Puck & Natty It all began with an interracial rap group called Puck & Natty. One half of this group was Berkley graduate Stephan Jenkins. Together, this duo’s fifteen minutes of fame came on the 90210 soundtack, which gave Jenkins enough to buy groceries. The group eventually split, and Jenkins was on his way. Soon Arion salazar crossed his path, and on his heels was guitarist Kevin Cadogen.
Once Brad Hargraves signed on, Third Eye Blind was born. Jenkins bought out his former partner, and claimed rights to the beginning of a catchy tune that would soon stick in all of our heads. Do do doo, do do do doo, do do doo, do do do doo, became Semi- charmed Life, and launched this band right into the hands of Elektra Records. The group signed on, and began recording their debut album, which Jenkins produced himself. In 1997,the album was released and went on to sell four million copies. Third Eye Blind’s debut album contains an amazing combination of poetic lyrics and edgy music that make it an experience for the listener.
The song,Semi-charmed Life, may have started it all, but it soon became controversial. It was said to be, A little ditty about Crystal Meth and oral sex.(Durchholz 1). These opinions did not stop millions of people around the world from eating up the groups next single, How’s it gonna be, a tune with a guitar solo that sent chills up my spine. Next came another catchy hit,Losing a whole year, followed by Jumper, a song about suicide. This song became the perfect background for PSA’s. Maybe, afterall, there was more to this band than sex and drugs.
This album has a bit of each of the necessary elements to becoming a hit. In fact, it has much more. Lyrically, it would take a Lit grad, such as Jenkins himself, to decipher the meanings of his words. Jenkins puts things in a different context rather than the traditional I love you, I hate you lyrics filling up the airwaves. Rather than simply saying I want to be with you, he says,I want to taste the salt of your skin(How’s it gonna be). Instead of saying,I want to spend the rest of my life with you, he writes,wThere will be no regrets hen the worms come(I want you). Deciphered this means I will not regret being with you when the worms come(death).
His amazing lyrical and poetical abilities hit you right in a place he was aiming for. In his own words, he wants the album to intoxicate you. Jenkins does just that with his thought provoking word choices such as happenstance, residue, caffinate and incinerate. He even includes a song called God Of Wine. The God Of Wine, or Dionysses, was the son of Zeus, and the god of intoxication and fertility. There are many ties in which I am sure lead back to his days of sitting in a chair at Berkeley.
The depth of the lyrics on this album are just one piece of the puzzle that so perfectly fits together to form this band’s debut album. In a day where alot of music seems to flow together and carry the same sound, 3EB captures a sound all their own. While Spin magazine claimed that they were anonymous and predictable, Third Eye Blind is just the opposite (Durcholz 3). It starts with Semi-charmed life, which carries a funky tune you can almost dance to. Each song carries it’s own melody and becomes an experience in itself.
Track number two, Narcolepsy, starts off slow and then comes in fast with amazing drums and lead guitar. Jenkins voice screaming nightmare over this give it what it needs to be a hit. Towards the end of the album, they surprise you once again with a completely different sound. For example, inMotorcycle drive by, Jenkins calmly almost chants the vocals and draws you in with the serenity of his voice. It was hard to believe that this was the same singer who, a few tracks earlier, was letting his insides out.
Predictable? I think not. With Frontman Stephan Jenkin’s lyrics and the amazing musical abilities of Hargraves, Salazar, and Cadogen, the band’s debut album became a hit. The self-titled album is, Alot catchier than the average post grunge album. (Erlewine). Although many critics may say they are a one hit wonder, or that their success is based on the looks of Jenkins, their debut album proves these people wrong.
With the edge that this quartet has, it would ne next to impossible to categorize this album into one particular group. That is, in fact, the key to their success. This album portray’s the band’s talents in a way that shows there abilities go far beyond their good looks. The album recieved a five star rating from UBL’s all music guide , and has found it’s way on the CD racks of millions of fans (Erlewine). Overall, this album is a great representation of a true musical masterpiece.
In opposition to the few critics, I believe Third Eye Blind is here to stay. With a strong following of Sick little perverts, (Jenkin’s sarcastic description of his hot, sweaty, screaming fans at a concert), they seem to have what it takes to stick around. Music.