Now, compiling this list has brought me much contemplation. As so much thought goes into each Third Eye Blind song, the same process has befallen upon me when trying to rank their top 13. What exactly constitutes a good song? Much, by the looks of things. I’ve placed these songs in accordance of which I believe to contain the best of the following: hooks, lyrics and musical composition. Now I’ve finally completed this list, I realize how Stephan Jenkins must feel when he completes an album! Enjoy reading darlings!
13) Another Life
Although Out of the Vein may mostly focus on Stephan Jenkins’ relationship with actress Charlize Theron, this track, hidden away at the end of the album, shows him in a different light – his life after the breakup. Another life is a real compositional masterpiece, with Tony shredding his guitar to level’s Kevin Cadogan would be proud of. It really does mark a fitting close to the bands 3rd album and although a hidden track, it receives acclaim as being the best song on the record.
Best lyric – Time goes by and I realize, that I’m alright, you thought nothing would be the same, but life comes ’round again, quick wits and all curious all caught up in what you say, and makes me grab the time before it slips away.
12) I Want You
The beginning of ‘the big four’ on self-titled, I Want You presents itself as a gem smacked right in the 3/4s of the album. It’s experimental sound makes it appear like no other song 3EB has ever really produced and lyrically, it could well be up there due to the nature of its subject. We’ve all been there, wanting someone we know, deep down, we will never be able to get. Jenkins allows us to connect with this feeling in this genius track.
Best lyric – The village church yard is filled with bones weeping in the grave, The silver lining of clouds shines on people Jesus couldn’t save, You want to know how deeply my soul goes, Deeper than bones.
11) How’s It Going To Be
A true beauty. How’s it going to be explores the emotions of someone who is in a relationship that is destined to fail. Everyone has fallen out with someone they’ve been infatuated with, and in this song Jenkins’ explores the true roots to these breakups. It begins by wondering ‘how’s it going to be,’ in many situations and then in the end realizing that life would be better without the said person. What a rant. What a song.
Best lyric – Wanna get myself back in again, The soft dive of oblivion, I want to taste the salt of your skin, The soft dive of oblivion, oblivion.
10) Slow Motion
Now, although the controversial nature has deterred many of the enjoyment of this song, I see the structure and layout of this song to be absolutely genius and lyrically like no other song I’m aware of. Jenkins portrays himself as a drug crazed murderer in the first 3 verses of this song, publicizing and infatuating these crimes. However, it is in the last verse we realize what he is truly saying. That Hollywood shows these human wrongs as ‘cool’ things to do, which he completely disagrees with.
Best lyric – Hollywood glamorized my wrath, I’m a young urban psychopath, I incite murder for your entertainment, ‘Cause I needed the money, What’s your excuse? The jokes on you.
9) Say It
The most honest we’ve ever and possibly will ever hear Jenkins. You can really see much thought has been placed into this song. Moving from slow acoustic, to soft ballad, to hard rock as it reaches its climax. It displays much of Jenkins life – his struggle with writers block, much of his regrets and loneliness. The whole song stems from a conversation with a girl he was in a relationship with – one we can assume to be Charlize Theron (‘you should go back to that actress’). Brave from Jenkins, but sometimes brave is good. In fact, it always is. Emotionally superb. Oh yeah and that solo from Kryz could be the best damn thing I’ve ever heard.
Best lyric – 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, So live inside a curse or make a gift to the universe, And let it go, I miss seeing you at the show.
8) God Of Wine
I think the best way to let me describe this song is by handing over to its writer, Stephan Jenkins. ‘The song ‘God of Wine’ takes things from the cellular level, where it says, ‘And soon cells give way.’ And then also it says, ‘Every glamorous sunrise throws the planets out of line.’ The stars sent out of whack. The universe is expanding and it’s crumbling. The universe is mortal. It’s disappearing. Everything that we have, everything that we live in is pointless and crumbling. And some people are born with an innate understanding of that. They have this sort of life rage. And this is the melancholy that they find themselves in. It’s a song about those people. And it’s basically a story about how we turn back to the Irish theme. You turn to drink to escape that condition. In the end of this song, talking about the God of Wine, the Bacchanalian, even that lets you down.’
Best lyric – She takes a drink and then she waits, The alcohol it permeates, And soon the cells give way, And cancels out the day.
Probably one of the most meaningful and heartfelt Third Eye Blind songs. It’s basically the story of someone who is so down and depressed with life, he’s gone past the point of depression. He sees no way back in life, as the world was, is and always will be a dark place where the bad succeed and the good fail. Although this may seem dim, when you are feeling low, it is the perfect track to hear, to help you relate with your problems – realizing you’re not on your own as you are not the only person feeling this way, and its something we all go through. Instrumentally, it’s experimentally gorgeous, with rifts played by Cadogan that equal his best during his time with 3EB.
