Hints, Allegations And Things Left Unsaid

Collective Soul

Atlantic Records, 1993


REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Scoring a smash hit on your first try can be murder on your career.

Ask Collective Soul, whose first effort "Shine" was a smash hit on both alternative and modern rock radio stations. Its success led their debut album, Hints, Allegations And Things Left Unsaid to rampant success, and Ed Roland and crew landed a coveted spot on the bill of Woodstock '94.

But when all the hype is gone, what you're left with is an average, albeit somewhat pleasant, effort that otherwise plows no new ground.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

There's no denying the fact that "Shine" is a killer track. The three guitar attack of Roland, his brother Dean and Ross Childress leave no dount that this track will bore its way into your mind. Bassist Will Turpin and drummer Shane Evans solidify the effort with a solid backbeat. In fact, the song's only real "weakness" is in the pauses during the bridges, where Ed Roland says "yeah" - if you have a sick mind like I do, you tend to flow in additional commentary. But I digress.

Collective Soul manages to keep the energy level pretty high for the first few songs of the album. "Goodnight, Good Guy" would have been a great follow-up track on rock radio, as would have "Sister Don't Cry" - or even later in the album, "Reach".

Unfortunately, the band is not able to maintain the same energy and quality levels they set early on throughout the rest of Hints, Allegations And Things Left Unsaid. "Breathe" is a track that could have been a great number, but slightly falls short of the mark... though not by much. "Wasting Time" is too slow and laid back for my tastes, while "Heaven's Already Here," "In A Moment" and "All" just fall flat. In the end, tracks sounding similar to each other is what does this album in.

The one thing I will say about this album is that, five years and two more albums later, you can see the progression of the band beginning, almost to the point where Disciplined Breakdown's "Listen" is a natural successor to "Goodnight, Good Guy". Where I think the difference lies is that, in 1998, the band has greatly improved their songwriting skills - skills which show they were in development on Hints, but not quite there yet.

In the end, Hints, Allegations And Things Left Unsaid will be remembered for "Shine," and that might not be a bad thing. But it would have been nicer if more material had stood out on this effort.

Rating: C+

User Rating: B



© 1998 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Atlantic Records, and is used for informational purposes only.