COLLECTIVE SOUL

"Rabbit" (Roadrunner; 2009)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

When Collective Soul rocks, I'm in the crowd. When they go pop (as they did on "Blender" in 2000) I find other music to fill the void. They have always had a rock edge to them so when they come up with a memorable riff I'm trying to figure it out. I'll admit I lost touch with them because they went in the opposite direction of where I wanted them to head.

This disc is the first with a parent label. They started their own label, El Music Group, and released a few albums from it since they had a bad experience with their other label. Plus it gives them creative control and marketing say so. This disc is also the first to have at least two songs written by the whole band. If you read any of the liner notes from their previous discs Ed Rolland is credited with all the songwriting.

"Rabbit" has their trademark original gritty riffs intro on a bunch of the tracks. Ed's brother rubs his fingers in dirt and then lays down some dirty riffs and smoking solos. This is the Collective Soul we all heard on "Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid," primarily on the hit single "Shine."

The vocals are still Ed. He's got that unmistakable voice, and he can go low and falsetto to make the song his own. When Collective Soul wants to change moods from soft to punk to rock they do so with ease. They are very comfortable in their own skin and that's good for fans who missed their disc "Afterwards" because it was only available at Target stores or downloadable on iTunes.

"Rabbit" is their 2009 offering and it's number eight in their discography. It's got a good mix of rock, slower tracks and plenty of piano to balance the sound that makes Collective Soul a modern rock mainstay.

Collect these tracks: "Welcome All Again," "Dig," "My Days," "She Does," "Lighten Up," and "Love."

Collective Soul: Ed Roland - vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards; Dean Roland - rhythm guitar, vocals; Will Turpin - bass guitar, vocals; Joel Kosche - lead guitar; Cheney Brannon - drums, percussion.

For more information, check out http://www.collectivesoul.com or http://www.myspace.com/collectivesoul.

"Dosage" (Atlantic; 1999)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Collective Soul's name is taken from a line in Ayn Rand's book, "The Fountainhead." They were formed in Georgia by songwriter Ed Rolland. If you've followed the band you know this release was their comeback after dismal sales of "Discipline Breakdown." The first two tracks start of with power and then fade with the ballads "No More, No Less" and "Needs."

Although the tracks that shine on this CD warrant a listen to Collective Soul, their formula is a bit sporadic, with a heavy start and a slow center is makes for a uneasy digestion.

Ed Rolland is growing as a songwriter though. His lyrics are always thought-provoking and that is the mainstay to this band. If you didn't care about what was being said, this would just be another post grunge outfit.

The best tracks here are "Tremble For My Beloved," "Heavy," "Run," and "Generate."

"Dosage" was produced by Lord-Alge.

Collective Soul: Ed Rolland - vocals, keyboards, guitars; Dean Rolland - rhythm guitars; Will Turpin - bass; Ross Childress - lead guitar; Shane Evans - drums.

For more information, check out www.collectivesoul.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

 

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