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Released in early 2000, 3 Doors Down debut album The Better Life has become one of this era's most enduring albums. Featuring huge sonic guitar hooks, pounding drums and soulful vocals, the album generated the 3DD classics Kryptonite, Loser, Duck And Run, and Be Like That. The second disc of The Better Life deluxe edition features a performance recorded at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in Huston, TX.
The Mississippi-based quartet 3 Doors Down has only one thing that sets them apart from other hard rock bands: lead vocalist Brad Arnold is also the drummer. The group shops the sounds of Pearl Jam and the Goo Goo Dolls, pointing at what they like, picking it off the shelf and throwing it into the stew. While the music on The Better Life, their debut, sounds overall both competent and confident, the songs themselves are equally uninspired and clichéd. For example, the riff from the track "Loser" is straight out of the Alice In Chains songbook, adding much more cringe-worthy lyrics ("Addiction needs a pacifier, the buzz of this poison is taking me higher"). In fact, most of the lyrics zero in on well-worn rock themes of aggravation, confusion and frustration, feelings that 3 Doors Down will easily coax out of discriminating listeners. --Jason Josephes
Top Customer Reviews
Kryptonite (4/5) - Not as good as some of the others on this album, but of course this is from someone who heard the radios overplay the song to death, so of course Im a bit biased. It was good though, before it was crucified on the airwaves. Catchy chorus and a solid percussion base.
Loser (5/5) - Arguably the best track on this album, other than "Be Like That". Sure, its depressing, but it does a darn good job of it. Brad Arnold gets pretty emotional at times, and anyone whos ever felt like an outcast can relate to it. Both the guitar work and the drumming is rock solid here. Best of all, it wasnt killed by the radios like "Kryptonite"
Duck and Run (4/5) - The lyrics and bridge in the center of the songs are its strongest points. Courage and bravery are at the heart of this one, and its inspirational to hear about someone who wont back down from his enemies. A breath of fresh air if you are getting depressed.
Not Enough (3/5) - Mediocre compared to the other songs. Brad Arnold expresses anger about how he doesnt have enough time for himself or his lover.
Be Like That (5/5) - One of my favorite songs of all time. Not too slow, not too fast. The lyrics are superb, and the instruments are more polished and refined than in many of the other tracks. The second verse especially conjures images of finding the American Dream, and who hasnt wanted to jump into someone else's shoes for a day?
Life of My Own (2/5)- Borders on filler material.Read more ›
'You called me strong you called me weak
But still your secrets I would keep.
You took for granted all the times I never let you
You stumbled in you bumped your head
If not for me you'd be dead.
I picked you up, put you back on solid ground.'
The lyrics of this great song are about some important themes: loyalty and betrayal. And, excuse the pun, struck a heavy chord. Finally, I thought, a song about significant matters, aside from fluffy Backstreet Boy and Nsync cliche`d ... This song resonates power and meaning. I was inspired.
As is usually the case, I purchase a CD because of one song and the rest of the disc falls apart - not so with ~The Better Life~; after the third listen through, I began to notice similar themes in all the songs. Here are some individuals with something to say, a point of view, and a story to tell.Read more ›
It is certainly possible to draw comparisons between 3 Doors Down and other bands. Lead singer Bradley Kirk Arnold seduces us with throaty renditions that remind one of the sultry vocals of U2's Bono. Cleverly sardonic lyrics appeal to the dark, self-deprecating side of human nature ("Do you feel alive? she said/It's all a bad dream, spinning in your lonely head/To this world I'm unimportant, just because I have nothing to give; So you call this a free country, tell me why it costs so much to live/You're getting closer to pushing me off of life's little edge; Cause I'm a loser and sooner or later you know I'll be dead), bringing back memories of Jim Morrison and the Doors (THEN: "Break on Through" NOW: "The Better Life"). Powerful, compelling guitar work carves unmistakable niches in one's memory, reminiscent of that executed by master Ozzy Osbourne (who DOESN'T instantly recognize the intro to "Crazy Train"?!). This is not to say 3 Doors Down resorts to imitation or mimicry. Each song on "The Better Life" is uniquely, delightfully their own.
Whether you like rock, metal, alternative, or pop, this CD will enthrall you. Can you say "superstars"? Because that's exactly the future "The Better Life" promises for its creators. It is not a stretch of the imagination to see these young men being this generation's Aerosmith, Rush or Jefferson Airplane/Starship. Yes, they are THAT good.
Most recent customer reviews
Another boring album. shall I continue There is really only one song worth listening to that WON'T put you to sleep. Read morePublished on July 30 2004 by silverdarkness
if i had a nickle for every time i had listened this CD striaght through without skipping a track i would have... a nickle or two! Read morePublished on June 15 2004 by camo
While their second album is already selling huge and on its 4th single, I'd like to recall their first album from late 1999. Real, raw, no nonsense rock and roll! Read morePublished on May 24 2004 by Preston L. Moreaux
I actually bought this album for my friend and just feel in love with this from the moment I heard it.... Read morePublished on May 16 2004 by Tantra
Three doors down exploded with a pretty good Debut album. Everyone knew the hits Kryponite and Loser, but the disc continued to be quite solid until near the end of it. Read morePublished on April 27 2004 by Scott
For the most part, I do like 3 doors down, or else I wouldn't still be listening to their music. But the fact remains is that the debut album "The Better Life" really... Read morePublished on April 25 2004 by Jeans Yoder
This is music for the small minded masses of middle America. Nothing new, horrible fake sounding production, no dynamics, hookless hooks, embarrasing lyrics, half a$$ed... Read morePublished on April 15 2004
this really is an awesome cd! sure its kinda old but really good they have a lot of talent! their starting to get a lil more coverage i think..and i know they deserve itPublished on Feb. 7 2004