What the hell was I thinking back then in the good old 90’s?!?!?! I was in high school and college during this great transformation of rock music that many forget about now. “Alternative” and “Grunge” were new labels then, and I was a true believer in anything from Seattle and this new music movement. Bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam led the pack on the radio and MTV, but us cool kids rocked Alice and Chains and Soundgarden just as much. You knew about Mother Love Bone and the tribute that followed in Temple of the Dog. But one band and album that slipped by my ears unfortunately until now is the one and only self titled album Blind Melon.
This album is a monster of goodness. Back in the day it was overshadowed by the lead singers death, and was tied to the one huge hit song it had “No Rain“. I remember even buying this album but couldn’t understand or get its vibe. I honestly think I wanted everyone to be this Nirvana/Pearl Jam thing, even though I loved classic rock and had an appreciation for different music….I think I must have been thinking “Your a new band, sound like everyone else and if you sound classic I don’t like you…..Hendrix does it better then you so don’t do that”…..I’m trying to examine my own actions years later and still, no clue.
“Soak the Sin” starts the album with a nice twangy riff with Zepplin like shifts that make this a good roller coaster of ups and downs. The mix puts rhythm guitars panned left and leads right, making the jam in this song super sweeeeeet sounding. In fact much of this good sounding mix is heard throughout….Great production and sound on this album. Second song “Tones of Home” highlights lead singer Joe Smiths unique voice and vocal style over a very pop rock progression, but again has a loose Zepplin feel. Little solos in and out very cool interplay from the guitarists keeps the momentum up and make this song a unique treat. “I Wonder” starts with a slow piece, but after a minute turns it up. Twang but its not country. Its such a cool sound. Then it goes into Grateful Dead territory….and back out again….WHO DOES THAT?! Cool solo at the end and of course, and I’m loving this.
“Paper Scratcher” continues Blind Melon’s style of cool twang with guitar solos panned left and right, but forget all that and seriously, just listen to Joe Smiths voice!!! How smooth and good does he sound?! Amazing! “Dear Ol’ Dad” is a funky kind of rocker that is the first song to change up the style. They get funked up and Joe Smiths vocal melodies are sweet. Add an acoustic guitar for a weird little solo and its back to the funk to the end. “Change” continues with an acoustic guitar playing a little campfire intro, heading into a swamp boogie including some cool dirty slide guitar and some more sweet solos! Short but sweet solos=perfection. Having such a unique sound as a band=Priceless.
The big hit “No Rain” comes in half-way through the album as the seventh song, and is a pretty unique sound. You either like it or don’t. “Deserted” shows Joe Smith changing his voice up even more and this is like an early Maroon 5 jam. These guys can funk/rock/twang it up so good. SO sick. Its no wonder then the next song “Sleepyhouse” sounds like a Black Crows jammer. Its super chill and continues this overall cool vibe of the album that is heard throughout. “Holyman” starts to reveal almost every Blind Melon song starts with a one minute intro that misleads you to where its really heading! The song keeps the good vibes up for sure, but this and the next song “Seed to a Tree” are the least desirable on the album compared to the other fantastic songs on the album.
“Drive” and “Time” both have that end of album, slow it down a little experimental feel to them. Great way to finish up this cool album that keeps up almost an hour of great music. Fans of the 90’s probably already have this, so its more of a reminder for them to check out Blind Melon again and for newbies its a definite must have! If your like me and happen to be both a music lover and a musician, this album will blow you away on its unique, yet hard rocking and soulful sound. A sound that’s like no one else. And when your a musician, that’s the best compliment you can get. Much love to Blind Melon, much love.
“All I can say Is that my life is pretty plain”