Best lyric – And the world darkens around me, Strange friends all surround me, New ideas in my head start to burn, Trust no one is the one thing that I learned.
6) Get Me Out Of Here
Arguably – fairly so, one of the best songs on Dopamine and maybe the best Third Eye Blind have produced since Blue. Jenkins reveals his anxiety before performing shows describing the stage as a ‘wilderness.’ He produces honesty that reaches somewhat near the level of Say It, but somehow comes out as a better song, due to its inventive nature. It really follows a non-linear structure, which is not to say that’s a bad thing – but actually genius as it means you can never really get bored of hearing this masterpiece. The way it builds up and crashes down repeatedly sends you on an emotional thrill ride and the results are stunning.
Best lyric – Call the tune, We’re waiting up for you, Yeah they’re waiting up for you, Is everything alright? And can you stand, the audience commands you to stand up for the band, You’re a creature of the night.
Beautiful. A song that describes a friend who has been sexually abused and the resentment the singer feels for the abuser, and how people shouldn’t allow themselves to be pushed around anymore. Jenkins exclaims that sexually abuse is disgusting and needs to be stopped in this world, as it continues to hurt and affect more and more people. The song is a proper rock out jam – and live it really kicks off all 3EB concerts, with them more often than not playing it as one of the first songs at gigs.
Best lyric – Back down the bully to the back of the bus, ‘Cause it’s time for them to be scared of us, Til’ you’re yelling how we’re living ’cause you got the ball, Then you rock on, baby, rock on, you rock on, on and on.
4) Something In You
THE definitive Third Eye Blind song. Whilst Dopamine may have underwhelmed many fans, to me it showed me why I stuck with them so long. Because of songs like this. Songs that are worth listening to over and over until you really get what they mean. Songs with a breakdown that just gets better every time you hear it. And man, when they play it live, it goes off. An amazing ballad about getting the girl you want and trying your best to stick with her. Its incredible. Go listen to it again and again and again. You won’t regret it.
Best lyric – When she lets herself go, she’s like no one you’ll ever know. It was true then what I said to you a long time ago, We got room to grow, We got room to grow, And I’ll take you in no matter what your chaos brings, There’s something in you I believe in.
3) Motorcycle Drive By
While many fans may question why I have not placed this as number 1 – which is perfectly understandable – I’d just like to argue although Motorcycle is fantastic in every way, it just isn’t the song I have connected with the most of all. Now onto the song – an absolutely spellbinding song, which would top most bands, lists of best songs. An absolutely stunning story of someone who is and has been in love for years but finally accepts it isn’t going to work out they want it to, and ultimately decides to move on. The most relatable song I’ve ever heard and lyrically, the best Third Eye Blind song ever written. Just superb.
Best lyric – And this is our last time, We’ll be friends again, I’ll get over you, you’ll wonder who I am. And there’s this burning, Just like there’s always been, I’ve never been so alone alone, And I’ve, and I’ve never been so alive.
2) The Red Summer Sun
An ultimately underrated Third Eye Blind song not only by the public – but also by its fans. This song shows off everything that Third Eye Blind is meant to be – inventive, experimental, lyrically fantastic and have a sound like no other band. Jenkins’ sticks to his strengths, which is where any great musician can show off just how good they are, by using his falsetto absolutely brilliant to exclaim how he wants to be famous, shouting that he wants to ‘walk with the mighty’ in a vocal only really he and a few others could produce. Its really as good as 3EB gets in a rock perspective… but they are more than just a rock band…
Best lyric – It’s been a long time, been a long time, To walk with the mighty, I’m gonna walk with the mighty, Let me go, let me go on my own
1) The Background
You know that feeling. That feeling that you get when that person you miss more than anyone comes back into your mind. That feeling of happiness because it happened, but sadness because it can’t happen again. This is everything The Background gives to me. It sends shivers down my spine each time I hear it and every word in it has such a strong meaning to me, it causes my eyes to well up. While I can’t reveal what it means to me, (as it would take away some of the song’s magic) I’m sure each of us have our own meaning to The Background that brings on a feeling of pure sorrow about that one person we miss more than anything. Very few songs can allow you to relate to the deceased in such a way and that’s why it simply has to be number 1. Its haunting nature throws me back and forward, which makes it the most stunning listen of all Third Eye Blind’s catalogue of songs. Absolute perfection in a song.
Best lyric – The plans I make still have you in them, ‘Cause you come swimmin’ into view, And I’m hanging on your words like I always used to do, The words they use so lightly, I only feel for you, I only know because I carry you around, In the background.