Third Day is in fine form on Revelation, their first new studio recording since Christmas Offerings (2006). With the departure of guitarist Brad Avery, whose contribution to this project is acknowledged by the band, Third Day is now a foursome.
From the opening "This Is Who I Am" the band makes it clear that this is a rock album. Don't expect to find any praise and worship songs. Third Day rocks hard throughout the recording, but they sound best when they are in the more moderate pop/rock mode. The melodies are stronger, which makes for better songs.
The best example may be the title song, which is a pop/rock gem. It starts off as a keyboard ballad that has a beautiful chiming guitar on the chorus. The song captures the feeling of what it's like to lose your way. The chorus is a plea for God to show one what to do. Even Christians lose their way at times. I appreciate the fact that this song and several others give voice to the struggles that are common to us all.
Another outstanding track is "Born Again," which is a duet with Flyleaf's Lacey Mosley. She also sings on "Run to You." Sadly, the words "born again" seem to carry a lot of baggage in our society. But this is the best song with those words that I have ever heard. This is a beautifully written and performed ballad.
"Today I found myself searching all these years
And the man that I saw wasn't all who I thought he'd be
I was lost when you found me here
I was broken beyond repair
Then you came along and sang your song over me
Feels like I'm born again, feels like I'm living
For the very first time in my life."
With it's poignant lyrics, dreamy guitar and peaceful sounds, this may be my favorite song. It's the ultimate soundtrack for making a new start with God.
"Slow Down" is a great blues rock song. Robert Randolph adds his amazing playing to "The Other Side," but the song is not one of the most compelling.
In contrast to the songs that give voice to our fallen condition, a number of songs are written from God's perspective, offering love, hope and comfort. The first single, "Call My Name" is a prime example. Drummer David Carr has said, "Sharing God's love with people has always been core to us. We want to reiterate that God loves us." Lyrics like this are comforting to me. When I am hurting, it's the simple truths that mean the most. Third Day has done an excellent job of gracefully weaving these precious realities into a number of these songs.
"Take It All" is an acoustic song of surrender. I would like to hear more of the acoustic side of Third Day.
This is a strong collection of songs that with few exceptions I took to immediately. Not having heard much of their previous work, I can't say with authority that this is among their best recordings, but I would guess that it's true. I would not hesitate to recommend this to Third Day fans and fans of pop/rock.