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Collective Soul - 2004 Youth


COLLECTIVE SOUL - YOUTH (2004, EL MUSIC GROUP)
Ed Roland - vocals, keyboards, guitars
Joel Kosche - lead guitars
Dean Roland - rhythm guitars
Will Turpin - bass, percussion
Shane Evans - drums, percussion


Background
Grunge kicked the wind out of the AOR scene and never looked back, but blaming Nirvana and the like for melodic rock's migration into purgatory isn't being honest is it? Nothing last's forever and let's face it, some of the stuff coming out around 1990 was not only more of the same, but the quality was slipping a bit. Blue Tears? Really? Ok, let the arrows pointed my way fly, but before you grab your bow, I wasn't too happy with the Grunge/flannel rock scene either and I still don't understand the hero worship of one of the biggest fuck-ups the music industry has produced - Kurt Cobain, but it is what it is. Like any music movement, the copyists soon follow and Grunge was no exception, from Candlebox to England's Bush, everyone wanted a piece of the Seattle sound and in the case of Collective Soul it was Pearl Jam. Honestly, was anything more annoying than Eddie Vedder's soulless yammering? I don't think so, but obviously it appealed to this little band from Georgia who took Pearl Jam's sound, softened it up and produced a massive hit with 'Shine' in 1994. Several albums and hit singles followed and Collective Soul began moving away from Pearl Jam-lite to develop a sound of their own, moving in a pop rock direction with 2000's 'Blender' and 2004's 'Youth', the first release on the bands own label –El Music.

The Songs
Indeed this is no Pearl Jam love fest, but surprise, surprise a record for the most part influenced by '70s glam rock. You read right- Roxy Music, David Bowie and T. Rex are big influences on 'Youth' and it's a refreshing mix. Kicking off with the brilliant 'Better Now' combing 'Ziggy Stardust' vocals, a monstrous hook and blistering Roxy Music styled sax near the end, this song should have topped every chart imaginable and it got close but no cigar. 'There's A Way' is just as good and from here the band move into a couple really nice pop tracks 'How Do You Love' which recalls Train and 'Him' which will recall Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band's golden nugget 'Til It Shines'. Well done and its right back into the rock with 'Feels Like (It Feels Alright) although from here on the tunes become a little too average for my tastes only to be picked up for the T. Rex styled 'General Attitude' and the albums finale 'Satellite'.

In Summary
In case you were wondering vocalist Ed Roland still slips into Eddie Vedder's low drawl from time to time and they don't completely shake off the alternative rock cliches, but the glam influences work and it's definitely the best thing I've heard from Collective Soul making 'Youth' one of my most played discs of 2004.

URL: www.collectivesoul.com

Track Listing:
01 Better Now
02 There's A Way
03 Home
04 How Do You Love
05 Him
06 Feels Like (It Feels Alright)
07 Perfect To Stay
08 Counting The Days
09 Under Heaven's Skies
10 General Attitude
11 Satellite

Rating:


Related Articles:

Collective Soul - 2001 7 Year Itch


Collective Soul - 2004 Youth


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