With their third studio album “Seventeen Days,” 3 Doors Down have cemented their status as a formidable force in the music scene. The LP, while not as instantly likable as 2002’s “Away From the Sun,” maintains the group’s radio-friendly tendencies for captivating melodies and cutting lyrics.
The set’s lead single, “Let Me Go,” a sizeable hit across several different radio formats, best summarizes the strength of the group. Still, superb cuts further abound, such as the stirring “It’s Not Me,” which was previously released on their 2003 live EP “Another 700 Miles.” Over the top with conviction and passion, the performance is even stronger in its studio rendition.
The grating “Never Will I Break” and the soaring “Live For Today” rock hard and summon repeated listens, while “Father’s Son” serves as a gripping tale of the plight of an illegitimate child.
“Maybe I’m just crazy or the devil got inside/But either way my soul is gone/I’ve learned this all night/The one hand throws the whiskey/And the other throws the gun/As he cries out to the heavens/I am not my father’s son.”
“Landing In London,” which is performed with classic rock legend Bob Seger, examines the life of a traveling musician longing for his home and family, while the following “The Real Life,” quite possibly is a continuation of the story:
“But I woke up to real life/And I realized its not worth running from anymore/When there was nowhere left to hide I found out/That nothings real here but I wont stop now /Until I find a better part of me.”
“Be Somebody,” which explores the relationship between a son and his mother, shoots a bulls-eye at the heart. So too does the concluding “Here By Me,” a tale of longing for that special someone who does not reciprocate the same feelings, which is accompanied by gut-seizing instrumentation that perfectly mirrors the somber state of mind the lyrics create.
Despite the fact that it is permeated by gloomy subject matter with lyrics that range from unadulterated defiance to the deepest sorrow, “Seventeen Days” is filled from top to bottom with potential smash-hits, making it the group’s most solid release yet. Fans of the mainstream post-grunge sound that are going through difficult times will not be able to put this CD down. After all, whoever said despair couldn’t sound awesome?