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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

3 Doors Down - ‘The Greatest Hits’ album review

3 Doors Down -  ‘The Greatest Hits’ album review
Released through: Universal Republic. Release date: Available now
3 Doors Down are a band that really seemed - to many people - to have hit the big time pretty quickly or maybe that was just the perception as they have only put out 5 studio albums, starting with their ‘The Better Life’ release in 2000, that has since gone more than six times platinum. Not bad eh?!
Subsequent releases ‘Away From the Sun’ – Brilliant! – has apparently sold over four million copies, the stunning ‘Seventeen Days,’ also rapidly passed platinum status after just one month of release.
The band’s fourth album, aptly titled ‘3 Doors Down’ – Another winner by me! - has been certified gold with over 700,000 sales and last release ‘Time of My Life’ although hitting the number three spot on the Billboard charts, has not had quite the same impact as previous releases but is still a very strong release.
The band were formed though back in 1996, so you see the perception with just five studio releases with possibly just four that come to mind with most people, is that they are a newer band ...
The first ever leadoff single by the band though ‘Kryptonite’ was picking up radio play in 1999 before anything was officially released and radio stations back then were getting inundated with requests for more and more info on this band and THAT song!
So it’s apt that ‘Kryptonite’ with it unique energy is the opener on here. Great one at that!
The special thing about this greatest hits release is that all the previously released songs on here have actually not just been re-mastered but they’ve been remixed, to freshen them up some and to great effect too!
There are also three brand new tracks here as well, including latest single ‘One Light.’

I actually got into 3 Doors Down – For whatever reason – a little later than most not having realized that ‘Kryptonite’ was theirs and when I had heard it, first thought it was maybe a little too punky at the time for my liking, but maybe I didn't give it a chance at the time.
When I heard ‘When I’m Gone’ though, the next track here, I was sold!
The band I was in at the time, I insisted we should include in our set list.
It’s a great combination of light and dark / melodic and heavy, hard rocking, ‘When I’m Gone’ I think really solidified what rock fans and musician fans of the band needed to hear to be completely sold, hence why from this point on, sales went through the roof.

‘Here Without You’ is a wonderful power ballad, massive!
The thing with 3 Doors Down is – Just to be clear … - they are not a 70’s or 80’s band and no, they are not an AOR band. No, they’re not even a metal or hard rock band. They are simply a class band, formed in the late 90’s.
Often tagged in the same bracket as Nickelback, but 3 Doors Down are so much more talented or should that read, a deeper band than Nickelback.
‘Here Without You,’ has always been a great song, written during tough personal times for the band.
With ‘It’s Not My Time’ it’s kind of like ‘When I’m Gone,’ with its gentle intro before the rock kicks in, only it kicks in quicker and to be honest it’s like a modern day ‘When I’m Gone’ – Yeah, I know it’s only six years newer … - and it without a shadow of a doubt totally reflects the bands’ progression. Killer song, hence why it kept the band’s fan base happy and put the band back in Billboard’s Top 20 singles once again!
The album doesn’t flow in the order that the singles were released and they step back to the ‘Away From The Sun’ – Possibly my favourite … - album for ‘Let Me Go,’ which again captures the light and dark sound that the band captures so perfectly with each release. Great playing here, as there is throughout.
It’s funny I often listen to the bands’ music and think that they often remind me a little of a cross between Thin Lizzy and Big Country, ironically two British bands that never really broke the US that big.
‘Be Like That’ bounces the band back to the first album and I don’t know why but that period of the band often reminds me of Matchbox 20 and this song in particular.
That said, I think – personally - that musically 3DD offers more than Matchbox 20 can.
Another great track too, more mid paced generally. Nice stuff.
Funny, next up is the third track so far on here from that first 3DD album with ‘Loser,’ which obviously dwells a lot on depression, a trend that the band often play on through their songs.
The bridge in the song about two thirds in, really changes the song to a serious heavy sub-grunge vibe.   
Possibly my all-time favourite track from the band – Which by the way, is so hard to call! – comes up next in ‘Away From The Sun,’ the bands’ second album title track.
It’s just beautiful, so well written.
Such a great blend of light and dark effect.
‘Duck and Run’ next is perhaps my least familiar 3DD song, although it shows again how far the band has come and yet how talented they were even way back then, almost eleven years ago.
The only downside to me about this track, is although the songs have been remixed, the overall guitar take when you listen closely, sounds like the EQ levels weren’t right at the time of the original recording and here they have been pushed up to a level, where it sounds like the guitar sound is breaking up. Shame, as it’s still a great track.
So now we come to the new songs with the first being ‘One Light.’
It’s without doubt a fresh sound for the band, edgy as ever and remember I said that the band often remind me here and there of Thin Lizzy at times. I would say that there’s moments of that here in some of the guitar chord patterns / song structure and it works nicely.
Interesting that the band are now working with more outside co-writers too and a good choice in Marti Frederiksen (Def Leppard, Aerosmith, Mötley Crüe, Ozzy, Foreigner) with this song and the last track on the album.
Still sad to me that the band have overlooked the ‘Time of My Life’ album but I guess even the single ‘When You’re Young’ only really just broke into the Billboard Top 100. It’s a great album, don’t forget to check that out, so prior to these three new tracks ‘It’s Not My Time,’ from 2008’s ‘3 Doors Down’ is the most recent song on here, prior to these three tracks.
Maybe they should've gone with 'The Very Best Of ...?'
‘There’s A Life’ next is an interesting track, a little more intricate in some of the playing through the verses.
Great interplay between the guitars though, nice picking, nice style indeed, then it picks up in choruses.
Great new track too!

No better way to close the album than the wonderful ‘Goodbyes,’ again co-written with Marti Frederiksen as with ‘One Light.’
It’s their trademark light and dark sound again and I have to say, towards the outro of each chorus, that Lizzy like sound is present again!
Don’t shy from it guys, right down to some harmony guitar work too!
I hear keyboards quite obvious in this last song and I wonder if we’ll hear more going forward with the band?
Perhaps it depends on how well this is received?

This really is a great compilation folks, capturing the hits from the first four 3DD albums and three great new tracks!
The band is currently out on tour in support of the release too. It’s a great double bill with Daughtry too so I strongly recommend you go and see them, we’re going to!!!
Rating:  4.5 out of 5
Official band site:

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