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  Wire
Artist: Third Day
Label: Essential Records
URL: <http://www.thirdday.com>, <http://www.essentialrecords.com>
Times: 13 tracks/51:29 minutes

This may or not be the Third Day that you remember. If you started listening to Third Day with the Offerings CD or later, then this is not the Third Day you have become accustomed to. If you started listening to the band any time before then, this Third Day you know has finally returned. Unlike either of the Offerings CDs or Come Together--which are more contemporary pop--this CD is full on rock.

When the first song begins, you know that the rockin' Third Day of old has returned. The electric guitars on that song are a definite sign that this CD is going to rock. The electric guitars continue in the second song as well, but the second song is closer to the sound of _Come Together._ The album slows down for the third title track, which deals with the perils of fame, interestingly enough, recurring in several other songs (notably "Rockstar" and "Billy Brown"). This ballad will almost definitely get major radio play.

The rest of the CD features a mix of rock songs and ballads. Those who have come to know Third Day via their _Offerings_ CD or later will enjoy the ballads such as "You are Mine," "Innocent," and "San Angelo," and other fans will enjoy the rock songs, such as "Billy Brown," "Rockstar," and "'Til the Day I Die."

One of the best features of this CD is the lyrics which are all written by either Mac Powell or Mark Lee. These two remind listeners that they belong in the top class of writers in CCM. Some of the best lyrics come in songs like "Blind", where the band sings, "My heart could I not trust / Cause it lies to me too much..." and "You are Mine": "Sometimes I wonder why / you even love me and why you ever chose to call me child / Then I remember / It's by your sacrifice / I can say that I am yours and you are mine . . . ." Other songs with memorable lyrics include "Innocent" and "Rockstar."

The CD concludes on a high note with the anthem, "I Will Hold My Head High," which will no doubt be used by youth groups for years.

Top to bottom, this CD is one of the best of the year and one of the best rock CDs in recent memory. No doubt the ballads on this CD will get radio play, but the other songs deserve airplay as well. This CD will appeal to a cross-section of CCM listeners (rock and pop fans) that usually don't listen to the same CDs. This CD is one that should and will end up in many people's collection.

Burton Wray   May 30, 2004

How does a five-piece Georgia band who's already snagged 20 number one Christian radio hits and nearly two dozen Dove Awards (and a smattering of Grammys) deliver yet again?

What other Christian band has sold nearly four million records in just a decade? Or has drawn more than three-quarter of a million fans in a single tour, besting the Counting Crows and Alanis Morissette?

Third Day hasn't had time to even catch a second wind.

But like the Chattahoochee, these boys from Atlanta just keep rolling along, delivering still another five-star recording. Must be something in the water. I'd say bottle it, but Coke already did.

Wire is the band's seventh release (discounting the early indie stuff) and is already making hay (debuting on top of the Christian charts and number 12 on Billboard's Top 200). Some might call that a lucky seven, but Third Day is more a product of excellent musicianship, inspiring lyrics and years of road shows than chance and circumstance. Mac Powell even winks at his own "rock star" status ("I wanna be a rock star, but I ain't got what it takes") and recognizes the responsibility of "walking on a wire" for impressionable audiences.

Mac's been around the barn a few times and has matured nicely. Like most southern gentlemen, his roots run deep.

Wire is a musical treat. It opens with a southern scorcher ("'Til The Day I Die") and keeps up the heat with plenty of rockers ("I Got A Feeling" and "Billy Brown"). Nevertheless, the ballads ("Blind," "You Are Mine") create the real balance that makes this easy listening. Mac's powerful, distinct voice, compelling lyrics and Third Day's unique sound only further defines this recording. 
This dog will hunt. I can't quit listening to it.

Third Day obviously shows no sign of slowing down. Wire simply tethers a long, successful career in Christian music to what will only be another big year for the band (with potential crossover success). And it's time to drop the comparisons. Third Day doesn't sound like anyone else. Nobody is counting crows anymore. Wire is proof in the pudding.

Which only makes me wonder what they'll really do for an encore?

Rick Chromey  June 13, 2004


 

Rick Chromey is professor of youth and family ministries at Kentucky Christian College in Grayson, KY. <http://www.daperfesser.com/>

 
 
 

 

   
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