Album Review — Collective Soul
Collective Soul — Vibrating
Collective Soul is back with their 11th studio album, “Vibrating”. The band is celebrating their 30th anniversary this year and are currently on tour with Switchfoot. “Vibrating” is the band’s first release since 2019’s “Blood”.
I haven’t been a huge fan of the last three studio albums. I really enjoyed 2007’s “Afterwords” but since then the albums have been mediocre with some really good tracks and some misses.
For “Vibrating”, it sounds like the band has returned to their classic sound. From the opening riff of “Cut The Cord”, “Vibrating” has an older Collective Soul sound to it.
The opening riff of “Cut The Cord” is the foundation of the aggressive opener. The chorus has that peak Collective Soul sound to it. A great start.
“Reason” is a little less aggressive than the opener but still is built around a classic sounding Collective Soul riff. The verses are driving but it’s that chorus that hooks you and reminds you of why this band was so successful in the 90s and early 2000s. One of their best songs in over a decade.
“All Our Pieces” is the first single that I heard from the record and it’s another winner. Again, it’s reminiscent of that classic sound but not a carbon copy. The 90s weren’t a great time for me and music as many of my favorite bands broke up or took long breaks. But Collective Soul was one of the new bands that I took to and it’s great to hear them back to that sound that I loved back then.
“Take” is a decent track but doesn’t quite live up to the previous two tracks although it still maintains that classic sound.
“Undone” continues the return to the classic sound, this time going back to the early records. The band recently celebrated the 25th Anniversary of their third record, “Disciplined Breakdown”, so I wonder if that return has brought the band back to their early days. Whatever it was, it was a great decision as this is another fantastic track.
“Rule №1” is a slower, moodier track that finds Ed Roland delivering a quality vocal. Roland doesn’t seem to age as he still hits all the notes with ease.
“A Conversation With” is the first track that doesn’t feel like a nod to the classic sound, at least in the verse. But the chorus hits and we are back in the mid 90s. An interesting track that works.
The second half of the record is more mid tempo and we get another similar track with “Just Looking Around”. It is undeniably classic Collective Soul from Roland’s vocal delivery to that guitar sound in the chorus.
“Back Again” sounds like it should close the record. It’s the longest song on the record and has that epic feel to it. It would have worked really well at the end but either way it’s a great track.
The actual album closer, “Where Do I Go”, is a mix of old and new. The verses sound like the recent records while the chorus almost sounds too much like the early stuff. I would have flipped this one and “Back Again” for better flow, but that’s a minor issue.
Overall, I’m very happy with the band’s decision to return to their more classic sound. They pull it off without sounding dated which isn’t easy to do. This is easily the band’s best record since “Afterwords” and gives me hope that bands can find their way again.
Fans of the band will likely really enjoy this record. Hopefully it gets enough play for folks to get their hands on “Vibrating” as it’s well worth the effort.
90 out of 100
- Cut the Cord
- Reason *
- All Our Pieces *
- Undone *
- Rule №1
- A Conversation With
- Just Looking Around
- Back Again *
- Where Do I Go