Collective Soul

Hints, Allegations & Things Left Unsaid

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Collective Soul never claimed it was an alt-rock band, but it arrived with the debut Hints Allegations and Things Left Unsaid when anything with guitars was marketed as anti-establishment, underground rock. In retrospect, it's sort of hard to see how this record, with its loving debts to Southern rock and AOR anthems, ever shared airplay on modern rock radio stations and 120 Minutes, but that's just the way things were in the heady days of 1994. Ironically, Collective Soul succeeded where cult heroes Urge Overkill couldn't -- making late-'70s arena rock popular. Urge, of course, was a band of hardcore ironists, where the members of Collective Soul were dogged traditionalists, which sells better with a mainstream audience, and that's part of the reason why this debut was a hit. The other reason is that the band hits the riff jackpot a couple of times here: "Wasting Time" and "Love Lifted Me" are strong classicist rock, but "Shine" is a tremendous guilty pleasure, built on a guitar riff so indelible you swear it's stolen, blessed by a sighing melody that makes this a fine album-rock single that would have sounded as good in '74 as it did in '94. This is the song that signaled that the group had the skills and smarts to be a first-rate singles band, even if the rest of the record vacillates between pleasant and forgettable filler. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi