Collective Soul have had a surprisingly under the radar journey from a band that’s had a successful recording career now spanning twenty-two years. They started off on top of the world with their smash hit Shine from their debut Hints Allegations and Things Left Unsaid which can still be heard hourly on rock radio today. Then as their career went on, band leader and producer Ed Roland kept adding more and more technology to their sound, to the point where their 2000 release Blender could be considered a pop rock album. After that, though, Collective Soul slowly but surely started making their way back to their roots, with their 2009 self titled album (or Rabbit as it’s also known) finally bringing them completely back full circle. So where can Collective Soul go now six years later now that they’ve finally released the follow up See What You Started By Continuing?
Well there’s a slightly new line-up, with new guitarist Jesse Triplett and drummer Johnny Rabb, but these new additions prove to be Collective Soul material right away on See What You Started By Continuing‘s opening track This. Staying true to his usual one word song titles, Ed Roland‘s song writing shows that it’s still close to where it left off in 2009, while also not being a far cry from some of the hits he wrote twenty years ago. This has that familiar Collective Soul groove that we’ve heard on previous tracks such as 1995’s Gel. This groove continues on the album’s second track Hurricane.
See What You Started By Continuing starts to explore a bit thereafter with other familiar odes to Collective Soul‘s past, starting with the grungy Exposed and continuing with the double-sided Confession, going from smooth and mellow to loud and anthemic. Contagious shows that Collective Soul can still rock hard while Life and Am I Getting Through demonstrate how Ed Roland remembers the sounds of the 90s and wants listeners to remember where the bands roots are.
Collective Soul are one of many bands that have always been album to make good slow songs. From ballads like How Do You Love to beautiful slow tracks like Run. See What You Started By Continuing has a pleasant number of ballads and slower songs. The main one to point out would have to be AYTA (which stands for Are You The Answer) which was the second single released prior to the album’s release date. Much like closing track Without Me, this song isn’t so much a ballad as it is a heavy hearted slower 90s alternative track. Actually, none of the slower songs on See What You Started are what I’d classify as ballads. Memoirs of 2005 is reminiscent of the bands mid career, with some pop rock elements that give the song its hooks. The slowest song on the album is Tradition, which has a fantastic chorus and spoken word verses.
It’s impressive really, how well Collective Soul revisited their earlier selves. Most bands listen to their early stuff and try to revisit it and either make something completely boring, or just miss the mark completely, but Collective Soul have proven to be professionals and make one of the most organic outputs of their career. There isn’t much evolution this time around. See What You Started By Continuing is an album for the fans more than it is something to bring the band higher than they were similar to the way their 2009 self titled album sort of rose them from their own ashes. The band doesn’t sound out of place at any point, and Ed Roland along with fellow long time members Dean Roland and Will Turpin keep the spirit alive perfectly to make See What You Started the perfect album for a band with a fan base as devoted as the one they have.
“This” – Ultimately, the opening track is the catchiest song as well as one of the most true to Collective Soul sounding tracks on See What You Started By Continuing.
7.5 (Out of 10)
|8.||“Am I Getting Through”||3:03|
|9.||“Memoirs of 2005”||3:41|