post by: Jeanine Maningo
recovered post from web archive