Fourteen years after their first self-titled album, Collective Soul deliver another in 2009 and it's fair to say that the album is a bit of a reintroduction, not a reinvention. It's also fair to ask who Collective Soul is reintroducing themselves to, and the answer is pretty simple: after spending the better part of the decade in the indie leagues, the band is returning to the majors with 2009's Collective Soul, making a pitch at reconnecting with the wide mainstream audience they had a decade ago. The group doesn't ignore what it's done over the last ten years -- there's a pronounced Bowie influence that still lingers -- first aired on the glam-tastic Youth -- especially on "Fuzzy," but this is high-gloss, high-octane arena rock, filled with big riffs and hooks on both the rockers and power ballads. Collective Soul doesn't make an attempt to modernize their sound (although the verse of "Understanding" has an unmistakable phrase borrowed from Jack White) choosing instead to refine their best techniques, so this winds up being a very big, very hooky modern rock record that might not find the audience it once did but only because of the shifting landscape of modern rock. As a record, this is as strong as anything Collective Soul have ever done.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine