Album Review: Collective Soul – Here To Eternity

Photo by Lee Clower

Review by Rebecca Clark | Band Photos by Lee Clower

Collective Soul’s highly anticipated double album, Here To Eternity set to be released on May 17th, takes listeners on a soul-stirring journey through the highs and lows of love, loss, and life’s transitions. This album commences a celebration of a 30-year career for the band. From the moment “Mother’s Love” kicks off the album, it becomes clear that this isn’t just a collection of songs but a heartfelt exploration of the human experience.

The band has had so many accomplishments and milestone notches on their belts through the years. From being one of only five artists to be on both Woodstock 94’ and 99’, to now having the rare opportunity to record most of their new album Here To Eternity at Elvis Presley’s legendary estate in Palm Springs, CA. Produced by lead vocalist Ed Roland and co-produced by Shawn Grove, the album carries a distinct aura influenced by the iconic surroundings. Drawing inspiration from the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll himself, the tracks exude a blend of rock, soul, and rockabilly, transporting listeners into a realm where every chord reverberates with raw emotion.

Kicking off the album with the track “Mother’s Love” serves as a poignant reminder that a mother’s love is always within us, guiding us through life’s toughest moments. With their definitive guitar riffs, the music to this track is heavy yet lighter during the chorus rounding out with its uplifting message of self-love and resilience. This track sets the tone for the emotional rollercoaster that follows.

Through soaring melodies and heartfelt lyrics, Collective Soul invites listeners to embrace their inner strength and find solace in the unconditional love that resides within, akin to a “Mother’s Love.”

As the album unfolds, each track reveals a new layer of emotion and introspection. From the bluesy vibes of “Matter of Fact” to the intimate balladry of “Be the One,” the band showcases their versatility and depth as musicians.

The stripped-down and beautifully written “Be the One” showcases Roland’s depth as a songwriter. Recorded live in Elvis’ bedroom, the song is very intimate with simple vocals and piano. The atmosphere in this recording reflects the vulnerability that this song has within its lyrics. “Be the One” is filled with the longing of wanting to connect with his person to be the one for him and to be chosen in return “‘Cause you’re my love You’re my friend, So be the one, I’d love to harbor, Be the one I’ve never seen before, Be the one that is my constant And nothing more.”

Another hidden gem waiting to be discovered on the album is the mesmerizing “Bob Dylan (Where Are You Today).” The acoustic track was recorded live at the legendary Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN which created an unparalleled vibe that perfectly complements the essence of the song. Roland’s vocals embody Dylan’s accompanied by the soulful strumming of an acoustic guitar and harmonica—reminiscent of songs on Dylan’s timeless album “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.”

Prepare for an emotionally charged experience with “Words Away,” a powerful anthem that hits you right in the heart. Kicking off with the raw strumming of an acoustic guitar, the piano joins in, accompanied by the full force of the band. This song doesn’t just resonate – it reverberates with its profound message of communication and connection. It’s a call to arms, urging listeners to summon their courage and bridge the gap between emotional detachment and intimacy in their relationships. With touching lyrics like “You’re just words away, We’re just words away, Bring up the years, Bring up the days, Bring up the path, That lead us here and astray,” this song cuts straight to the core, reminding us of the power of words can heal and unite. This prompts the listener to realize during the rocky moments in a relationship you feel like you are worlds away from your person, when in reality you are just “Words Away.”

Scattered amidst the album’s structure are energetic and vibrant tracks like “Sister and Mary” and “Bring on The Day” that inject an infectious energy into your ears.

Photo by Lee Clower

“Sister Mary” is an invigorating force that catapults you onto the dance floor, demanding you unleash every ounce of energy within. With an infectious rhythm that compels you to rise and dance, encouraging you to shake off inhibitions and let yourself go. But what sets it apart are the surprises throughout the playful interjections of quirky sounds like a telephone ringing, the soaring harmonies of a church choir, and the delightful sound of a blowing kiss at the finale.

With peppy melodies “Bring on the day, He’s got the pure tone, Like the opera, He’s feeling so strong, Like steel and copper.” The track “Bring on the Day” has a lighter cheerful sound that gives a pep in your step. The song’s vibe reflects when you feel good in your own skin, exuding your infectious energy with the feeling of being able to conquer anything the day brings in stride. “Bring on the Day” gives a message of embracing each moment with authenticity and openness. It conveys a message of empowerment and living fully in the present.

But perhaps the most powerful moment comes with the album’s closer, “Over and Out.” As a father bids farewell to his daughter as she ventures into the world, the song encapsulates the bittersweet essence of parenthood. With poignant lyrics and tender melodies, Collective Soul paints a portrait of unconditional love and unwavering support.

