Third Day's Third, Time

Time (Essential Records)
Third Day

Third Day's debut album three years ago was such an incredibly bold blast of classic Southern rock, with songs like "Consuming Fire" and "Thief," it was truly a hard act to follow. By comparison, their second album Conspiracy #5 with its overt tipping of the hat to modern rock, sounded at times forced and uncharacteristic, as though they were trying to get by wearing someone else's cast-offs.

Well, the third time is definitely a charm for Third Day. They're still doing the modern rock thing, but they're hayseed enough to bring it back down to earth on songs like "I've Always Loved You" and "Sky Falls Down." At times, they fall into a loose-limbed Mellencamp groove ("What Good"); other times, as on "Never Bow Down," they push the guitars and drums just far enough into the red to give it a nice warm fuzz-tone. Overall, Time rocks, but there's a good dynamic to it, a nice ebb and flow that gives it the feel of one of those classic rock albums you can (and should) listen to over and over again.