Rating: 7 out of 10
Reviewed by: Jay Rybak
While I admittedly have not been a fan of much of the work 3 Doors Down has done as of late, I have been digging their new single “Every Time You Go”. That being said, I decided to delve into their latest offering Time of My Life to see what other ear-pleasing entrees lie within. What I found was an album packed with more ups and downs than the ongoing NFL Labor negotiations.
The album jumps out of the gates with the guitar-heavy, high energy title track. Once we get primed and ready to go, the boys from Mississippi take things down a notch with their hit ballad, “When You’re Young”. Enjoyable nonetheless, the first single off of the album is an ode to overbearing parental guidance and crushed dreams. From here, the train gets rolling again with “Round and Round”. Though not the Ratt cover I was hoping for when I saw the name of the track, this one is another high energy cymbal-smasher that keeps drummer Greg Upchurch busier than Tiger Woods at a Sorority Slumber Party.
The up and down pattern continues through the next couple of tracks; from the self-lamenting love ballad “Heaven”, to the energetic “Race For the Sun”. “Back to Me” follows up with a musical sound similar to that of Shinedown’s .45, but is unfortunately combined with a lyrical quality that makes it destined to be the song of choice for high-school Romeo’s trying to get to first base at the school dance.
One of the album’s least desirable tracks is followed up by one of it’s brightest spots. The latest single “Every Time You Go” is a catchy, solid tune, destined for major radio play. It’s one of those songs you “hate to love”, because once it gets in your head it stays there like the friend we’ve all had that doesn’t quite know when it’s time to head home. Despite not every song in the album’s first half being a home run hitter, I can still see myself singing karaoke to any one of them after indulging in a few adult beverages.
You ask “What’s Left?” Well that just so happens to be the name of the next track in this ballad-rocker roller coaster. The aforementioned is a slight departure from the norm, in that upon first listen you might think your CD player malfunctioned and you were listening to the Country music station. That doesn’t necessarily make it a bad song, let’s just call it different. Speaking of different, the next track, “On The Run”, is an interesting musical mashup that sounds like Matchbox 20 teamed up with Jake E. Lee on guitar. A tough call, definitely one that will require several more listens before I make my love/hate determination.
Track #10, “She Is Love”, I do not. This is by no means a knock on Santana, but the emulation of the latin guitar god’s style on this track, leaves us with something more suitable for a retirement community dining room. Within the first minute of this one I was overcome with the smell of White Diamonds and urine. Once I got my bearings back and made sure there weren’t any dentures in my water, I was met with the pleasant surprise that is “My Way”. This is 3 Doors Down in it’s purest… redemption. Just as I was ready to write this one off as just another mediocre album from 3 Doors Down, enter the final chapter, “Believer”. Now we’re talking! This riff-heavy, fast paced, foot stomper is just the smash in the teeth they needed to rescue this album from mediocrity. Perhaps my favorite song on the album, the guitar solo at approximately 2:15 is enough to make any air guitarists fingers bleed. But be careful not to get any blood on the stereo when you press the repeat button on this one.
All in all, Time of My Life give you much more (and much less) than you bargained for, but the good outweighs the bad here, and this album comes Highly Recommended.
Time of My Life hits stores this Tuesday July 19th. For more info on 3 Doors Down including tour dates, and to purchase music click here