Third Day “Lead Us Back: Songs of Worship” Album Review

Third Day

Prime Cuts: Our Deliverer, In Jesus' Name, The One I Love

Though Southern rock has always been the default template of Third Day, there's always discernable threads of worship music in their prodigious portfolio of songs.  And over their storied career where they have had received 28 chart topping singles and sold over 7 million records, Third Day's best moments are arguably encapsulated in their worship songs.  This is why their former worship albums, namely 2000's "Offerings" and 2003's "Offerings II," are often regarded by avid fans as their catalog treasures.  12 years after "Offerings II," Third Day are back with their third and most satisfying worship album to date.  Unlike their former two worship records which are more or less a pastiche of live tracks, new songs, formerly released songs, and covers slapdash together, "Lead Me Home" is a seamless affair of entirely studio recorded tracks freshly penned just for this disc.

Hands down, the "wow" factor of "Lead Us Back" is squarely centered on lead singer Mac Powell's charismatic vocals.  Take a listen to their single "Our Deliverer."  With his bright booming voice that calls to mind Casting Crowns' Mark Hall, Powell brings an air of Godly confidence to "Our Deliverer," an anthem of faith that awaits the second coming of Jesus Christ. Then hear Powell takes his vocals on a roller coaster ride with the hilly hymn-like "He's Alive," a worship song that ought to make it into the repertoire of churches come Easter.  Powell who has had a couple of excursions in releasing his solo country albums certainly brings his rustic sound to bare on the folky "Soul on Fire" (co-written with Matt Maher) where All Sons and Daughters can be heard in the backing department.

But Third Day are not just interested in just making worship songs.  Songs like "Spirit" and "Your Words" have a sing-along quality reminiscent of many of Hillsongs' paeans that create invitations for congregation members to want to sing along.  This is particularly true of "Spirit" which has a choral backing tailored for church worship.  And the best amongst the congregational-focused song that is destined to be a classic is "In Jesus' Name." Not a cover of Darlene Zschech's song of the same titular, "In Jesus' Name" is a transcendent power ballad that features the voices of Christian music's top artists such as Michael W. Smith, David Crowder, Natalie Grant, and Michael Tait.

Fans who yearn for a softer moment without the tight blast of guitars and drums will take delight in the album's final track "The One I Love." This song simply is a testament of what a great vocalist Powell is.  Even with just his soaring vocals, a backing vocalist, and an acoustic guitar, he can still lead us into God's throne room with such grace and verve.  This track by itself speaks volumes of the passion Third Day puts into this record.  In sum, this truly is a well-invested album made specifically to lead us back to the woship of the King of kings.  



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