Sparrow Records / Capitol CMG
Release Date: June 16th 2023
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- Soul on Fire
- New Creation
- Flood Waters
- God of Wonders (feat. Andrew Ripp)
- Request Time (Acoustic Medley) (Revelation/Love Song/Blessed Assurance)
- Don’t Stop
- River of Life
Third Day has made a big impact on Christian music, period. While Mac Powell and co. narrowly missed out on the list of the top 100 impactful and influential artists in modern music history (of which my brother and I are steadily working through this blog series), Third Day have still managed to carve a career of radio hits and chart-topping songs that have spanned the years of 1996 – 2017, with songs like ‘Your Love Oh Lord, ‘Alien’, ‘King of Glory’, ‘Consuming Fire’, ‘Show Me Your Glory’, ‘Come Together’, ‘Come On Back to Me’, ‘Cry Out to Jesus’, ‘Revelation’, ‘Children Of God’, ‘Trust in Jesus’, ‘Your Love is Like a River’, ‘Victorious’, ‘Your Words’ and ‘Revival’ (to name a few), that have impacted millions of people around the world for around 20 years or so, myself included.
While it can be a bit weird when a band who’s been together for a long time, decides to break up; people do in fact ‘move on’ in some regard. Just like how lead singer of Delirious?, Martin Smith decided to pursue a solo career after the band of Delirious? ended in 2009; so too has Mac Powell decided to forge a new career after the disbandedment of Third Day around four years ago. While Mac Powell himself has toyed with a country music career with his moniker Mac Powell and the Family Reunion for some time now (Back Again in 2019, December in 2018), it is in 2021 where Mac decided to unveil his ‘debut’ solo CCM album. New Creation released in October 2021, and around a year later, a deluxe version followed- both these albums were reviewed by the site, here and here. While not as ‘wow’ or even as ‘flash’ as his Third Day material, Mac’s solo music nevertheless still resonates with listeners around the world, myself included. And while he will still be forever known for being the front-man of the now-disbanded Third Day, Mac Powell’s presence in the industry even now, ought to be commended. Fast-forward one year and we see yet another musical offering delivered, this time, a 7 song live EP, featuring some of his solo material, a song from his Mac Powell & The Family Reunion days, some Third Day classics, and even a Fleetwood Mac cover (‘Don’t Stop’).
These few paragraphs aren’t really a ‘review’, but rather, an appreciation post on Mac himself and the tried and tested nature of these songs present on this 7-song ‘live at red rocks’ set-list. Sure, we all as listeners may still long for the good-ol’ Third Day days. There’s been times of late where I’ve found myself wishing that as well. However, as this EP reminds me- Mac offers us a lot- not just Third Day music, but his own songs (and covers) as well. Songs like ‘River of Life’ and ‘New Creation’ from his CCM ‘debut’ album, the foot-stomping country-twang-styled ‘Flood Waters’ (from Mac’s Family Reunion country album Back Again) and the Fleetwood Mac cover ‘Don’t Stop’ are great reminders of Mac’s versatility as a singer-songwriter, while songs like ‘Soul on Fire’ and ‘God of Wonders’ showcase a song from two distinct Third Day eras. The acoustic medley rounds out the 7 song EP, with Mac talking throughout the 6 minute ‘song’ and playing a few classic songs to remind us of how great these songs were, not just at the time of recording, but also now as well (Revelation/Love Song/Blessed Assurance).
So there you have it…Mac Powell’s EP. Definitely for fans of Third Day. Or even if you haven’t heard of Third Day (not sure how this can be possible), and are just listening to Mac’s solo material, then this EP is great also. Or if you just love CCM (like myself), then this EP will be full of nostalgia…and rightly so. This is an album for the fans and is a must-listen for anyone who loves CCM, period. Mac is still a force in the music industry, and he’ll be here for decades to come. Well done Mac for this tribute EP. Looking forward to solo album #2, whenever that comes.
3 songs to listen to: Request Time, Soul on Fire, Don’t Stop
RIYL: Delirious?, Philippa Hanna, Rend Collective, Tenth Avenue North, Martin Smith, Casting Crowns