While some bands can survive a lengthy tenure, others need to take a break to get back to where they want to be. That’s exactly what Collective Soul did, returning with “See What You Started By Continuing” six years after its last record.
Even the album’s title is a play on the band’s decision to take a break so it could come back and find itself again, all the while bettering each of the members’ lives as well as the music.
In its off time, several members picked up side projects, allowing them time to breathe before creating an album that makes it feel as if they never missed a beat.
With this ninth studio album, Collective Soul returns as a reinvented group, while still showcasing the influences that mark its signature sound.
The opening track, “This,” sets the tone of the album, featuring heavy drums and guitars and a classic upbeat melody.
With lyrics such as, “How am I gonna leave you when I love you like this” and “Those crazy words mixed with truth and lies, you’re a camouflage trouble right before my eyes,” pumps you up for the rest of the day.
The second track, “Hurricane,” continues the upbeat feel, but strikes a balance between lighter melodies and intense guitar solos.
Halfway through the album, “AYTA” and “Contagious” veer more toward the softer side of rock, featuring an acoustic guitar on “AYTA,” which is an abbreviation understood in the lyric, “Are you the answer to all I need?”
“Contagious,” on the other hand, picks the electric guitars back up and boasts lyrics about an infatuated relationship with, “And the words that you do shout, and the pride that you spill out, you’re contagious too.”
To close the album, “Without Me” takes a slightly classical detour, incorporating a piano riff alongside the guitars and drums and giving it a ’70s-era sound.
The track however, like the rest of the album, builds out of the slower tempo into a long guitar solo and provides a good fade out.
Though only a 38-minute record spread between 11 tracks, “See What You Started By Continuing” marks a solid return for Collective Soul.
This album is worth a listen whether you’re a classic rock fan or enjoy heavier alternative sounds, as it’s a mixture of influences across music genres.