Collective Soul’s 11th studio album, Vibrating is electric from beginning to end!
Review by Allie Hutchence
Collective Soul recently released their eagerly awaited 11th studio album, Vibrating on their record label, Fuzze-Flex Records via AMPED Distribution. Vibrating is the follow up Collective Soul’s 2019 Blood album which featured the lead single “Right as Rain” and marked the band’s return to the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart – topping out at #32. I don’t know about you, but one of my gauges for the quality of an album is how many songs I “skip over” in favor of others. On the 10 song Vibrating album there is not a single song I would skip over – Even on my 30th listen!
I say it all the time to my musician friend, Jeff Campbell, whether you record on your phone or in a million-dollar studio, my untrained ear cannot tell the difference. But what my untrained ear can hear is a band that only sounds good in a recording and falls short live. Collective Soul is not that band. Having attended 3 of the band’s live shows leading up to the release which included both “All Our Pieces” and “Undone” as part of the setlist I can confirm both songs sound even better live. But all their songs sound better live if we are being honest.
What impresses me the most about Vibrating is how all the elements are woven together to create an intricate balance. Dean Roland (rhythm guitar), Johnny Rabb (drums), and Will Turpin (bass) create a foundation that prepares you for what is to come. Ed Roland’s lyrics and delivery paint a vibrant picture. And Jesse Triplett (lead guitar) comes in with parts that melts your face off. Throw in some arranged strings, a choir, a trumpet – and you have a musical complexity that is rare to find in today’s rock world. This band enjoys playing together and as a listener you can hear it in the music, both recorded and live. Music doesn’t gel like this if the band isn’t having a good time.
While there are lots of great songs on the album, one of my favorites is “Undone”. To elaborate, “Undone” is magical to me. It starts with a solid drum pocket and then layers on a mix of electric and acoustic guitar. The lyrics speak to me “Just thinking of thoughts • Like pride and what it cost • Who gains without a loss” – “I’m going to I’m coming from • I need a moment cause I’ve come undone • I need to walk I need to run• I need more time cause I’ve come undone”. This sums up the last few years of both my life, and all our collective (no pun intended) lives to me. Close it all out with a dose of Will Turpin’s vocals, which are underutilized, in my opinion.
“Cut The Cord” is the song I look forward to hearing live the most, and hope it is added to the setlist soon. It lulls you in with what seems like a tame guitar arrangement, but then seconds later launches into a raucous rhythm that would have you jumping out of your seat to dance, no matter where you are. “Cut The Cord” is to Vibrating what “Right As Rain” and “Over Me” was to Blood. Ed’s vocals continue to amaze, and it is hard to believe he’s been doing this for 30 years in this band alone.
Header Image by David Abbott (Left to right: Jesse Triplett (lead guitar/background vocals), Will Turpin (bass/background vocals), Ed Roland (vocals/guitar), Dean Roland (rhythm guitar), Johnny Rabb (drums/background vocals)