Music Review – Collective Soul

Band: Collective Soul
Album: See What You Started By Continuing

When I was growing up I loved listening to the local radio station, eagerly waiting for one of my favourite songs to play, no matter how long I had to wait. And when a song I loved finally played, I experienced a few precious minutes of utter delight and ecstatic bliss. Many of Collective Soul’s songs, “Run,” “Shine,” “December,” and “The World I Know” just to name a few, were among my favourites all those years ago. Today, I still love listening to those older songs and being transported to those days. The days when bands took care to create great music that simultaneously entertained and energized you?music that made you think and made you stop and enjoy a moment. Well, with the release of See What You Started By Continuing, Collective Soul has brought those days back!

Collective Soul rose to international fame in 1993, and, while taking some time off since their last album release back in 2009, were inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. 2015’s See What You Started by Continuing is their ninth album, and the band is celebrating It’s release and their over 20 years in music by hitting the road and touring during 2016.

The music on See What You Started By Continuing is phenomenal, each track flows seamlessly into the next one, and I find it hard to pick just one as a favourite. Perhaps my favourite thing about this album is that each song is different, and the musical influences vary from jazz to big band, from blues to folk, which in my opinion makes for a great rock album.

The first track “This” is reminiscent of Collective Soul’s original sound and the upbeat tempo will grab your attention and force you to listen. “This” oozes rock music and includes everything that makes rock music great. I’ve listened to the track several times already and it still makes me get up and dance wildly, all while lip syncing.

If slower is what you like, then be sure to check out “Tradition,” a song that will mesmerize you with soft vocals, spoken lyrics, and sensual guitar. Although the majority of the song is a typical semi-slow rock song, the spoken lyrics are what set it apart. Almost like you are being treated to a wonderful impromptu poem, the spoken lyric is an effect rarely used in modern music. Yet, if done well, it adds an intimate element to the song, drawing the listener in.

“Without Me” finishes off the album perfectly. Complete with a fantastic piano solo, this blues-inspired love song also features a violin playing subtly in the background, and the overall composition of the song reminds me of older rock, like something you would’ve expected to from Queen. Perhaps the best and most startling thing about “Without Me” is that when the music fades away and the album ends, you realize how the album has affected you, how the melodies, rhythms, and harmonies worked their way into your bones. And you are left feeling what it is like without more Collective Soul to listen to!

If live music is your thing, then be sure to check out Collective Soul’s website to see if they are playing near you. Tickets for all of their shows went on sale February 19th. I had the chance to see them live years ago and it was one of the best concerts that I have ever been too!

See What You Started By Continuing is now available where ever you buy your music. Although while the music is perfect to listen to while studying, I will warn you that occasionally you will want to turn the volume way up and dance, tossing your books aside for the time being and seizing a moment for yourself. But, really, isn’t that what great music is all about?

Samantha Stevens is an aspiring writer who loves combining her love for literature with photography, painting, music, and all creative pursuits.