I agree that Three Doors Down’s latest album is easily their strongest collection since The Better Life. I found Away from the Sun and Seventeen Days to be too dramatic and filled with self pity. But each new song in this one is a highlight. If you decide to buy it, get it at Best Buy which includes 2 bonus tracks -”Feet in the Water” and “Who Are You.”
”We’re not a band that just goes through the motions,” says Chris. ”We go at everything hard. What I’m most proud of about the new album is we left ourselves a way out. Everybody hit the proverbial brick wall. Everybody fell down and everybody got back up, then we all went back in the room and, what was great, was we found all these different paths to go down.” `Different’ being the operative word here. Because what 3 Doors Down did after reconnecting with family, and `soul searching’, was opt for a new process to the creative part of their relationship. One that emphasized the undeniable strength of the group. The fact that the sum is greater than any individual part. ”It is all about getting in that room and hashing it out,” recalls lead guitarist Matt Roberts. ”If you look at a song like `Train,’ it was one of the first songs we wrote for this album. It’s kind of a building block that exemplifies the spirit of collaboration. Brad came with words and a melody and we hammered it out.” ”I remember I had that one in my head at home,” laughs Brad. ”I was singing it so much a friend threatened to kill me if I didn’t get it down.” Matt also remembers it as one of the `most fun songs to put together. ”The best moments of this band have always been about keeping it a fun ride. You need that sense of accomplishment, but you also need to keep the process comfortable.”. Adds Chris: ”I think it’s also fair to say we are one of the only `southern’ bands who has the balls to put a song like `Train’ out there these days.” The band rented an old farmhouse South of Franklin, Tennessee, where they would not only write songs, but live together, for a while. Says Brad: ”The farmhouse was great because it became a wholehearted experience where we just focused on the writing. It was such a close-knit atmosphere, reconnecting us after we had been doing our own thing for a while. It set a cool mood for the entire record, writing out in the country around this fireplace in the basement. Just locking ourselves away and doing it.” Matt adds that the unique setting soon sparked 26 or 27 song ideas. ”But winter turned colder than expected in Tennessee. So we decided to head to a warmer climate.” The band found a ten bedroom mansion in a remote section of Orlando, Florida. They brought in Seventeen Days producer, Johnny K. and turned the house into a recording studio. The originality of the two locations rejuvenated the band’s approach. They worked hard to capture that sense of camaraderie on the final product. Once they nailed it, they packed up and headed back to Nashville. Talking legendary mixer, Andy Wallace, into abandoning his NY studio, again, (he also mixed Seventeen Days in Nashville), and they began the final process of putting the pieces together. This album features inspired musicianship as well as some intriguing personal refrains, like on one `band favorite,’ ”Let Me Be Myself.” ”That one touches on the wrongheaded notion of how we often try destructive methods to try and kill our pain,” says Brad. ”But I also want the songs to be open to interpretation. More universal. That one is really talking about anything you can get lost in.” And the ballad ”Pages”: ”I think it has a lot of meaning for the whole band. What we’ve gone through,” says Matt. ”Brad is pointing out what’s going on with his personal situation and ours. It was a very meaningful song for us.” The group also nails their share of (in-yer’-face)-rockers like ”Runaway.” ”It’s the kind of song you put on only to get somewhere else,” says Todd. ”Put it on in your car and drive as fast as you can.” He and several of the guys also touch on the last song of the album, ”She Don’t Want The World,” one of the most unique 3 Doors Down offerings yet. ”That song has really become one of my favorites. It doesn’t have a big chorus or anything, just Brad telling a story.” Adds Brad: ”We even use loops on that one. We were so willing to try different things. I think one of the reasons this is such an important album for us is because every one of us was in a different place prior to any other record we’ve ever made. And I would say a `better’ place. But it’s the kind of record that never would have happened if we didn’t get off that merry go round for awhile.” For Greg (former Puddle Of Mudd drummer, born in Louisiana, raised in Oklahoma), a song like the gutsy ”It’s The Only One You’ve Got,” also exemplifies the band’s `sixth-sense’ for cooperation. A true democracy – right down the line. ”Just the way that it went down. Chris was trying to learn another song and stumbled upon the riff for this song. Brad was like `hold on, I’ve got something for that.’ Then someone else would join in. The whole thing happened quickly, and it turned out to be such an inspiring song. This has been the most collaborative experience I’ve ever been involved in. And the most satisfying.” ”We just can’t wait to put this sugar out and get back out on the road,” agrees Brad. ”It’s definitely the one where we got our `grit back.”
