Release Date: April 28th 2016
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
It was only a few days ago when I decided to write a post about Third Day, and comment about how it had been quite some time since they released any new material. While it is only been a couple of years, society has now grown impatient, and if any artist doesn’t release new material within a certain time frame, we start to question and wonder. We all are susceptible to it, I know I am, and frankly, for the better part of the year, I was wondering when Mac Powell and the team at Third Day would be releasing their new album, whether it would be in 2017 or the year after. While we don’t have a official release date for their new album (it may just be next year…), what we do have is a brand new song called “Revival”, that released today, April 28th on iTunes and other digital platforms. For those who don’t know who Third Day are (where have you been? You’ve obviously heard songs like “Cry Out to Jesus”, “My Hope is You”, “Your Love Oh Lord”, “Call My Name” and “I Need a Miracle”, right?), they have been within the CCM industry for more than 20 years. Mac himself with his trademark vocal has created a space where rock and worship can infuse together and thrive for the better part of the 1990s, 2000s and the 2010s. While during that time members changed and left, the core of who the band is, is still the same. Third Day’s message is clear- share the love of Jesus through song, and deliver great quality pop-rock music with an inspirational edge. Now into their 21st year in music under the label of Provident, we see them present a straightforward musically yet lyrically profound track about the longing for revival in a nation (and the world) that is in desperate need of it. So how does this song compare to hits of the past? Does Mac and co obtain my seal of approval? Should ‘Revival’ hit the airwaves and be enjoyed by millions of listeners around the world in the upcoming months ahead?
Standing at a little over 3 and a half minutes, Mac and the band invite us to take a journey along with them to their southern rock roots. Musically, this song is more of a throwback to their Move or Revelation music days, or maybe, just maybe, musically similar to their 1999 album Time more than anything else. Presented with saxophones, horns, choirs, light guitars, and Mac’s trademark booming voice, we hear a message that is as relevant as it is catchy and infectious. A song about how revival needs to spread like wildfire across a land that is so desperately yearning for change and difference, is what I believe Third Day do best. Marketed as the first single from their time in 2016 recording at the ‘legendary’ FAME Recording Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama; it remains to be seen whether ‘Revival’ is part of their new album later on during the year, or part of a collection of EP’s or even part of a best-of project. Regardless, “Revival” is a pleasant throwback musically to the Third Day of old, and is a reminder of why I enjoyed listening to the band in the first place.
There is such much heart and intentionality about this song, and the purpose behind it is as much needed in today’s society as it is needed in our own lives as well. Inspired by ‘Revival Week’, an annual event held in Mac Powell’s childhood church in central Alabama, Mac divulges the meaning behind the song and what led him to write such a song as “Revival”- ‘…Revival Week required me to do some soul searching and ask myself, ‘Am I really at a place where I’m willing to surrender to what God would ask and have of me?’ Brothers and sisters, He wants so much more than just a revival week for us, but for every single day of our lives to be one in which we surrender to seek His wisdom and guidance through the Word of God, and celebrate the abundant life and joy that only He can bring. Let’s join together and hope and pray that God would see fit to bring about in every single one of us, revival…’ And with a heart behind the song like Mac’s, what can’t we not love about “Revival”, quite possibly one of 2017’s best kept secrets in Christian music! Produced by Monroe Jones, who also produced albums past, like Come Together, Offerings 2 and Time, “Revival” is a must listen (and a must-purchase) if you enjoy the Third Day of old, or if you love contemporaries of the band such as Switchfoot, needtobreathe, downhere or Jars of Clay. Congrats to Mac and the band for such a compelling and impacting song, can’t wait to more new tracks later on throughout the rest of 2017!
3 songs to listen to: Revival…again and again and again, until such a time when Third Day’s new album releases!
RIYL: needtobreathe, Switchfoot, Jars of Clay, downhere, Tenth Avenue North