Collective Soul is one of those nineties bands that survived the grunge and
post-grunge eras. Then again their sound was always rooted in the alternative
rock genre, with an attitude that spoke to young audiences and a melodic
sensibility that appealed to the masses. Either way, here they are with Youth,
their first album in four years and the band’s first independent release on EL
Music, which is Collective Soul’s own imprint. The verdict? These guys seem to
have never left, and they are back with a renewed sense of, well, youth.
Seriously though, it’s always refreshing to see a band like this still going and
still writing quality music.
“Better Now” is the opening track and is already featured on the original motion
picture soundtrack for the film “Cursed”. It’s a straight-up rock anthem with
horns added for extra punch. “There’s a Way” and “Feels Like” are classic
Collective Soul, and not in the mullet rock sense but rather they sound like
they could have been radio hits ten years ago. Then there’s “Home,” a track with
a hypnotic verse and a soaring chorus.
“How Do You Love?” is another powerful song and “Perfect to Stay” is the best
track on the record. It’s got an infectious groove and just the right amount of
emotive guitar work.
“Counting the Days” is ballsy rock and the album is rounded out by the poppy
“Under Heaven’s Skies” and the acoustic bliss of “Satellite.”
I’m not going to belabor the point, but the roots of what I like lies in melodic
music, and Collective Soul writes the kind of stuff that is built around melody,
but yet has much more going for it. The musicianship is solid, the vocals are
powerful, and the overall package represents a band that is back and brimming
with confidence. Here’s to Youth, and here’s to music that makes you feel