Picks and Pans Review: Out of the Vein

updated 05/19/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/19/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Third Eye Blind (Elektra)

After selling more than 6 million copies of its 1997 self-titled debut, featuring the hit "Semi-Charmed Life," Third Eye Blind barely saw platinum with its second effort, 1999's Blue. The San Francisco quartet bounces back nicely from its sophomore slump with its third release, which finds frontman Stephan Jenkins and company in a hook-heavy, melodic pop-rock vein that should put them all over radio and VH1. Jenkins, who crisply produced the entire album, had a hand in writing all 13 tracks, and there is hardly a bad song in the bunch. Guitar-driven ditties like "Forget Myself," with its shuffling hip-hop beat and sing-along chorus, are instantly catchy. Third Eye Blind also credibly cranks up the volume on punky rockers like "Danger," on which they do their best Green Day imitation. While this is a can't-miss disc, it lacks a killer cut, and there is a sameness to some of the tracks. Still, when Third Eye displays surprising introspection on such songs as the crunching "Crystal Bailer" ("I close my eyes and I see a freak/I think it's me and I'm afraid to speak"), the band's future looks brighter.

BOTTOM LINE: Third time's the charm

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