Third Eye Blind’s second album since their comeback comes in the form of “Dopamine” even though it’s about six years since the release of “Ursa Minor”. I loved their first album back in more than a decade, but it also sounded a lot different than the group that I’d become a fan of in the 90s. With “Dopamine”, I’m happy to report that it’s A LOT like their first two albums. There are some really great pop rock songs featured here and frontman Stephan Jenkins has written a lot of melodies that are more similar to the band’s landmark self-titled album.
If “Ursa Minor” was akin to any previous Third Eye Blind album it would be a mix between “Blue” and “Out of the Vein”. But “Dopamine” has a strong likeness to the band’s debut. The guitars are turned up a bit higher and the melodies are more similar to 3eb’s work on their debut. For fans of that album, and there are plenty, that’s certainly a good thing.
The one thing that hasn’t changed from the band’s debut to their latest work is the lyric writing ability from Stephan Jenkins. Jenkins’ writes lyrics differently. If you’re not a fan and you’re not paying attention then you probably think they’re a little stupid. If you are listening and paying attention then you can understand how profound some of the things he says are. Jenkins’s lyrics are here in full force on “Dopamine” and as usual, they’re one of the best things about the album. That said, I’d have to say that the music this time around – particularly the guitar work – overshadows Jenkins’s lyric work. His vocal is still great, but there’s something awesome about how great the guitars sound this time.
“Dopamine” is a familiar romp if you’ve been a fan of the band since their start. It’s a great listen, and dare I say that it’s the best thing the band has released since they put out their debut album. If you’re a Third Eye Blind fan, then this album is definitely worth listening to.