Rolling Stone - 10/26/00, p.1163 stars out of 5
- "...BLENDER simply shreds with unapologetic classic-rock energy....making you pay homage to the Mount Rushmore-like solidity of rock stripped to hard-hitting essentials..."
Q - 5/01, p.1043 stars out of 5
- "...Brims with the slick upbeat guitar pop that grown-up America loves....it's what American car stereos were made for."
Collective Soul: Ed Roland (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Ross Childress, Dean Roland (guitar); Will Turpin (bass, percussion); Shane Evans (drums, percussion).
Additional personnel: Elton John (vocals, piano); Shawn Mullins, Lindsay Kris Roland, Megumi Higashiguci, Chika Goto (vocals); Jake Shapiro (cello); Jerald Jackson (Clavinet); Mike Lawler (Hammond organ); AJR (keyboards, programming, turntables); Antonio L.A. Reid, Jeff Lanahan (handclaps); Butch Walker, Jayce Fincher (background vocals).
Recorded at Crossover Studios, Atlanta, Georgia and Bopnique Music, Boston, Massachussetts.
Personnel: Ed Roland (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Elton John (vocals, background vocals); Shawn Mullins (vocals); Dean Roland, Ross Childress (guitar); Jake Shapiro (cello); Mike Lawler (organ); Anthony J. Resta (keyboards, programming, turntables); Shane Evans (drums, percussion); L.A. Reid (hand claps); Will Turpin (percussion); Jayce Fincher, Butch Walker (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Chris Lord-Alge; Jack Joseph Puig; Bob St. John .
Recording information: Bopnique Music, Boston, MA; Crossover Studios, Atlanta, GA.
Photographers: David LaChapelle; Rick Diamond.
Collective Soul wasted little time following up 1999's DOSAGE, but BLENDER doesn't feel rushed in any way. The band has softened its touch, leaning more towards mid-tempo modern rock and keeping the harder-edged material in the background.
Ed Roland and company immediately start you guessing with a kind of technical Jekyll and Hyde game--BLENDER leads off with the first two tracks, "Skin" and "Vent" featuring programmed drums; acoustic drums don't appear until the crunchy "Why Pt. 2." This is one of the album's most puzzling aspects, but after a few listens, it doesn't really undermine BLENDER's overall strength. From the funky syncopation of "Boast" to the borderline adult contemporary balladry of "10 Years Later," Collective Soul doesn't disappoint, especially with "Perfect Day," featuring a solid cameo from none other than Sir Elton John.