“Over and Out” beautifully bookends the album, providing a poignant reflection on the journey of life and the enduring bonds of family. As the father watches his daughter fly away, he reassures her that she will always carry the love of both her parents with her, no matter where life takes her.

In the end, “Here to Eternity” isn’t just an album; it’s a testament to the power of love, resilience, and the human spirit. Through their masterful storytelling and heartfelt performances, Collective Soul invites listeners on a journey of self-discovery and reflection, reminding us that even in our darkest moments, we are never truly alone.

If you’re facing tough times, Here To Eternity will spark the courage within you to firmly tie that knot when you feel like you’re sliding to the end of your rope, and to fiercely persevere.

Pre-order the album Here To Eternity HERE

Here To Eternity track list:

  1. Mother’s Love
  2. Bluer Than So Blue
  3. Let It Flow
  4. Not the Same
  5. Bob Dylan (Where Are You Today)
  6. Hey Man
  7. Kick It
  8. Matter of Fact
  9. Sister and Mary
  10. Be the One
  11. Keep It on Track
  12. Who Loves
  13. La Dee Da
  14. Bring on the Day
  15. Words Away
  16. No Man’s Land
  17. Letter from E
  18. I Know You, You Know Me
  19. Therapy
  20. Over and Out

Collective Soul will be on tour all summer on the Summer Camp With Trucks Tour with Hootie & The Blowfish:

Hootie & The Blowfish Summer Camp with Trucks Tour with Edwin McCain:

May 30             Dallas, TX                     Dos Equis Pavilion
May 31             Rogers, AR                   Walmart AMP
June 1              St. Louis, MO                Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
** June 4           Columbus, OH              The Bluestone
June 6              Detroit, MI                     Pine Knob Music Theatre
June 7              Cincinnati, OH               Riverbend Music Center
June 8              Indianapolis, IN             Ruoff Music Center
June 13             Gilford, NH                    BankNH Pavilion
June 14             Bangor, ME                  Maine Savings Amphitheatre
June 15             Saratoga Springs, NY    Broadview Stage at SPAC
* June 21          Boston, MA                   Fenway Park
** June 25         Erie, PA                        Warner Theatre
June 27             Bethel, NY                    Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
June 28             Hershey, PA                 Hersheypark Stadium
June 29             Burgettstown, PA          The Pavilion at Star Lake
July 10              Denver, CO                  Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre
July 11              Salt Lake City, UT         USANA Amphitheater
July 13              Phoenix, AZ                  Footprint Center
July 16              Anaheim, CA.                Honda Center
July 17              Mountain View, CA        Shoreline Amphitheatre
July 19              Portland, OR                 RV Inn Styles Amphitheatre
July 20              Seattle, WA                   White River Amphitheatre
** July 24          Omaha, NE                   Steelhouse Omaha
July 26              Birmingham, AL             Oak Mountain Amphitheatre
July 27              Nashville, TN                Bridgestone Arena
** July 28          Evansville, IN                Victory Theatre
Aug. 1              Hartford, CT                  The XFINITY Theatre
Aug. 2              Holmdel, NJ                  PNC Bank Arts Center
Aug. 3              Columbia, MD               Merriweather Post Pavilion
** Aug. 6           Grand Rapids, MI         GLC Live at 20 Monroe
Aug. 8              Somerset, WI                Somerset Amphitheater
Aug. 9              Chicago, IL                   Credit Union 1 Amphitheatre
Aug. 10             East Troy, WI                Alpine Valley Music Theatre
Aug. 15             Cleveland, OH              Blossom Music Center
Aug. 16             Philadelphia, PA            Freedom Mortgage Pavilion
Aug. 17             Bristow, VA                   Jiffy Lube Live
Aug. 29             Columbia, SC                Colonial Life Arena
** Aug. 31         North Myrtle Beach, SC House of Blues – Myrtle Beach
Sept. 5              Wantagh, NY                Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
Sept. 6              Syracuse, NY                Empower FCU Amphitheater at Lakeview
Sept. 7              Toronto, ONT.               Budweiser Stage
Sept. 12            Knoxville, TN                 Thompson-Boling Arena at Food City Center
Sept. 13            Raleigh, NC                  Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek
Sept. 14            Virginia Beach, VA        Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater
Sept. 19            Charlotte, NC                PNC Music Pavilion
Sept. 20            Alpharetta, GA              Ameris Bank Amphitheatre
Sept. 21            Greenville, SC               Bon Secours Wellness Arena
Sept. 26            Tampa, FL                    MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
Sept. 27            Jacksonville, FL             VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena
Sept. 28            West Palm Beach, FL    iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre
* Also featuring special guests Barenaked Ladies
** Headlining shows

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