Thursday, August 06, 2015


Third Day’s roots go back to Marietta, Georgia.  They released their self-titled major label debut on Reunion Records in 1996.  They have won an impressive 4 Grammy Awards and 24 GMA Dove Awards.  Their two worship albums, OFFERINGS: A WORSHIP ALBUM (2000) and OFFERINGS II: ALL I HAVE TO GIVE (2003), were their best-selling albums.  Today Third Day is: Tai Anderson (bass), David Carr (drums), Mark Lee (guitars), and Mac Powell (vocals).  Their twelfth and latest studio album is LEAD US BACK: SONGS OF WORSHIP (2015, Essential).  Jonny Macintosh and JT Daly, who are known as The Sound Kids, produced it.  Terry Hemmings served as executive producer.

‘Spirit’ is a song of humility: “Oh, Lord, fill us with Your Spirit/Guide us by Your presence/How we need You, God/Oh, Lord lead us to Your Kingdom/Bring us back to freedom/How we need You, God (2X)”.  ‘Soul on Fire’ was written by the group along with Brenton Brown and Matt Maher.  It features All Sons & Daughters and is a catchy pop song of passionate pursuit: “God, I’m running for Your heart/I’m running for Your heart/Till I am a soul on fire/Lord, I’m longing for Your ways/I’m waiting for the day/When I am a soul on fire/Till I am a soul on fire/Lord, restore the joy I had/And I have wandered, bring me back/In this darkness, lead me through/Until all I see is You”.

‘Your Words’ features nice complementary female vocals by Harvest Parker.  These lyrics remind us just how powerful God is: “Let us speak Your words/More than ours, more than ever/Let us share Your love with all the world/Your words give us life that’s never ending/Your words bring us love that never fails/Everything else will fade away/But what will remain are Your words/The grass will wither and the flowers will fall/But the Word of our God will last forever”.  ‘Our Deliverer’ is a great light rock song written by the group and JT Daly.  It offers believers in Christ great hope: “Every burden one day will be lifted/And every broken heart will be redeemed/The Lord Almighty is coming to our rescue/Salvation’s waiting for all who will believe/Our Deliverer is coming/With salvation in His wings/Our Deliverer is coming/Here to set His people free/Our Deliverer is coming/Coming back for you and me/Our Deliverer is coming”.

‘He is Alive’ is one of eight songs written by the band alone.  It shares the Good News with one and all: “He is alive/Death is defeated/Sin has retreated/From the power of the Son/And He is alive/The enemy is faded/The battle still rages/But the war has been won/The stars in the heavens rejoice/With the sun and the moon/And with all of the earth/Let all of creation now lift up their voice/Singing ‘He is alive! He is alive.../Jesus is alive! Jesus is alive!’”  ‘In Jesus’ Name’ is a good adult contemporary track featuring the vocal talents of CCM stars Michael W. Smith, Natalie Grant, and Michael Tait.  It has a very biblical chorus: “Name above all names/Savior and our Lord/Every knee will bow/And every tongue confess/No other name is given/By which we can be saved/Let us find our life and love in Jesus’ Name”.

The title track, ‘Lead Us Back’, is short at just 1:20.  It simply calls out to God for help: “Lead us back where we belong/Call us as Your very own/Lead us back/Safe into Your arms”.  ‘Maker’ is a lively folk/pop song of confession: “We built our idols just to see them fall/And our false gods brought us nothing at all/How foolish we have been/Forgive us for our sins.../And on our own, we have nothing but shame/But by Your grace, we all can stand again, yeah/How foolish we have been/Forgive us for our sins”.

‘Victorious’ uses strings and percussion to good effect.  Sarah Macintosh contributes backing vocals.  This song extols Christ: “In all the heavens, there is One/Who conquered death alone and brought our freedom/Your throne will last throughout all time/Let all the nations bow and bring You praise/Victorious, You reign victorious/Over sin, over death, over all, over all of us”.  ‘I Know You Can’ makes some bold requests of Christ: “Give me the words to say/Bring me the strength to stand/Take all the doubt away/Jesus, I know You can/For if I’m to follow You/It’s only by Your hand/Help me to make it through/Jesus, I know You can”. 

Michael Gungor sings backing vocals on ‘Father of Lights’.  This one is a joyful song of praise: “Great and marvelous are Your deeds/Oh, Lord God Almighty/Just and true are Your ways/So we praise You and You alone/We magnify Your Name/ We lift You up and praise/We magnify Your Name/Lord, God Almighty”.  ‘The One I Love’ is a soft song that finds Christ assuring us: “Oh, you of little faith/Why do you let the wind and the waves distract you?/Oh, you of little faith/Don’t you know that when you’ve fallen, I’ll be there to catch you?/And when all your world is gone/And you cannot sing your song/I will help you carry on/The one I love”.

Third Day’s Christian music career has been similar to that of Petra.  They have put out a great catalogue of albums that prove they are a great rock band with clean lyrics.  In addition, they have provided the church and individual Christians with some terrific praise and worship albums and songs.  LEAD US BACK: SONGS OF WORSHIP is contemporary, relevant, and points people unashamedly to God.  I recommend this project to fans of Michael W. Smith’s SOVEREIGN (2014) and modern praise and worship music in general.  Mac Powell’s vocals are nicely added to by a variety of talented background vocalists.  I’m rating this album 95%.  For more info visit: