Top Ten Songs by Collective Soul

A thinking person’s rock band, Collective Soul is an alternative, post-grunge band delivering some of the best hook-laden lyrics and guitar riffs of the decade. Though not a Christian band, much of Collective Soul’s imagery could come from the pages of the Bible. Not only do they make you think but they actually make you feel.

#1: DECEMBER. A hard-hitting song punctuated with a solid drum beat, “December” captures your attention and never lets go. Lyrics such as these remind me of the Old Testament tale of Jonah and the whale:

Don’t scream about
Don’t think aloud
Turn your head now baby
Just spit me out
Don’t worry about
Don’t speak of doubt
Turn your head now baby
Just spit me out

This song has such catchy lyrics, they’ll actually haunt your sleep, and The only cure for this is to immerse yourself in another Collective Soul lyric, such as:

#2: SMASHING YOUNG MAN. Strong imagery of Christ and one of his reluctant disciples make “Smashing Young Man” a must-listen-to song. Lyrics imply the speaker wants to runaway from God’s guidance and direction, but is amazed by the kind demeanor of his presence. As we’ve all hear time and again, Love is patient, Love is kind.

I don’t recall asking for guidance
I don’t recall wanting to
I don’t recall bowing before you
But I’m so impressed
With the kindness in your attitude

Many listeners, especially those fighting against external influences in their lives, will nod in agreement with the writer’s comments. After all, for most of us, daily life is a struggle in:

#3: THE WORLD I KNOW. Just a great rock song that makes you actually think for a change. In a world full of Madonna wanna-be’s and lyrics without an ounce of meaning, this tune is a rarity.

So I walk up on high
And I step to the edge
To see my world below.
And I laugh at myself
While the tears roll down.
‘Cause it’s the world I know.
It’s the world I know.

Quick! Run to your local music store and purchase a copy of this magical, somewhat mystical song. If you don’t, you’ll only have yourself toâÂ?¦

#4: BLAME. A really angry song, “Blame” delivers a knock-out punch with strong lyrics which beg you to question: Who is the writer mad at? A spouse? A girlfriend? A friend who did him wrong? Satan?

You pushed me down
For all the world to see
I guess that’s your price for
My loyalty
So while you’re tasting the sin
And swallowing the pain
Don’t look at me to take your blame

I find this song an excellent release from the mentally draining, physically exhausting 9-to-5 grind. I just hop into my car, turn up the speakers, and let the world pass me by, as I unwind. If I didn’t, I most certainly would have aâÂ?¦

#5: DISCIPLINED BREAKDOWN. An excellent, ferociously brilliant song, “Disciplined Breakdown” presents the tale of a person desperately begging to be “delivered” from his personal demons. It’s a cry for help for the masses.

Breakdown reality
Breakdown my ability to get it back
I wanna get it back
Breakdown honesty
Breakdown now deliver me
From all this madness and all this agony

How many times do we cry out for help, though no one seems to listen or care? Personally, this song gives me a temporary sense of relief “from all this madness and all this agony”. Since I’m usually singing this tune within the confines of my car, I need to ask those watching my slightly insane lip-syncing forâÂ?¦

#6: FORGIVENESS. Definitely the most “religious” song in Collective Soul’s repertoire, “Forgiveness” paints a picture of the writer’s cry for help from his partner and from God. Often, when we are faced with challenges, we cry out to God and our mate for “deliverance” from the evils life offers.

Guide me save me teach me
I need to learn from this
Hold me, soothe me my love
The reflection I now see
Is always trying to blind
And discourage me

Crying out to others is perfectly normal, not the least bit insane. Also, it’s perfectly normal in this often cold, hard world to ask for forgiveness for the problems we’ve brought to others.

#7: PRECIOUS DECLARATION. A powerful, beat-driven song about hope, “Precious Declaration” is Collective Soul’s best song. Strong, uplifting lyrics make you want to stand up and jump for joy. After all, the song seems to imply, life isn’t always so bad:

Once I jumped thru hoops of fire
As High and far as you required
I was blind but now I see
Salvation has discovered me

I’m still uncertain as to the type of “salvation” the writer requires. Is it from evil, heartbreak, or death? The writer only knows.

#8: SHINE. In my humble opinion, no songbook is complete without a song dedicated to one’s yearning for love. I love “Shine”, as it is my strongest desire of the heart: To love and to be loved:

Love is in the water
Love is in the air
Show me where to look
Tell me will love be there.
Will love be there?

Without love, life is meaningless.

#9: SHE SAID. Another song that makes you actually think, about a woman facing middle age with more than a little regret.

She said that time is unfair
To a woman her age
Now that wisdom has come
Everything else fades
She realizes she’s seen better days
She said she can’t look back
To her days of youth
What she thought were lies
She later found was truth
She said her daddy had dreams
But he drank them away
And her mother’s to blame
For the way she is today

The woman in this song needs more than a little psychiatric help. Sure, it is so easy to blame than to accept the fact that we are responsible for our own failures in life.

#10: HOW DO YOU LOVE? I am a sucker for any type of love song- even those which tell the story of its death. After all, love – as a silly song from my youth implied – “makes the world go ’round”.

so how do you love
and how do you love
when your angels can’t sing
and your world is still
lacking of me, yeah-yeah

Besides, where would any of us be with love? You’re right: We wouldn’t be here! Hey, wait a minute! Perhaps that was due to lust!

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