This first album by Collective Soul is probably actually their weakest album. As I heard it at the time, it was an album thrown together so that the awesome single "Shine" could be put on a full length album. For sure, that single helped "wake up" the rock music scene that had been depressed by grunge the previous few years. It was one of the best singles of the '90s no doubt with its crunching guitars, melodic vocals, and overall catchiness. A second single, "Breathe", didn't fare nearly as well, but it was still a decent sound that was a melodic/modern hybrid.
For an album that was basically thrown together, this still sounds pretty darn good. Songs like "Wasting Time", "In A Moment", and "Reach" are all mid tempo tunes with a good melody. "Pretty Donna" is a nice, soft, emotional instrumental. Opposite ends of the hard/soft spectrum occur near the end of the album. The very catchy, hard-rocking "Scream" is followed by the pretty, rather soft "Burning Bridges". These are two of the best songs on the album that indicate this band, like most good to great rock bands, is capable of expressing various emotions through various tempos of songs.
Since their first two albums, this band has been very underrated in my book. All of their albums are high quality modern/melodic rock that encompass many of the best elements of the past 30 years of rock music. For sure, this album was just a foretaste of what was to come from this band.