After the success of their first album, The Better Life, southern rock band 3 Doors Down went about creating the follow-up. The album that followed was Away From The Sun. Although the album was more commercial/mainstream friendly than the debut, the album still contains some very sold tracks. 3 Doors Down is:
3 Doors Down does not have a permanent drummer, the drummer who recorded the album was Josh Freese
-Solos are frequent
-Very strong lyrics
-Can be repetitive
-Some tracks are very pop friendly
-Vocals range from great to less than stellar
The Individual Tracks
When I’m Gone-The first single and overplayed at that. Everyone has heard this song, and probably more than 5 times. This track is a pretty solid track, and starting the album with the first single does grab the listener (they already know the song). The vocals are average, Brad gives better performances and he gives worse. The music is well played and the solo break is a nice touch, nothing overly technical (it is still not simple however) but a perfect fit to the song. Of course this song is annoying after hearing it 3 times a day. 3/5
Away From The Sun-The second single and the second track on the album. The song begins with a clean guitar riff, and sets the tone for the song. This track is a bit slower and softer than “When I’m Gone.” Brad’s vocals are better on this song, and he has good lyrics to go with them. The instrumentals are solid but a little less prominent, with the guitar line subdued behind the vocals. There is no solo and the repeating of the chorus several times at the end make this song seem to drag on a little to long towards the end. 3/5
The Road I’m On-The main guitar riff sounds familiar, similar to that in “Away From The Sun.” Brad’s vocals are again only average on this song, but the lyrics are for the most part well written. The song, like the previous tracks features soft verses with clean guitars, and a loud distorted chorus. The instrumentals are not as entertaining as the previous tracks. The song features another solo break with a very cool solo, again not overly technical but not simple either. The chorus repeats a couple of times and then we have the end. 3/5
Ticket To Heaven-The guitar riff is more original in this song and it is a neat riff. Brad comes in and gives a better vocal performance, following the guitar line with his lyrics which are again well written. The loud chorus comes up and the distortion kicks in. The nice thing about the chorus, is that the guitar does more than just chords, you can hear a riff being played. Another solo break is in this song, the band has two guitarists and they use them. The solo is a little shorter than the others but is still a cool one to listen to. After that the chorus repeats some more until the song ends. 3.5/5
Running Out Of Days-Another neat guitar intro starts and then the verse begins. Brad gives another solid performance. He is almost alone for the verse with drums and bass playing lightly under him, and the guitars filling in the holes. The chorus features a play off of the opening riff. There is an actual b-section in this song, which plays a simple riff that eventually leads back to the chorus, which repeats out to the end. 3/5
Here Without You-The third single and the album’s ballad. This song is one of the best songs on the album. Brad is at the top of his game vocally and the backing acoustic guitar plays well behind him, with a cool line. The lyrics are a good considering they cover a common topic, missing a lover. The chorus is good, with another acoustic line supporting it. After the first chorus, the song switches to clean electric guitars, along with drums and bass. The song has its loud bridge section, with good vocals over solid backing music. This is followed by a reprise of the main riff. The chorus returns and repeats until the end. 4/5
I Feel You-The song begins with a riff similar to “Here Without You,” but it is changed enough to not feel the same. Brad’s vocals are overall a little under what has preceded. The chorus has its loud distortion with the a very generic riff behind it. The song has a bridge section, with a solo playing over top giving the song some originality. The chorus comes back in and then the guitar ends the track. 3/5
Dangerous Game-The song begins with a guitar solo, which is nice for a change of pace. Once Brad comes in the vocals he is backed by drums, bass, and a very subdued guitar line. The lyrics are a little less stellar than the other tracks but not cliché. The chorus has a neat guitar riff running during it, especially at the end. There is then a long bridge section which features some less than stellar vocal work. This is followed by one of the most technical and interesting solos on the album. The song then has a chorus and ends. 3/5
Changes-Another familiar sounding guitar riff opens this song. Brad has a solid vocal performance backed only by guitar for the first verse. The chorus brings the drums and bass in, and the guitars play with the vocals. After verse two and the chorus, the song then moves into a very good bridge section that builds back to the chorus. The chorus repeats and then the song is over. 3/5
Going Down In Flames-The first song in a long time that starts with distorted guitars, and the line is a neat one. Brad gives some more solid vocals over good lyrics. The pre chorus is a little less heavy than the verse and chorus and helps keep the song interesting. After the verse and chorus repeat the song moves into a bridge section that leads the song into another bridge, eventually leading back into the chorus. The chorus repeats a few more times and then the song ends. 3/5
Sarah Yellin’-This is the heaviest song on the album and it is a good one. The lyrics are well written and it deals with some sort of abusive father and his daughter who finally snaps and kills her father. The lyrics are delivered well although the style of song is a little different than Brad’s normal work. The guitars are well played and are great for the song. There is a guitar feature that is almost a solo, but similar enough each time that it isn’t. The song lets Brad have a free form of the chorus and then it ends. 4/5
Hidden Track-I don’t have a title for this track but it is a good one. I won’t score it with the album, it starts about 30 seconds into track 12. The guitars are good, and when Brad begins to sing he gives a great performance on of the best on the album. The chorus is distorted and the riff behind it is cool, then in the middle it switched to clean guitars and the chorus continues with great backing by the band. The song moves into a bridge and then eventually builds back into the chorus, it is followed by an instrumental feature and then the end.
Bonus DVD-Contains music videos from the last album and a band interview, as well as some tracks in 5.1 surround sound. It is a good companion to the CD and can make the purchase a little more reasonable. However, it is not anywhere near essential and is not much more than a watch once deal.
Overall-The CD is a solid album with a few stellar moments. The album contains a lot of similar sounding stuff but every once in a while a solo or something else original and cool comes along and keeps you interested in the track. This album is not better than the debut, but it is a solid follow-up.
-Ticket To Heaven
-Here Without You