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Third Eye Blind - 'Dopamine' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/c1/ba/68/Third-Eye-Blind-Dopamine-96-1451245718.jpg Hot

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A path of hooks to get the foot tapping interspersed with songs that urge you to pay attention to the lyrics.

The revolving door of musicians that have been associated with Third Eye Blind continues to turn with drummer Brad Hargreaves and band leader Stephan Jenkins being the only original remaining members. That's true of many band but TEB, and in particular Jenkins', involvement in disputes with several ex-guitarists has been well documented. The latest casualty is bassist Abe Millett who has been dispensed with since 2009's excellent 'Ursa Major'. The six year gap between albums has continued and although Jenkins says that this will be the band's last release, it's probably more a case of "watch this space".

TEB probably became a solo vehicle for the reportedly egotistical Jenkins – I've interviewed him and found him warm, engaging and dry humoured – sometime after the release of the second album 'Blue'. If nothing else, Jenkins (who once earned the affections of Charlize Theron) remains battle hardy with a commitment to putting out music; albeit on a sporadic basis.

'Dopamine' could have been an album that simply went through the motions; let's be honest the classic era of the debut and 'Blue' are well in the past but Jenkins has always been able to write songs that pique the interest, be it with melody or a clever lyrical twist; 'Dopamine' is no different.
Single 'Everything Is Easy' is classic Pop-orientated TEB which is catchy and hummable in an almost Blood Hound Gang way whereas 'Shipboard Cook', a song that's been a staple of the live set for quite a while, is simply a testament as to how good Jenkins is as a song-writer, reeling you in with its hooks and melody.

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'All The Souls' is as a good a slice of falsetto Pop as you are likely to hear, whilst 'Say It' (with its lyrical outburst of – "nothing you write will ever match this – you should go back to that actress, or the days you lived on a mattress when everything was new" – hints at Jenkins early career and his relationship with Theron) is certainly the singers most introspective song to date. At over six minutes long and rounded out by the inclusion of an eccentric Techno Pop beat, it's a pointer to Jenkins genius as a forward thinking song-writer.

'Dopamine' – a Funky faux rap song – brings to mind some of Third Eye Blind's past glories and the album as a whole is perfectly paced. Broken up by the acoustic 'Exiles' and 'All These Things', it follows a path of hooks to get the foot tapping interspersed with songs that urge you to pay attention to the lyrics.

Very few have achieved such a brilliant combination, even to this day, and it's one that remains as relevant today as it did on the 1997 debut.

Mike Newdeck

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