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A Revelation? Ponderings on the upcoming Third Day release

[img_assist|nid=761|title="Dr." Mark Lee at the Music Builds tour launch party|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=143|height=211]I am a Third Day fan.  I am Gomer number 1920.  (I would be a lower number if it were not for the fact that I am not a joiner.)  I have traveled on a plane on more than one occasion to see the Atlanta rockers in concert, including a Great Gomer Gathering.  I have purchased each CD on the day of release since Conspiracy No. 5.

Yes, I fell in love with the band from the first time I saw them live not long after their debut release.  I used to call my local radio station begging them to play the latest single, hoping for others to experience the great music.  Until one day, the radio singles were overplayed and, to be honest, slow and boring.

Oh wait, did I mention that I am an old school Third Day fan?  Those in the Gomer camp know that there are those fans that came along when Offerings suddenly put Third Day on the map.  On the opposite end of the proverbial room, you would find a small gathering of old school fans that like the rougher, rockier, earlier style of Third Day.  I fit in that corner.

While Third Day still finds a place in my music library, the San Diego rock of Switchfoot has caught more of my attention in recent years.  (This year I surpassed my 40-something live Third Day shows when I hit number 50 for Switchfoot.)  Yet with each new release, I wonder whether or not Third Day will remain high on my list.

It was with excitement that I heard Third Day had made some recent changes, including a new producer (Howard Benson - Daughtry, Flyleaf, Hoobastank, P.O.D.) and new business management.  I sat in on a workshop at GMA week in Nashville in a panel discussion with some folks from the new management company.  (I hope to write more on that later.)  I left more excited about the upcoming July 29th release of the latest studio album, Revelation.  The night before, I received a hint of the upcoming disc at the Music Builds tour launch party.

Early album reviews had me wanting more.  So when I received a pre-release copy on my desk, it went straight to my listening ears.  Sure, I could have ordered a pre-release with the opportunity to listen to the entire record online, but I wanted a “real” copy to take into my car.  

My initial reaction was good.  But the more I got into it, the more I was a bit disappointed.  Don’t get me wrong.  It’s a good album.  The production level is stepped up from previous efforts.  Yet as I kept on listening, I felt like I had heard it all before.  Both the music and subjects of many of the songs seem to me vaguely familiar.  When looking at the overall picture, it just did not seem a whole lot different than their other music.  I even had live ‘video’ running through my head which normally comes only after experiencing a song live more than once.  For instance, on “Otherside” I felt like I could see lea[img_assist|nid=762|title=Mac Powell leads the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=226|height=153]d singer Mac Powell doing the jumping pogo stick like thing he does.

My first repeat song was track 4, “Run to You” featuring guest vocals from Lacey Mosely of Flyleaf.  The song has me begging for a Third Day/Flyleaf tour.  (Though I am not certain how the new school Third Day fans would handle the harder music of Flyleaf.)  In fact, the best part of the album is the guest appearances.  In addition to Mosely, Chris Daughtry adds to the track “Slow Down” and pedal steel guitar wizard Robert Randolph adds to “Otherside.”

In the end, I would recommend the disc for both old school and new school Third Day fans.  And maybe some newer fans will come as a result of this music.  I will remain a fan, yet I still long for the feeling I had when I first saw them live and screamed, “I LOVE these guys!” to my friend.  And to follow my longstanding tradition, on July 29th, the day of the release, I will buy a copy of the album.  Then I plan to catch them on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno that night.