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.

Like the in-depth, diverse coverage of Cryptic Rock? Help us in support to keep the magazine going strong for years to come with a small donation.

No comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *