Collective Soul: Ed Roland (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Dean Roland, Ross Childress (guitar); Will Turpin (bass, percussion); Shane Evans (drums, percussion).
Producers include: Ed Roland, Ross Childress.
Engineers include: Greg Archilla.
Personnel: Ed Roland (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Dean Roland, Ross Childress (guitar); Shane Evans (drums, percussion); Will Turpin (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Tom Lord-Alge.
Recording information: Tree Studios, Atlanta, GA.
Photographers: Mil Cannon; David LaChapelle.
Led by the raspy-voiced Ed Roland, Collective Soul avoided falling into the morass of sameness plaguing many of their faceless post-grunge brethren and instead quietly established themselves as one of the more intellectually stimulating bands of the '90s. For its 7EVEN YEAR ITCH compilation, this Georgia quartet consistently displays a deceptively simple approach that avoids bandwagon-jumping and instead focuses on hook-laden, guitar-driven manna with the occasional philosophical observation (not surprising as the band's name is an Ayn Rand reference).
Avoiding any hint of didactic pretensions, Roland's songwriting often touches on simple truths, be it the quest for guidance by a higher being in "Shine" (which was later given a gorgeous bluegrass reading by Dolly Parton), the pain of solitude on the moving "The World I Know," or the glory of absolution addressed in "Forgiveness." Even the new songs included on this collection continue down this path of introspection. With a more rhythmically hard-hitting approach than normal, "Next Homecoming" seeks out a sense of security in an unsure future while "Energy" churns out an insistent groove over a declaration of suspected betrayal. 7EVEN YEAR ITCH prove hooks and brainy concepts needn't be mutually exclusive of each other.