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COME TOGETHER (2001)
Come Together - Click to view! The members of Third Day are no strangers to the Christian Rock scene. Their high album sales and consistently sold out concerts are more than enough proof of that. Now the band is setting out to see if they can set the mark even further with their fourth studio release, Come Together. With producer Monroe Jones on their side, Third Day manages to barely pull off another chart-topping record, although Come Together isn't exactly up to the standard set by past recordings such as Time and Conspiracy No. 5.

The disc's first four tracks are best described as "real" Third Day, Thanks to their strong southern rock influences. The title track has a simplistic message ("we've got to come together, we've got to learn to love"), but its style holds true to the band's Georgia roots. "40 Days" and "Get On" lie at two opposite ends of the spectrum. The latter challenges the lies of failure that Satan often whispers to believers, while "40 Days" is the melodic recreation of Jesus's trials in the wilderness. Still, both have a reputation for being fast-paced, guitar driven rockers. Track #3, "Show Me Your Glory," is the latest lyrical child of Mark Lee and a fantastic worship song to boot, garnering all the strengths of their Offerings album.

It all goes downhill from there. What remains is what should have been another solid piece of artistry, full of passionate Third Day hits, but in attempt to keep their huge number of Offerings fans, the band sold out this time around and took the new album in more of a pop direction. "My Heart," a kicky pop-like song, is the first track that displays this innovation, and although the trademark twangy guitar is its apparent strength, it almost seems weak in comparison to the first four tracks. "I Got You" (complete with turntable) and "When the Rain Comes" (another Mark Lee worship song) follow in the same suit. "It's Alright" and "I Don't Know" are the more laid-back, "country-fied" ballads. "It's Alright" takes its message from Matthew 6:25-34 and urges the listener not to worry about tomorrow, "for it brings me one more day / closer than I was to you." "I Don't Know" sounds instead very much like a copy "Can't Take the Pain" from Third Day's Time with the only exception being different lyrics, and even those are similar in context.

The final three songs left on the CD simply fail to impress. Flop-rocker "Still Listening" wins the award for "Third Day Song Most Likely To Kill Your Dog," and "Sing Praises" sounds more like something small children would enjoy singing in a Sunday school class. A mediocre worship tune at best, "Nothing Compares" closes the album without a hint of excitement whatsoever, but is spun around the striking reminder that nothing in this vast universe compares with the greatness of knowing Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Such are the lyrical strongpoints of Come Together, shallow as they may be.

While branching out is commendable, the truth is that Third Day just can't cover the pop scene, and should stick to what they do best: gritty, Southern rock. However, because of their ever-growing fan base and increasing popularity, it's highly doubtful that we'll ever see another truly artistic gem like their third album, Time. In spite of all of this, Come Together isn't THAT disappointing, and if you're an avid Third Day fan, you'll want to pick this one up.
- Rick Foux
February 2002
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