Release Date: June 17, 2003
Reviewed by Vin Cherubino
After much anticipation, Finger Eleven has finally released their self-titled third full length album. With the recent success of many of the bands on the Wind-Up label, Finger Eleven couldn’t have chosen a better time to have this album released. One major question pops up immediately from this, will this new album be the next big success story for the label? Does it have enough appeal to break into the mainstream?
Finger Eleven has tried exceptionally hard to change some elements of their music to become a little more accessible for everyone. As a result of this, some of the songs just don’t have the same ferocity and originality as others contained in previous releases like “Tip” and “The Greyest of Blue Skies”. Mediocre hooks and consistently underpowered rhythms plague many of the songs. This CD just doesn’t grab your attention like “The Greyest of Blue Skies” did, which overshadows this release in quality by far. It feels like limits were put into place to keep the album from truly being original and captivating. At many points in the music where you expect explosions of emotion, it tends to become subdued and held back, and really disappoints in doing so.
“Thousand Mile Wish” and “One Thing” are examples of either experimental failures which don’t really fit the mood of the CD, or uninspired acoustical filler tracks that were haphazardly thrown in. They have no identity, feel lifeless, and feel out of place. In spite of this, “Stay in Shadow”, “Good Times”, and “Other Light” save the album from being a complete generic failure, as they pull their influence from back when Finger Eleven were unafraid to use their originality and talent, and bring catchy joy to your ears for a few minutes out of the CD.
Unfortunately, this release has shown that Finger Eleven have become industry molded, and have become a shadow of their former selves in the process. Is mainstream popularity worth compromising your integrity for? Is becoming an easily forgotten, dime a dozen band something to look forward to? Unless Finger Eleven decides to truly show what they are capable of again, I’m afraid they may turn out to be just another rock band.