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3 Doors Down - Time of My Life

3 Doors Down are back with a new producer and a new leash on life, if the album’s title track is to be believed, but does Time Of My Life mark either a radical departure or a radical improvement?

Saturday, 6. April 2013  -  by  David Hayter

3 Doors Down continue to embrace heavier tones on their fifth studio album Time Of My Life. To help smooth the transition the Mississippi five piece have roped in veteran hard rock producer Howard Benson to add some beef to their considered anguish.

The effects are immediately apparent as the album is propelled forward by a series of tracks that ride a top blustering power chords and strained tones. The quiet-loud dynamic is used to full effect, and 3 Doors Down sound closer to Nickelback and Creed, both sonically and stylistically, than ever before on “When You’re Young” and “Round And Round”.

The crisp but booming production, combined with 3 Doors Down’s typically professional execution, recalls the bluster and scope Benson brought to his post-hardcore prodigies. Sadly while this sound is undoubtedly accessible it rarely thrills, and the majority of Time Of My Life’s arrangements are disappointingly interchangeable. The band don’t really open up and let rip until the album’s conclusion, with “On The Run”, “Believer” and “My Way” offering some genuine endeavour to break the crashing chord monotony.

It is left to lead singer and lyricist Brad Arnold to give Time Of My Life a distinctive edge. Disappointingly the singer deals in bland non-specific sentiments. While it’s not hard to believe that the now veteran band are having the time of their lives on the album’s title track, it’s harder to believe and be engaged by such tired and clumsily expressed sentiments as “Things Are Going To Hurt, That’s For Sure/ I Won’t Get Turned Around, I Keep Moving On” and “There’s Ones Who Live In Pain/ And One Who Has No Shame”.

Many great artists and albums have dealt in non-specific catch all sentiments. Unfortunately Time Of My Life lacks the lyrical dexterity or the musical creativity to forge meaningful and intriguing connections. Instead 3 Doors Down’s fifth effort is an entirely competent, professionally executed, but uneventful listen.

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