This week, I got back to my roots, so to speak, back to more pure rock. I first got interested in 3 Doors Down a few years ago when I heard them on local radio station DC 101. I very much got into the fairly straight ahead rock music and strong lyrical content with some hints at a military past of at least one of the band members.
Their latest release, Seventeen Days, shows a band going through an evolution into a band with staying power. Although they have gotten stuck in a rut of mid-tempo songs with a faster beat chorus, the songwriting remains strong. The lyrical content of the songs on this CD reflect a more meloncholy mood, which to a certain extent brings the CD down a little from their debut "The Better Life" and their sophmore effort "Away from the Sun." But the subject matter is a little more expansive.
Their first single off the CD, Let Me Go, is a solid effort, but to be honest the bridge just seems out of place in the song, as well as being a little too predictable. Other songs suffer from the same malaise.
For the longest time, I could not place vocalist Brad Arnold's voice in my memory, it sounded like someone else, but I couldn't put my finger on it, unil this CD. In "Landing in London," 3 Doors Down features Detroit rock mainstay Bob Seeger, and I finally had it. At times, Arnold sounds a lot like Seeger. Now when bands bring in singers to feature, I generally look for a singer that serves as a counter to the bands vocalist, but here Seeger does a great job. The song however, is a little more Seeger and 3 Doors Down. I was a little dismayed at that, but the song will no doubt be released as a single in the near future.
One troubling aspect of the CD is that 3DD and Arnold have mistaken volume for passion. There are times when Arnold's voice moves into the scream/sing rather than the singing of past albums, which is too bad, because Arnold can sing well.
On the plus side, I think that the band is growing musically. The texture of the guitars, coupled on occaision with synthesizers and orchestral strings makes the melodies a little more sophisticated. The drum tracks have also gotten better, no disrespect to Brad Arnold (the band's original drummer), but the addition of Daniel Adair is well received.
So finally, my favorite tracks:
"Right Where I Belong" is a rocker to start the CD off. Great guitar work, and great pacing. I love the lyrics and the pure straight ahead rocking style.
"It's Not Me" Normally I don't like second tracks (call it a mind block), but 3 Doors Down has rarely disappointed and in this case again they don't.
"Father's Son" Probably not particularly radio friendly, not that the lyrics need a radio edit, but the story is dark and little worrisome. The story that inspired this song must be interesting.
I would not recommend this CD for first time 3DD listeners, but it is a great peice for a band that could be around for a long while.