Those 5 Atlanta boys have answered the call of numerous enthusiastic fans. For those who have cried for a live album and a worship album, will now have their thirst quenched. For now the two have become one and Third Day has released a worship album that is both a worship album AND a live album? How did they do that, you ask? And did they pull it off?Being a Third Day fan myself, I have found this album, which they dedicate to their fans and to our Savior, to be a successful treat to fans of the band, their live show, and their music. It comes across more of a best-of album than another new record, which is fine, considering it isn't a new album consisting of all new songs. Although 5 new recordings are present, 6 live versions of previously recorded tunes are also present. And although you're getting 2 different feels, it all seems to fit. Unified mainly through its theme-- a worship project.Offerings: A Worship Album starts off much like their previous album, Time did-- with a soft, worshipful ballad, then moving into a more upbeat song, and guaranteed hit, like "These Thousand Hills." Originally recorded and written by fellow Atlanta band, Jacob's Trouble, "These Thousand Hills." already has a large 3D fan following due to the band playing it at almost every show on their Spring tour with Jennifer Knapp.A live rendition of the ever-growing in popularity, "Your Love, Oh Lord" from last year's Time, follows. One of the 6 songs recorded last November 13th and 18th in Columbus, Ohio and Lynchburg, VA. All the live tracks have such a tightness and completeness to them that really capture and compliment the Third Day sound. In all it's raw "live-ness," the songs only remind you you're listening to a live rendition when lead singer, Mac Powell breaks from his flawless singing to address the crowd or include them in a sing-a-long.The live rendition of the band's contribution to the 1998 Exodus worship project, "Agnus Dei" follows and includes the group Selah joining them for a chorus, and ends with the band and audience collectively singing "Worthy."The only track that not only doesn't fit on the album, but makes me wince in pain when I hear it, is their new 1980 Bob Dylan cover, "Saved." It's super-Southern, jazzy, Gospel sound is along the lines of "Have Mercy" and "Took My Place," but with more discomfort included. However, when the listener hears the live version of Conspiracy No. 5's "My Hope is In You," the peace and worshipfulness of the song are more powerful. Almost 3 minutes into this 7-plus minute song, Mac addresses the crowd and encourages them (and now us) to just as He has loved us, we must love one another and tear down our denominational walls, racial barriers, and selfishness. The band's boldness is refreshing and important for our generation to hear as we are being taught the complete opposite. The song ends with a beautiful heartfelt sing-a-long and the band rocking out the closing.The last 2 new songs, "You're Everywhere," a somber tune reminiscent of "I Deserve?" from Conspiracy No. 5, and "All the Heavens," which includes layered vocals from Mac Powell to create impeccable harmony have more of a mellow nature. The remaining live cuts are taken from their 1996 self-titled album and include "Thief," "Love Song," and a slightly edgier "Consuming Fire." And for the second time in 3rd Day recording history, the band has included a hidden track. The extra song is another praise song voiced by none other than guitarist Mark Lee.The perfect CD for a Third Day fan (and not just one of those cheesey best-of CDs with 1 or 2 bonus new songs), Offerings is a pleasing offering from the band to the fans that won't leave you feeling jipped and lands you right along with the band for a live worshipful setting which Third Day does best. Offerings: A Worship Album hits stores Tuesday, July 11.
By - John DiBiase