Third Eye Blind is a commercially successful Alternative Rock band that emerged during the late 1990s (though, as the article says, "Alternative Rock" certainly wasn't the "alternative" at the time). Their story begins with the release of their Self-Titled Album in 1997. The band catapulted to fame on the back of the album's two big-hit singles: "Semi-Charmed Life", a wildly upbeat and catchy song about a man suffering from a crystal meth addiction, and the powerful anti-suicide ballad "Jumper".
Not content with being a one-album band, Third Eye Blind followed up their success with Blue in 2000. While the darker and more experimental Blue sold quite a few copies, its success couldn't be compared to their first album's and it met with a far colder reception from critics. What's worse, soon after the album was released, guitarist Kevin Cadogan (who co-wrote most of the songs with singer Stephan Jenkins) was suddenly fired, replaced, and allegedly denied royalties for the work he helped create. Cadogan sued, of course, and the debacle ended with a settlement in 2002. Nevertheless, the band continued.
In 2003, they released Out of the Vein. While one might be inclined to think that this album was all about drugs (given that the band was famous for "Semi-Charmed Life"), this self-described New Sound Album mostly contained one Break-Up Song after another that dealt with the end of Jenkins' relationship with Charlize Theron. Partly because their record label was being purchased by a bigger record label at the time, Out of the Vein sold less than half the number of copies that Blue did.
The band then went five years without releasing any new material (a Greatest Hits Album was released in the interim). In 2008, they finally released the politically charged Red Star EP, consisting of three of the songs off of their next album. The EP's mild success was a sign of things to come for the band, as their next album, Ursa Major, was a miniature comeback for them. Sadly, after Ursa Major was released, Tony Fredianelli, the guitarist who replaced Cadogan, left and sued the band for denying him credit and royalties that were owed to him. Needless to say, as two of its former guitarists sued the band for similar reasons, many feel that Jenkins (who gets most of the credit for writing the songs) might be something of a Small Name, Big Ego.
- 1997 - Third Eye Blind
- 1999 - Blue
- 2003 - Out of the Vein
- 2009 - Ursa Major
- 2015 - Dopamine
This band provides examples of:
- Alternative Rock: One of the most famous examples of this from the 1990s.
- Answer Song: "Semi-Charmed Life" was written as one to Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side".
- Break-Up Song: Many of the songs on Out of The Vein. "Crystal Baller", "Can't Get Away" and "Palm Reader" stand out as the songs that most explicitly talk about a break-up.
- Also "How's It Going to Be," from their debut.
- Careful with That Axe: Right after the final verse of "Losing a Whole Year".
- Darker and Edgier: The self-titled album had a catchy ditty about drugs. Blue had a song about the glamorization of murder ("Slow Motion"), a song about a victim of sexual abuse ("Wounded") and a song about teen pregnancy ("10 Days Late").
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: When they performed "Graduate" at the 1999 American Music Awards, instead of singing "Can I graduate?!", they intentionally changed it to "Can I masturbate?!".
- Lyrical Dissonance: In some circles, "Semi-Charmed Life" is famous for this. In fact, it was most likely chosen as music to accompany the trailer for The Tigger Movie because the people putting the trailer together didn't know what it was actually about. Sure, the catchy, energetic beat is very fitting for a character like Tigger, but let's not forget that the song is about doing crystal meth (though when you consider how hyperactive Tigger is...). Luckily, none of the lyrics that explicitly refer to crystal meth made it into the trailer.
- Murder Ballad: "Slow Motion", from Blue, tells the story of a teenage murderer whose life story gets turned into a movie.
- My Life Flashed Before My Eyes: The premise of "My Hit and Run" from Out of the Vein. The narrator is a motorcyclist who gets hit by a car, and while he's flying through the air, he thinks back on his life and sees the person he's singing the song to. The song ends with:
- "I'd like to thank Mr. Death now for what he's done, 'cause I got to walk away from my hit and run, life's mysteries are not so empty now. Because I saw you, at my hit and run."
- Non-Appearing Title: Jumper, Darwin, a few others.
- Refrain from Assuming: Jumper (likely since it's a Non-Appearing Title) often gets called "I would understand" as well as a few other repeated lyrical excerpts.
- Precision F-Strike: Darwin (from Blue) has the line "the spaceman fucked an ape, then cut out on a date".
- The '90s: You bet!
- Protest Song: A good deal of Ursa Major is about how much the band hated the George W. Bush administration.
- Teen Pregnancy: "10 Days Late"
- Third Eye: They're named after this concept.