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
Carlos Santana was initially intimidated by mentor Clive Davis‘ pitch for his next album — another “Supernatural“-style all-star collaboration, but this time on a collection of iconic rock songs by the likes of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and others.
“I was like, ‘No, I don’t know if I want to do this one, Clive. This one’s a little challenging,‘” the guitarist and bandleader told Billboard.com.
“And he would stay on the phone for at least 45 minutes to an hour, three times in one year, and I was like, ‘Oh, lord…’ But then I started realizing that someone with that intense passion of commitment couldn’t be wrong, so I had to trust him. And it was incredible.”
The album — Santana‘s first since “All That I Am” in 2005 — is due out in September and is not yet titled. The track list is being finalized as well, but during sessions Santana reunited with “Smooth” partner Rob Thomas on Cream‘s “Sunshine of Your Love” and worked with Joe Cocker on Jimi Hendrix‘s “Little Wing,” Scott Weiland on the Rolling Stones‘ “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking,” Chris Daughtry on Def Leppard‘s “Photograph,” Soundgarden‘s Chris Cornell on Led Zeppelin‘s “Whole Lotta Love,” Papa Roach‘s Jacoby Shaddix on Deep Purple‘s “Smoke on the Water” and rapper Nas, who lays down rhymes on AC/DC’s “Back in Black.”
Santana chose half of the songs while Davis, Sony Music‘s chief creative officer, picked the other half. Davis, who originally signed Santana in the 1960s, masterminded his 1999 comeback “Supernatural,” a worldwide smash that also garnered nine Grammys.
“What I brought to the table is my heart, knowing that I complement, I don’t compete,” Santana said of the recording sessions. “I brought my heart, trusting that there’s enough in me of purity and innocence and genuineness that I couldn’t possible, excuse the expression, fuck it up. I know Eric (Clapton). I know Jeff Beck. I know Jimmy Page. And they know me. I have supreme certainty and confidence that they’re going to say, ‘Hey man, I love what you did with my song.”
While he considers every song “incredible,” Santana said his very favorite is the Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” which he recorded with India Arie and cellist Yo Yo Ma.
“I sent the song to George Harrison‘s widow, Olivia, and I got back an email that says, ‘Carlos, I listened to the song and I started crying and jumping with joy at the same time. And I want you to know that George really loved you, because he understood your passion for compassion.’ And I was like, ‘Bam!’ that’s like George Harrison himself, through his beautiful wife, validating my existence and what I did with that song.”
Santana plans to preview some of the covers during his upcoming summer tour with Steve Winwood, which gets under way June 30 in Saint Paul, Minn. He also plans to have Winwood “join my band” for collaborations he hopes are “totally different” than what fans might expect.
“I would prefer not to do Steve Winwood or Santana songs with him,” Santana explained. “I would like to go to the Bob Marley repertoire or Marvin Gaye or African music by King Sunny Ade or really, really obscure other-side-of-the-tracks. So I’m crossing my fingers.”
After the summer tour with Winwood, Santana is returning to Las Vegas in August for his second residency at the Hard Rock Hotel. Santana is touring Europe in September and October, including a stop at London’s O2 Arena.
Santana has another album ready to go as well, an all-instrumental set called “Shape Shifter,” which he recorded with his band and he plans to release after the next album has run its course.
Current SANTANA dates:
5/25/2010 Tuesday Pavilhão Atlântico, Lisbon
5/28/2010 Friday Le festival MAWAZINE Rythmes du nde, Rabat, Morocco
6/30/2010 Wednesday Xcel Energy Center, St Paul, MN Steve Winwood
7/1/2010 Thursday Summerfest, Milwaukee, WI Steve Winwood
7/3/2010 Saturday Saturday in the Park Festival, Sioux City, IA Steve Winwood Free Festival
7/4/2010 Sunday Starlight Theatre, Kansas City, MO Steve Winwood
7/6/2010 Tuesday Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati, OH Steve Winwood
7/7/2010 Wednesday Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Indianapolis, IN Steve Winwood
7/9/2010 Friday Midwest Bank Amphitheatre, Tinley Park, IL Steve Winwood
7/10/2010 Saturday DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkston, MI Steve Winwood
7/11/2010 Sunday Molson Amphitheatre, Toronto, ON Steve Winwood
7/13/2010 Tuesday Quebec City International Summer Festival, Quebec City, QC Steve Winwood
7/14/2010 Wednesday Lebreton Flats, Ottawa, ON Steve Winwood
7/15/2010 Thursday Bell Centre, Montreal, QC Steve Winwood
7/17/2010 Saturday Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, NY Steve Winwood
7/18/2010 Sunday Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, Wantagh, NY Steve Winwood
7/20/2010 Tuesday PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ Steve Winwood
7/21/2010 Wednesday Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT Steve Winwood
7/23/2010 Friday Comcast Center, Mansfield, MA Steve Winwood
7/24/2010 Saturday Trump Taj Mahal Casino/Hotel- Etess Arena, Atlantic City, NJ Steve Winwood
7/25/2010 Sunday Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, VA Steve Winwood
7/27/2010 Tuesday Verizon Wireless Virginia Beach Amphitheatre, Virginia Beach, VA Steve Winwood
7/28/2010 Wednesday Time Warner Cable Music Pavillion, Raleigh, North Carolina Steve Winwood
7/29/2010 Thursday Chastain Park Amphitheatre, Atlanta, GA Steve Winwood
7/31/2010 Saturday 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre, Tampa, FL Steve Winwood
8/1/2010 Sunday Cruzan Amphitheater, West Palm Beach, FL Steve Winwood
8/25/2010 Wednesday The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV
8/27/2010 Friday The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV
8/28/2010 Saturday THe Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV
8/29/2010 Sunday The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV
9/1/2010 Wednesday The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV
9/3/2010 Friday The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV
9/4/2010 Saturday The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV
9/5/2010 Sunday The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV
9/29/2010 Wednesday O2, Dublin, Ireland
10/1/2010 Friday O2 Arena, London,UK
10/2/2010 Saturday MEN Arena, Manchester,UK
10/3/2010 Sunday Newcastle Arena, Newcastle,UK
10/5/2010 Tuesday Gleredome, Arnhem, NL
10/6/2010 Wednesday Sportpaleis, Antwerp, BE
10/7/2010 Thursday König-Pilsener-Arena, Oberhausen, Germany
10/9/2010 Saturday Hallenstadion, Zürich, Switzerland
10/10/2010 Sunday Zenith, Dijon, FR
10/12/2010 Tuesday Bercy, Paris, France
10/13/2010 Wednesday SAP-Arena , Mannheim, Germany
10/15/2010 Friday O2 Arena, Prague, CZ
10/16/2010 Saturday O2 World, Berlin, Germany
10/17/2010 Sunday Olympiahalle, Munich, Germany
10/19/2010 Tuesday Mediolanum Forum, Milan, Italy
10/20/2010 Wednesday Rothaus Halle , Friedrichshafen, Germany
10/23/2010 Saturday O2 World, Hamburg, Germany
10/25/2010 Monday Arena Fyn, Odense, DK
10/27/2010 Wednesday The Globe, Stockholm, SE
10/29/2010 Friday Vestlandshallen, Bergen, Norway
10/30/2010 Saturday Vikingaskeppen, Hamar, Norway
For more information visit Santana‘s website here.