Collective Soul – Vibrating (Album Review)

Collective Soul – Vibrating (Album Review)

Among the luminaries of early ’90s Alternative Rock, Collective Soul was formed in 1992, in Georgia, United States. Soon after the release of its debut major record, Hints Allegations and Things Left Unsaid, the American band catapulted to commercial popularity, with the strength of the chart-topping single “Shine.” The follow up, 1995’s self-titled album, rendered further hits, “Gel,” “December,” “The World I Know,” and “Where the River Flows.” Two more albums were unleashed in the decade, and four in the next.

Still keeping it together, after a few years’ embarking on individual projects, members reconvened in the 2010s to come up with a couple more albums of new materials. Now, Collective Soul follows up 2019’s Blood with yet another new record, Vibrating. 

Released on August 12, 2022, on Fuzze-Flex Records, Vibrating is the band’s eleventh overall studio release and features songs that were initially envisioned as part of Blood in a double album format. Rethinking the idea of a double album, the songs were made into Vibrating, a stand alone powerful return by the band’s founders, the brothers Ed Roland (lead vocals, guitars, keyboards) and Dean Roland (rhythm guitar) and Will Turpin (bass, percussion, vocals), with ensuing members Johnny Rabb (drums, percussion) and Jesse Triplett (lead guitar, backing vocals).

Consisting of nine tracks, it opens unassumingly with the accelerator-heavy, punk-rocker single “Cut the Cord.” Grinding Grunge sensibilities, “Reason” is another return to ’90s roots. On the other hand the single “All Our Pieces” is something more poppy and contemporary before you are treated with the guitar angularity of “Take,” as well as “Undone.” The mood then relaxes a bit with the bluesy midtempo “Rule no. 1.”

More album highlights follow soon after with the playful and tuneful “A Conversation With.” This is only before you are taken to the countryside once more with “Just Looking Around.” And finally wrapping it all up there is the folky guitar ballad “Back Again” oozing with nostalgic vibes, before a punchy and subtly funky closing with “Where Do I Go?”

Alternative Rock has always been alive and well. But, of course, its golden years were the 1990s. It just naturally got relegated to the sidelines, along with other genres and so many bands, as the so-called commercial spotlight shifts its focus from time to time. Thankfully Collective Soul is one of the genre’s consistent flag-bearers…and Vibrating is yet more proof of such. That is why Cryptic Rock gives it 4 out of 5 stars.

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aLfie vera mella
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Born in 1971, in Metro Manila, Philippines, aLfie vera mella is a healthcare worker, singer/songwriter, and editor/writer. He was the frontman of the ’90s-peaking Philippine Alternative Rock / New Wave band Half Life Half Death, which released a full-length album and several singles on Viva Records. aLfie worked at Diwa Scholastic Press as an editor/writer of academic textbooks and supplementary magazines, focusing on Science & Technology and English Grammar & Literature. In 2003, aLfie migrated to Canada; he has since been living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He works full-time at a healthcare institution, while serving as the associate contributing editor of Filipino Journal—a local community newspaper in Winnipeg—tackling Literature, Languages, Cultures, Lifestyles, and Music. aLfie has been a music journalist since the mid-’90s for various print magazines as well as websites. He started writing album reviews for Cryptic Rock in 2015. In 2016, aLfie published Part One (Literature & Languages and Their Cultural Significance) of his Essay Series, Can You Hear the Sound of a Falling Leaf?; in 2021, his first book of poetry, Pag-íhip sa Dáhon ng Kahápon [Blowing Leaves of Yesterday]. In his spare time, he enjoys reading books and listening to music. aLfie is a dedicated father to his now 13-year-old son, Evawwen; and a loving husband to Kathryn Mella, who herself moonlights also as a writer aside from holding a degree in Bachelor of Arts, Major in Sociology.

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