FFWDing to the Best Part: “Jumper,” Third Eye Blind (1998)

I feel conflicted about Third Eye Blind. Their lyrics are sometimes a touch overwrought, and Stephan Jenkins has a horrible singing voice live. He’d be nowhere without studio magic — and his good looks (which are certainly holding up, I must say).

But I fail to believe they are as worthy of the douche tag as, say, Nickelback. Or Creed. Or even Collective Soul! I like a lot of their songs — like, a healthy handful of them. One of my favorites is “Jumper,” which tried to deliver the “It Gets Better” message years before Dan Savage kicked off the viral campaign. It was also used to memorable — if ultimately misguided — effect in the pilot episode of The Real World: Hawaii.  Teck Money, we hardly knew ye.

Best part? 2:24 – 3:31.  That’s right, a full 67 seconds constitutes the “best part.”  It’s a slow build of nine- (seven?)-note phrases, repeated o’er and o’er and o’er — 18 times!.  At the 3:05 point, there’s a skip in the then-expected rhythm, allowing  Jenkins to yelp like a soccer hooligan as the intensity of the music continues to swell behind him.  What’s so great about this progression is that it really almost goes on too long, making the ultimate payoff that much sweeter.  It may have been the most satisfying proverbial musical orgasm of the late ’90s. After all that, I really hope his friend stepped back from the ledge.



One thought on “FFWDing to the Best Part: “Jumper,” Third Eye Blind (1998)

  1. I remember being pleasantly surprised that the apparent goofballs behind “Semi-Charmed Life” could produce this as well. Better musical composition (IVmaj7 chord! Ending on the dominant!). Better arrangement, with both a drum/bass breakdown and a separate guitar breakdown. Better lyrics. Terrific tone on the guitar solo. Who says 90s bands can’t play their instruments?

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