RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 19, 2010
or those of you keeping score, Move is Third Day’s 15th full-length album to hit the shelves. To this day, I can count on two fingers the albums that didn’t have to grow on me—their self-titled debut and Revelation. Third Day was so amazing because it introduced a new sound into Christian music that recalled bands like The Allman Brothers or Lynyrd Skynyrd without seeming derivative. Revelation was so amazing because the band moved out of their comfort zone, recording in Los Angeles with a new producer who pushed them to new creative heights. Every other album has taken a little bit of time to grow on me. I’ve listened to Move a handful of times now and I’m pretty sure it’s one of those albums that are going to take a bit to win me over.
Current radio single “Lift Up Your Face” rises with a haunting “oooooo” line, reminiscent of an African-American gospel choir, thanks to The Blind Boys of Alabama. But, this notion is quickly forgotten when Mac Powell’s signature vocals tear through the façade and the guitars kick in. But, just as soon as things get big and loud, we’re treated to a mid-tempo verse. Powell’s voice gets a little higher than usual and it works well for what he’s trying to do. It gets you out of your seat and sticks with you long after the last note has faded.
For those of you who are into college football, you might already be familiar with “Make Your Move” as it played during a recent Alabama game. Being from Atlanta, I’m not sure exactly why they paired up with Alabama’s Crimson Tide. Maybe Sandra [Bullock] inspired them. Who knows? Either way, it’s a rock solid, in-your-face number that the powers that be in NCAA were wise to pick up. It’s also a testament to Third Day’s versatility as a Christian band. They pull no punches about their faith, but they also create music that is accessible to most people who like rock & roll.
“Children of God” is vintage Third Day and Powell & Co. seem right at home vocally and instrumentally on this piece. It’s a solid “crowd” song that should go over well at a live concert. Expect to hear it on the inevitable Move Live that’ll follow a year or so afterMove drops. (Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. You know they’ll release a live version of the album. They always release a live version.)
“What Have You Got To Lose” is the requisite ballad on this album and it’s just “alright.” We’ve been here a thousand times before and in much better ways. I imagine people will still raise their smartphones, zippos, and smartphone zippos when this gets played live. But, it’s not as good as other ballads like “I Can’t Take Your Pain” or “Born Again.”
“Follow Me There” is as gospel-influenced as Third Day is ever going to get, melding gospel-sensibilities (complete with Hammond organ) and rootsy rock.
“Sound of Your Voice” is the one track that I’d consider perfect on this album. Ever since Mac Powell joined his voice with that of Lacey Moseley on “Run To You,” I’ve been clamoring for more. The female vocalist on this track is currently unknown to me, but you can be sure I’ll be checking into it.
In the end, Move is a good album. It’s not a great album. It’s a good album. I wish there had been a little bit more of that Revelation sound to the project, but you can’t blame a tent pole band like Third Day for taking an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach.” Some will feel it’s a progression, but I really feel as if this is more of the same from a band who has proven that they are capable of giving us more than the status quo. It’s better than projects like Conspiracy No. 5 and Wherever You Are, but it doesn’t raise to the heights of other projects like Third Day, Wire, and Revelations.
Note: I speak as a true Third Day fan. I own every album they’ve released. But, I also speak as a reviewer. I want to state very clearly that this review is a work of opinion, not categorical fact. I want to make this clear because there are other true Third Day fans who will likely disagree with me, believing my opinion calls theirs into question. This is one man’s opinion. Please accept it as such.