Five Life Lessons Learned from Third Eye Blind Lyrics

Third Eye Blind's self-titled debut, released in 1997 on Warner Music subsidiary, Elektra, was a smash hit by all the regular standards: the record has gone platinum six times, has multiple number one singles, and is the quintessential document of the mid-to-late '90s phenomenon curiously dubbed, "alternative rock."

Despite the marketing context his band was organically branded with, chief songwriter Stephen Jenkins is without a doubt, a pop mastermind. The ultimate proof lies in the subject matter of the aforementioned smash hit album: substance abuse and near-constant romantic turmoil.

Third Eye Blind is a distinct record for many reasons, including, in big part, the production choices salient to radio-friendly rock music at the tail-end of the music industry's big budget boom. The mega-studio approach, and Jenkins' uniquely-voiced songwriting -- simple, though highly-lyrical sentiments garnished with direct poetic flourishes -- render the record's intense account of addiction and discord through immaculate pop sheen.

The end result is a record with its crosshairs on Top 40s charts that also deals in a great wealth of heavy material. With the airwaves saturated by his music, I couldn't help but learn a number of serious life lessons from the trials and tribulations of Stephen Jenkins as told in an genre-and-era-defining album.

Song: "Jumper"

Lyrics: Everyone's got to face down the demons/Maybe today/You could put the past away

Lesson: 3EB's fifth consecutive hit single uses an anti-suicide metaphor to advocate making necessary changes in one's life no matter how big or difficult they may appear. While "maybe today" is certainly in reference to demons being faced down, when coupled with what follows, the latter 2/3 of the line excerpted above doubly encourages the listener to live in the moment and stop dwelling in the past.

Song: "Losing a Whole Year"

Lyrics: And it always seems that the juice used to flow /In the car, in the kitchen you were good to go/Now we're stuck with the tube/A sink full of dishes and some aqua lube.

Lesson: Although the narrator is using a romantic relationship as the lens through which "Losing a Whole Year" unfolds, the message can be applied to every element of life. Passion always burns bright at first, but quickly burns out. Sustainability is key to sustaining.

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