Collective Soul: Dosage

Collective Soul: Dosage

It takes a while to forget Collective Soul's dark past. This is, after all, the band that brought the world the heavily contested Most Generic Single Of The '90s: "Shine," a 1994 song that sounded like a Stars On 45-style medley featuring every successful modern-rock act (Alice In Chains, et al) of its time. A few okay-but-unremarkable albums later—featuring such similarly forgettable singles as "Gel"—Collective Soul has a new hit with "Run," which has benefited from placement on the Varsity Blues soundtrack. But something is different: The song, with its slack pace and breezy hooks, isn't bad at all. It's not alone on Dosage, the Georgia band's fourth album, which opens with the likably Matthew Sweet-esque "Tremble For My Beloved" and winds through a slick, safe assortment of inoffensive, radio-ready rock candy. Along the way, there's an elegant, sweetly affecting ballad ("Needs"), a pop song that could easily be reworked into an N' Sync hit ("No More, No Less"), and a few dynamite choruses that will stick in your head for ages ("Dandy Life," "Compliment"). Collective Soul's past transgressions may be hard to forgive—history will likely lump it in with Matchbox 20, Seven Mary Three, and a thousand other faceless, trend-surfing bands from the South—but Dosage sounds an awful lot like rehabilitation.

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