Third Eye Blind's "Semi-Charmed Life" was one of the most heavily rotated singles of the '90s, overexposed on a diverse assortment of radio stations and what seemed like dozens of movie trailers. As 1997's equivalent of Spin Doctors' "Two Princes," it got old fast, but that doesn't diminish the immense appeal of the group's many-hits-deep self-titled debut. Sure, "Semi-Charmed Life" and the Dawson's Creek staple "How's It Going To Be" were driven into the ground, but the album delivered more car-radio-friendly guilty pleasures than just about any new recording since the height of Weezer. Still, two and a half years, four million albums, and five bazillion radio spins later, the San Francisco band doesn't wield the goodwill it did when it was a bunch of nobodies. The generally spotty nature of its sophomore album Blue doesn't help—its second half is particularly aimless and dire—but it's got its moments, particularly the sparkly, hitworthy single "Never Let You Go" and "Anything," which opens the album with two minutes of pop joy. Otherwise, Blue settles for near-misses (the fuzzy "Farther"), familiar retreads ("1000 Julys"), and head-scratching experiments ("The Red Summer Sun," a rock song that veers off course into spazz-metal before winding down with the sound of wispy, ghostly falsettos). Still, while it's not the commercial gold mine of its predecessor, Blue shows that Third Eye Blind isn't ready to be dismissed quite yet.

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