Out of the Vein

At a time when even the biggest superstars aren't guaranteed a welcome return to the charts, taking a four-year break between recordings is a bold, risky move.

At a time when even the biggest superstars aren't guaranteed a welcome return to the charts, taking a four-year break between recordings is a bold, risky move. Third Eye Blind resurfaces after such a hiatus, with a sterling set of songs that is leaner and more pop-oriented than Blue. Frontman Stephan Jenkins doubles as Vein's producer, and he wisely keeps such tracks as "Misfits" and "Faster" simple and relatively free of studio trickery. Jenkins and his bandmates rely almost exclusively on sharply constructed hooks and smarter-than-average lyrics. They also execute their songs with arrangements that have the spark and infectious energy of a live performance. As a result, Vein is chock-full of songs that will easily stand the test of time—starting with "Blinded (When I See You)," which is already off to a fine start at rock radio.—LF