Third Eye Blind: Dopamine

First album in six years from 90s bestselling San Fran band.

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Third Eye Blind had their time in the 1990s, when they sold in the multimillions, before being dropped by Warners and suffering some acrimonious line-up changes.

The songs are wrought elaborately enough, each containing its own lyric world like a ‘fucked-up film noir’, as vocalist/leader Stephan Jenkins sings on Shipboard Cook.

Yet this album seems carefully calibrated not to disappoint the conservative fan – the cues for the drop, the crescendo and the bit where you punch the air are all predictably lined up.

Dopamine, you need scarcely be reminded, is an organic chemical of the catecholamine and phenethylamine families. It has to do with the nervous system, and yet, given that songs like Rites Of Passage are clearly inspired by the groups of Jenkins’s youth – post-punk bands like The Cure – it feels somehow free of the urgent angst that propelled that 80s generation. It’s music for a more docile era.

David Stubbs

David Stubbs is a music, film, TV and football journalist. He has written for The Guardian, NME, The Wire and Uncut, and has written books on Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, Electronic Music and the footballer Charlie Nicholas.