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…I guess I should start off by saying that I’m a huge 3dd fan. They, along with the goo goo dolls and nickelback, are my favorite rock band. The Better Life was a great cd. Away From The Sun was even better, a classic IMHO. Then came Seventeen Days. At first, I was *slightly* disappointed. The singles were gold, but the rest was a little lackluster. After a few spins, though, it grew on me and became a worthwhile addition to my 3dd collection.
Flash forward 2 1/2-3 years later. 3 Doors Down release their self-titled record, and I’m in line to get it the day it comes out. Pop it in my cd player, and…disappointment.
I can’t say I was thrilled with the single citizen/solider, nor was I with It’s Not My Time, but I was definatly hoping for something more from the rest of the songs. One after another played, and all I could think of was how high my expectations for this new record were. Maybe too high? Perhaps, because after a couple of spins, I’m convinced this is their worst record to date. It certainly isn’t bad, don’t get me wrong, but given what this band has done in the past, it isn’t what I’d expected either.
Those looking for another album in the vein of Away From The Sun will be sorely disappointed, although I’m sure there are plenty of people who will enjoy this record too. For now though, I’ll toss it aside, pop in Away From The Sun or The Better Life, and vibe.
(The best buy version features two bonus tracks; Feet In The Water and Who Are You. Both are listenable and go well with the rest of the record)
3 Doors Down created a great CD this time around. There isn’t a weak track on this album. Many tracks follow the message of “It’s not my time”. “It’s The Only One You’ve Got” is about living consciously and not giving up. “Pages” illustrates the intimacy of what artist put on the page and the longing for others to relate.
3 Doors Down is my “go to” album when I do cardio at the gym because of the fast paced beat and the inspirational message to never give up.
3 Doors Down have been a band I’ve followed since their breakthrough hit “Kryptonite.” I’ve always thought they’re a little underrated for their talent, though they have had a good degree of success. Two years or so following “Seventeen Days” (a disappointing album in my opinion), the band returns with their self titled album, an album quite a bit superior to their previous effort. While I’ll say right off the bat that I don’t think there is any particular song on here that is quite on the same level as my favorite songs by the band (such as “Kryptonite”, “When I’m Gone”, and “Here Without You”), overall to me this is their best album to date on a song by song basis.
It kicks off with an album highlight, the southern fried rocker, “Train.” Lead singer Brad Arnold sings “put me on a train mama” to a background of rollicking guitar riffs. This is set to be the next single, and no doubt will be big on rock radio. “Citizen/Soldier” is a song that was released as a tribute to the National Guard last year, and was not originally planned to be on the album. It’s for sure a welcome addition though, as it ’s also an album highlight. The lyrics work wonderfully as a thank you to those who risk their lives for their country. The first main single, “It’s Not My Time” is next, and it does come the closest to capturing that pop rock magic that “When I’m Gone” and “Kryptonite” were able to achieve. Should be the biggest hit off the album, and a great song to add to their list of pop-rock crossover hits.
The album has a slew of ballads to accompany the head bangers, consisting of “Let Me Be Myself”, “It’s the Only One You’ve Got”, “Your Arms Feel Like Home”, and “She Don’t Want the World”, which surprisingly are all some of the best songs on the album. My favorite of them would be “It’s the Only One You’ve Got”, which has probably the best lyrics of any song they’ve done to date, the chorus going: “Hide behind your walls of maybe nevers, forgetting that there’s something more than just knowing better, your mistakes do not define you now, they tell you who you’re not, you’ve got to live this life you’re given like it’s the only one you’ve got.”
“Your Arms Feel Like Home” is a love song with hit written all over it, especially when it goes into that classic booming power ballad chorus. Brad Arnold has dubbed “Let Be Myself” his favorite off the album, and it is yet another winner with solid lyrics, although a bit repetitive. “She Don’t Want the World” is a song with a darker vibe, and it’s one of the most unique songs they’ve ever done. My personal favorite though is the rockin’ rocker, “Give It to Me.” The song has an awesome riff laden chorus, and is the song I get stuck in my head the most. This will be huge at rock radio if released. About the only song on the album I’ve yet to warm up to is “These Days”, but just skipping one song is way more than I can say for most albums.
3 Doors down is a great progression of “The Better Life” and “Away From the Sun” albums that made me such a fan of the band. If your a 3DD fan, I doubt you’ll be disappointed. 4.5/5 Stars
My Top 5:
1. Give It to Me
2. It’s Not My Time
4. It’s the Only One You’ve Got
5. Your Arms Feel Like Home
Never has 3 Doors Down produced a more polished and reflective album. The first five tracks are among the strongest they’ve ever recorded. From the opening to “Train,” it becomes apparent that this album will be heavier and darker than anything previously written. The singles are solid, and there is a great mixture of slow and melodic tracks along with heavier, more fast paced rock. If you’re a 3 Doors Down fan, then this is likely the record that you’ve been waiting for!