Third Eye Blind
is low-key a household name. The San Fran quintet has a handful of hits, mostly from their 1997 debut self-titled album which turned 20 years old in April. While the album has succeeded in regards to popularity, Third Eye Blind never received enough critical praise. They're currently touring behind their debut album, but, at any rate, here is a list of the top 10 Third Eye Blind songs, most of which come from 1997.
10. The Background
"The Background" is touching. Though it feels like a perfect breakup anthem when you hear Stephan Jenkins' "The plans I make still have you in them," the song is actually about sexual assault according to Jenkins ("I lift your head while they change the hospital sheets").
The sudden guitar crescendo leading to the sometimes fitting motto for every high school or even college student. "Graduate" likely has 35 year-olds karaoke screaming "Can I graduate!?"
8. I Want You
Despite all of Third Eye Blind's angst and regret filled lyrics, "I Want You" is as closest to Marvin Gaye as the band gets. It's a song that takes place in the moment of love, representing the id-like approach through the song's title and fitting lyrics.
7. Never Let You Go
The band's only standout hit on Blue
sounds like a different band. It has the making of a one hit wonder as well. Jenkins disguised the band's signature timbre by using a falsetto paired with a distorted, hooking guitar riff.
6. Losing A Whole Year
TEB's catalog is filled with relationship hymns. The self-titled album opener is about Jenkins' relationship with a well-off girl whom he dated for a full year. In hindsight, it was a waste of time for him and thus he lost a whole year. Listen for an uncharacteristically growl from the lead singer at the 2:30 mark.
5. Motorcycle Drive By
"Motorcycle Drive By" takes an odd approach to the breakup song. The relationship that Jenkins writes seems to be in limbo, but by finally taking a hint, he ironically feels the most "alone" and "alive" he's ever been.
"Jumper," from afar, can come off as dark and twisted, but it has a much brighter and forward-looking message. As Jenkins stated, "'Jumper' is not about a guy offing himself. 'Jumper' is really about understanding." This track strikes quickly with no introduction and an immediate chorus, giving listeners no time to switch the radio channel before they start singing along.
3. How's It Going To Be
A soundtrack standard for a salty breakup (in which the saltiness comes from Jenkins's other, not him), this self-titled album standout can convince any listener to be the casual one when splitting up. Keep calm and just sing, "How's it going to be / When you found out there was nothing / Between you and me" when your ex starts "a shouting match."
"Narcolepsy" is the most unique song in Third Eye Blind's discography. The song features three separate movements, decorated with different melodies and haunting lyrics. Jenkins practically whispers and screams about a metaphorical narcolepsy, "a demon in my head who starts to play / A nightmare tape loop of what went wrong yesterday."
1. Semi-Charmed Life
Never has a song been so sneaky about crystal meth. Third Eye Blind's biggest radio hit had Moms and Dads singing about illegal methamphetamine. However, I can't blame anyone for not knowing the drug-filled meaning of the track, as the band's refrain of "doos" is permanently engraved into all of our brains.