Being a veteran band is a tricky thing. Some well-aged groups lose their edge and some start to lose relevance. Third Day has had the opportunity to remain both edgy and relevant in today’s Christian music scene and their latest album release, “Move,” proves that. While it isn’t void of a few minor flaws, “Move” showcases a more polished Southern rock sound that I prefer to hear from Third Day. This sound is paired with a Gospel flair for a combination that really works. Perhaps the best example of this is in the record opener and first single “Lift up Your Face.” Featuring the Blind Boys of Alabama, the song packs a powerful and uplifting punch. The next song, “Make Your Move,” has already gained mainstream exposure by being played during NCAA football promo TV spots. It’s easy to see why: with a driving bass line, slide guitar, and catchy chorus, it’s a perfect choice for a cross-over track.
The first praise and worship song introduced is “Children of God.” While the lyrics are strong and worshipful, the band may have taken the song title a little too literally and placed an awkward children’s choir in the bridge. Some people are a fan of this; some are not. It all depends on your taste. “Surrender” is a personal favorite of mine on the record because it boasts an overt Southern sound and crescendos with a surprising orchestral piece. “Move” features messages geared towards those who are struggling with their faith and “Trust in Jesus” includes some of the boldest lyrics addressing that: “One of these days we all will stand in judgment for every single word we have spoken/One of these days we all will stand before the Lord and give a reason for everything we’ve done.” Lead singer Mac Powell then declares, “And what I’ve done is trust in Jesus” and proceeds to praise the many names of God.
“Follow Me There” is another favorite of mine. It’s radio-friendly, uplifting, and features some more of that Southern Gospel flair. Another standout track, “Gone,” is next. The lyrics are somewhat rebellious in contrast to Third Day’s usual writing style, but when closely studied, Powell is boldly stating that he will stop at nothing to follow God’s will and move where he is lead to be. The album’s first shortcoming is the piano-driven “What Have You Got to Lose.” While the collection may have needed a slower song to round things out, I feel this one doesn’t quite fit the flow of everything. The lyrics shine, but musically, it’s just decent. Things pick back up however and are redeemed with another favorite “I’ll Be Your Miracle.” Upon first listen, I could have sworn that it was written by Keith Urban and his writing partner Monty Powell. The lyrics, style, and arrangement are all reminiscent of Urban’s alternative country sound and it thrilled me to death to hear that from Third Day.
“Everywhere You Go” features some more of the headstrong lyrics proclaiming allegiance and commitment to the Lord. It really reminds me, lyrically and musically, of “I’m Ready” off of the band’s previous album, “Revelation.” “The Sound of Your Voice” is the only other minor flaw that I spoke of earlier. To me, it’s “filler” and isn’t the best that I feel Third Day can produce. The final track, “Don’t Give Up Hope” isn’t the soaring closer that I wished it would have been, but it definitely gets better during the bridge once the Gospel choir steps in and builds it up.
A lot was said in this review and it’s certainly the longest album review I’ve written for The Waking thus far, but that’s because there’s a lot to say about “Move.” Lyrically and musically it’s exciting, strong, and thought-provoking. If you’ve never checked out Third Day before, give this album a try and just see if you are as impressed as me!