Third Day formed in Marietta, Georgia and put out their self-titled debut in 1996. MOVE (2010, Essential Records) is their 10th studio album. It sold 37, 000 copies the first week of release and debuted at No 1 on the Billboard Christian Albums chart. Also, it won a Dove Award for Recorded Music Packaging of the Year. MOVE was produced by Paul Moak, while Terry Hemmings was the executive producer. On this album, Third Day is a foursome: Tai Anderson (bass), David Carr (drums), Mark Lee (guitars), and Mac Powell (vocals). Additional musicians used are: Scotty Wilbanks (piano, B3, Clavinet), Paul Moak, and Will Sayles. At the time of this record, Third Day supported World Vision, Habitat For Humanity, The One Campaign, and Not For Sale.
The album’s first single starts things off. ‘Lift Up Your Face’ is a very strong adult rock number with the legendary Blind Boys of Alabama on backing vocals. It offers hope to all: “Lift up your face, lift up your face/Salvation is calling, salvation is calling/You have fallen so far now/You don’t even know how you are going to survive/But just over the horizon, a new light is shining/Breaking through the darkest night/Love is coming and it’s calling out your name”. ‘Make Your Move’ is a groovy rocker with some vocal distortion. It has a non-believer seeking truth: “And if you care to share a minute of your time with me/Tell me now because I’m hoping that I can believe/Give me a reason to trust what you’re telling me/Lord knows I need it now, won’t you show me how?/.../I’m looking around here for some kind of miracle/I’m looking around here for some kind of sign/I gotta believe there’s a rhyme and a reason/For the faith that you find”.
‘Children of God’ is the album’s second single. It is a nice inspirational song that uses strings and New Hope Academy Children’s Choir. It declares who we are in Christ: “Great is the love that the Father has given us/He has delivered us/He has delivered us.../We are the saints, we are the children/We’ve been redeemed/We’ve been forgiven/We are the sons and daughters of our God”. ‘Surrender’ is a wonderful bluesy number that encourages us to give our lives to God: “When the day began and you opened up your eyes/No, you didn’t recognize what you were seeing/Then it all came back, you remembered where you’ve been/Well, it never seems to end and you’re still running/Will you ever change your mind?/You’re almost out of time/You better give up, gotta stop running/It’s the end of the line/It’s time to surrender”.
‘Trust in Jesus’ begins with these sobering words: “One of these days we all will stand in judgment for/Every single word that we have spoken/One of these days we all will stand before the Lord/Give a reason for everything we’ve done”. ‘Follow Me There’ is the song of one wanting to point the way to Jesus: “You need a place to be your sanctuary/Follow me there, come on, follow me there/Where you can lay down all those burdens you carry/Follow me there, come on, follow me there.../Where the lost can find salvation/And the lonely finds a friend/Where the sinner finds forgiveness/Won’t you follow me there? (2X)”
‘Gone’ is a good Southern rock song with Bear Rinehart of Needtobreathe on backing vocals. The song includes these powerful words: “And don’t forget me/Long after I’m gone and I’m just a memory/I hope you can recall what I was saying/Was nothing but the truth”. ‘What Have You Got to Lose’ is a soothing ballad that offers us a divine exchange: “Sin and shame, guilt and pain/Pride and your conceit/Here and now, lay them down/At the Savior’s feet/What have you got to lose (2X)/And tell me why you’re so afraid/What have you got to lose (2X)/Think of all you have to gain”.
‘I’ll Be Your Miracle’ is a country rock song that speaks of the value of true friendship: “When you’re down and you’re falling fast/And you feel like your hope won’t last/You know that I’ll be your miracle/And when you find that your faith is gone/You’re not sure if you can carry on/You know that I’ll be your miracle”. ‘Everywhere You Go’ contains these words worthy of starting our day out with: “Everywhere You go, I wanna go/Will You take me with You?/Everywhere You lead/I wanna be by Your side/Everyone You love/I wanna love just like You love me/Everywhere You go/I wanna go there with You, yeah”.
‘Sound of Your Voice’ is a pleasant adult contemporary song with Kerrie Roberts on backing vocals. This is the song of one who wants to be in step with the Spirit: “Lord, I am calling Your Name/And I’m waiting for You/Yes, I’m waiting for You/So won’t You show me Your ways/And I will follow You/Yes, I will follow You”. ‘Don’t Give Up Hope’ is the terrific, rousing album closer. It is a song of encouragement: “Your life is spinning like a rocket/That’s gone out of control and you let go/You’re slowly losing your confidence/Your wounded soul, well, I hope you know/I can help you find your way, yeah/Don’t give up faith, don’t give up hope/There’s always something better/Waiting around the corner”.
Of all the Christian rock bands out there, listening to Third Day’s catalogue of work, I think they have readily taken the torch from Petra. They know how to rock ‘n’ roll, know how to execute a moving ballad, and have lyrics that point to Christ as our Hope. Their songs have passion and maturity. They are a band that parents and their kids can both listen to and enjoy. They are becoming one of my favorite bands! I’m rating MOVE 95%. For more info visit: www.thirdday.com and www.essentialrecords.com.