For My Friends – Blind Melon

As most alternative rock music fans from the 1990s will remember, Blind Melon went on a hiatus after the death of their charismatic singer Shannon Hoon in 1995. Since then they have released an album of back catalogue songs in Nico and a best of.

But what’s this? This little tidbit had escape my radar. An album of new songs was released in April, 2008. Joining hands with singer Travis Warren, the remainin 4 members of Blind Melon came out with For My Friends, which starts of with Warren sounding a lot like Hoon in the title track. The first single is about drinking with your friends and missing the good ole times. It is spoiled unnecessarily with a silly laughing fit on the part of Warren, that seems put on.

Musically the band sounds tight and I especially like the drums in With The Right Set Of Eyes. Wishing Well has got to be the best song on the album. It sounds lyrically like an anti-suicide song and has some great guitar playing on it. Sometimes comes off sounding like a Brit pop song; I think it’s the organ part that does it for me. It also has a lyrical tribute to Carly Simon’s You’re So Vain (you think this song is about you, don’t you). Tumbling Down sounds a lot like the old Blind Melon.

Down On The Pharmacy is an anti-drug song warning against abusing chemical substances that can catch up with you later. Make A Difference sounds Lennon-ish with political overtones. Harmful Belly is about the pain of love and the heartbreak when it dies. Folksy & jingle jangly acoustic guitars start of Last Laugh until the chorus break and more classic rock tinges take over. Hynotized is more 1970s retro rock and this shouldn’t come off a a surprise since the band has been influenced mostly by that period’s music.

Father Time does not sound much like the old Blind Melon but it’s an ok tune. So High is a mellow tune even with electric guitars. Album closer Chettum Street is a slowed down track about nostalgia.

There’s no No Rain on this album and I would have to place it as their 4th best record till date – but that’s ok. It’s still got plenty of tunes to please a rocker like me and appeal to my ballad side as well.

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