When Third Day released its self-titled debut fifteen years ago, the Atlanta-based band had no idea the initial indie spark created by its stellar southern rock would flame into a wildfire of success, immortally blistering their career into Christian music annals.
Now, after landing dozens of Dove Awards, four Grammies, an American Music Award, and multiple platinum and gold radio hits, the pioneering rockers revisit their southern heritage, revealing an album that could easily be a sister project to 1999's irresistible Time CD.
Magically marrying deep soul with melodic rock throughout the entire twelve-track list, "Lift Up Your Face" kicks off the CD featuring a fiery collaboration with music's legendary Blind Boys of Alabama and a hearty charge ("Lift up your face / Salvation is calling your name") to look heavenward for lasting hope. "Follow Me There" continues the upward decree via a gospel Americana tone a la Mavis Staple—complete with a black gospel-inspired background chorus.
"Make Your Move" uses a distorted vocal bridge and grungy half-time chorus groove to depict evangelism from a non-believer's perspective: "You got love and I got time / Won't you make a move before I change my mind / I want to believe it's true / I'm listening close," while "What Have You Got to Lose" presents the opposite plea: "Sin and shame, guilt and pain, pride and your conceit / Here and now lay them down at the Savior's feet."
With a charismatic dobro leading the way, "Surrender" issues another believer's appeal in a Lynyrd Skynyrd-type acoustic rock context. And "I'll Be Your Miracle" utilizes a slow-rolling banjo and country-and-western-styled pedal steel to create a Jayhawks-Darius Rucker hybrid, making it easy to understand why country music superstar Keith Urban cut one of the band's popular catalog songs ("Call My Name") in 2009.
"Children of God" and "Trust in Jesus" are sure-fire church hits with Mac Powell's authoritative baritone purring anthemic, testimony-type praise choruses perfect for radio.
Though it may be too soon to call Third Day a legend, Move is yet another attractive release in an illustrious discography certain to be celebrated for years to come.
By - Andrew Greer