Lindsey recommends 2X Tigers by Third Eye Blind

You might be surprised to learn that the Third Eye Blind fan community is in turmoil over one song on the band’s new album. You might actually be surprised to learn there is a new Third Eye Blind album. Or that there is a HUGE, active fan community dedicated to a band you probably only associate with their hits of the late ’90s. Well, catch up. They may have left the major label scene in the early aughts, but they’ve been making music and touring all these years. In the last two years alone, I’ve seen them 15 times.

When a handful of the almost 2,500 fans in one Facebook fan group got ahold of a copy of the album, “Screamer,” a few weeks early, they shared the files with the group. Within hours, there were posts expressing disappointment and even anger over the track “2X Tigers.”

I decided not to download the album early (and by “decided not to” I mean, I didn’t have time to re-learn how to consume music from any source that isn’t a major streaming platform). But I watched the comments and fights in multiple groups. “This is not my band,” many said. “It might grow on me,” was maybe the most generous comment. People were making T-Pain references and calling out Stephan Jenkins for all the times he claimed “we aren’t a DJ band; there are no backing tracks here.”

When the album was released I just played it from the beginning to see if I could identify the offending track. It took me two seconds when track 10 began to know I’d found it: MY NEW FAVORITE SONG! I jumped up from my desk. I was ready to party. It immediately replaced what I thought would be my favorite based on the five new songs we got a taste of during the summer tour. (For the record, “Ways,” was my favorite from the tour and still a close second on this album.)

Yes, “2X Tigers” is so very different than other songs from the band’s catalog and even from the rest of this album. No, there aren’t any guitars. Yes, it’s heavily auto-tuned. But here’s the thing about autotune: I feel like autotune is to musicians what grammar is to writers. When you know the rules of grammar, you can break them. Some of the best writers break grammar rules as a fun and unexpected device in their writing. When someone is actually a talented singer, which Jenkins has proven — over 23 years — that he absolutely is, then what’s wrong with fucking around with some autotune for funsies?

If you haven’t listened to 3EB since their last radio hit, you definitely won’t recognize them from this track. But even if it’s not your cup of tea, still give the rest of the album a spin or listen to anything else they’ve released in the last 20 years. Just don’t try to beat me to the rails when you start going to shows.

(Song recommendation by Lindsay Hileman)
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