Third Day released their self-titled debut in 1996 on Reunion Records. ‘Nothing at All’ from that project hit #34 on the Billboard rock charts. In 1997 they put out CONSPIRACY NO. 5. It was nominated for a 1998 Grammy for ‘Best Rock Gospel Album of the Year’ and won a Dove Award for ‘Rock Album of the Year’. One of its tracks, ‘Alien’, also won a Dove for ‘Rock Song of the Year’. In 1999 Third Day released their third studio album TIME (Essential). Monroe Jones is the album’s main producer. On two songs Jim Dineen is a co-producer.
Starting things off is ‘I’ve Always Loved You’. It’s a light country/rock number with Buck Reid on steel guitar. On it God calls out to us: “Don’t you know I’ve always loved you/Even before there was time?/Though you turn away/I’ll tell you still/Don’t you know I’ve always loved you and I always will?” Jim Spake and Scott Thompson play horns on ‘Believe’, a Southern rocker addressed to the unsaved: “Always looking for a sign/Miracles won’t change your mind/Tell me how much evidence you need/Turning truth into a lie/Hardened hearts and blinded eyes/All you need to do is just believe”.
Scotty Wilbanks plays Hammond B-3 and Alfredo Gerald and Tabitha Fair provide backing vocals on ‘Took my Place’, a short gospel music influenced rocker. It’s a song of testimony: “Chained like a prisoner from the day I was born/Blamed like a criminal for the things that I’d done/Then along came from out of nowhere/Precious as the light of day/You gave me something no one could take away/When You took my place”. ‘Never Bow Down’ is about devotion to one’s Christian faith and includes a great electric guitar solo: “And everyone from everywhere/Will show you their allegiance/But the child of God will faithfully stand tall/I will never bow down/Though I know I will be saved from the fire/I will never compromise/All that I have and everything I hold”.
‘Your Love Oh Lord (Psalm 36)’ is now a modern worship classic. Third Day included a live version of it on 2000’s OFFERINGS: A WORSHIP ALBUM. The song begins with these words: “Your love, oh Lord/Reaches to the heavens/Your faithfulness stretches to the skies/And your righteousness is like the mighty mountain, yeah/Your justice flows like the ocean’s tide”. Monroe Jones plays piano on ‘Don’t Say Goodbye’, which offers advice: “Chasing lies can find you tired and jaded/And in your world the colors have all faded/If you think that you can find a place to get away from the pain/You’re looking for nothing/And I hate to see you leave without a fight/Time will open doors for you/Wishes spent make dreams come true/I promise I’ll be there/Don’t say goodbye”.
‘What Good’ is a Southern rocker that speaks out against materialism: “Rich young man, you think you can make it through the world on the things you’ve got/I’ll tell you, I know it’s true/You can’t get to heaven on things you’ve bought, no/They’re going to leave you/They’re going to fade away/What good is it a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” ‘Can’t Take the Pain’ is a great ballad from Peter’s perspective: “I can’t take the pain of knowing that I left You/I can’t bear the shame of knowing I was wrong/But I’ll take the blame for everything that I’ve done/I can’t take the pain of leaving You alone, of leaving You alone/I was there when they accused You, but I guess I was too afraid/Not just once and not just twice/But three times I denied Your Name”.
‘Sky Falls Down’ includes background vocals by Michael Mellett and percussion by Blaine Barcus. It’s about being bound for gloryland: “Sky falls down, it crumbles into the sea/The sun goes out/He’s coming back for me/I’ll be found at the place/Where the gravity leaves the ground/I won’t be comin’ down”. ‘Give’ includes these words which I really like: “How great the love lavished on us all/That we can be the children of God/All I want is love/I confess to this/I will take it, Lord/All You have to give”. It’s a lengthy track at over eight minutes long.
On TIME Third Day is: Mac Powell (vocals, acoustic guitar), Mark Lee (guitars), Brad Avery (guitars), Tai Anderson (bass), and David Carr (drums, percussion). I wouldn’t say this is the band’s most popular album, but it is certainly one of their best. Musically, there’s pretty much an even mix of rockers and adult contemporary ballads. Third Day urges folks to believe in God and stresses devotion and faithfulness to one’s Christian faith. The love God has for us His children, and Christ’s redeeming work for us is presented. There’s also a good song about Christ’s return. Fans of Kutless and Jeremy Camp will enjoy this Christian rock album which I’m rating 100%. For more info visit: www.thirdday.com.