AND THE AWARD FOR LAMEST LINER NOTES OF THE YEAR GOES TO...
I must confess that Third Eye Blind have been a guilty pleasure since "Semi-Charmed Life" splattered itself all over the airwaves a decade or so ago. Their ultra-catchy hooks and 98-cent musings on life and love may have sounded tailor-made for an episode of Dawson's Creek, but they rarely failed to score a direct hit to my pleasure center. Sure, it was a little difficult to tell, say, "Jumper" from "How's It Going To Be" from "Deep Inside Of You." But they had a highly respectable run, scoring a half-dozen hits or so before they faded from sight. I was happy to pick up their new best-of, A Collection, even if its 19 songs are about ten more than I need. But if you're thinking of buying it, don't open the booklet!
The liner notes start off with a fawning essay describing Third Eye Blind frontman Stephan Jenkins as "a Berkeley lit grad who liked Lou Reed and disliked what [he] called 'institutions.'" Jenkins apparently appreciated Jane's Addiction, who were supposedly a big influence on the band, for the way they "created erotic sonic vistas of virtually topographic dimensions." Uhhh, OK! "Perhaps more significant than their sales," we are instructed to believe, "is Third Eye Blind's cult following and influence on their contemporaries." Like who? Dog's Eye View? Seven Mary Three?
But the best, dear reader, is yet to come: "'It's an interesting thing that happens with music,' Jenkins says. Give it a couple of years and the marketing wears off. And then what's left is the songs.' This collection shows how, with Third Eye Blind, what's left is awesomeness." Dude, I know Third Eye Blind are a pretty sweet band, but is awesomeness, like, a word?
If you can stomach any more, Jenkins does some track-by-track commentary. "Deep Inside Of You," we learn, is "so Suicidal Tendencies." In what universe?! And on "Semi-Charmed Life": "It is often that what is seductive ends up sick and sad." Ain't that the truth!
Isn't it ironic, as another '90s hitmaker once said, that Stephan Jenkins was much more eloquent and less annoying singing "Doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo" than explaining what it means? Let me know when Third Eye Blind reunite with the Spin Doctors and Hootie & The Blowfish for a "Gee, Weren't The '90s Awesome?" nostalgia tour. Until then, someone put a muzzle on the guy.