Back Again| Posted August 02, 2019 What You Need To Know
In 2018, Mac Powell introduced us to the Family Reunion on the Third Day Farewell Reunion Tour and threw Christmas parties around the country celebrating the release of December. When we caught up with Mac in December of 2018, he told us that while the album was available online (and at his shows as well), it would be released through a record company in the summer of 2019. I picked up my copy at the show, and have been eagerly anticipating it's release ever since.
What It Sounds Like
This is a Country Music album through and through. Banjos, steel guitars, spoons–they're all present. Well, maybe not spoons, but it's definitely not Pop-Country. I'm not normally a country kind of guy, but the musicianship of this album is top-notch and makes for a great listen. If I were to compare it to a Country era, I would compare it with the late '90s-early '00s, to me one of the best periods for the genre. On top of that, Mac's voice is still as distinctive and smooth as ever.
While this album isn't what we're used to from Third Day albums in terms of straight worship and spiritual lyrics, this album is still full of spiritual content. The album talks a lot about the joy of relationships and family. "Flood Waters" talks about placing faith in God when times get tough. "Red on a Rose" says that God will never let you go, like red on a rose. "Heaven" was co-written with Josh Wilson, and talks about keeping our eyes on Heaven along with singing that we'll be seeing our loved ones again when we get there.
Best Song On The Album
This is a toss-up for me. I love the energy of "Whoo!" and the party that the song is. It's the kind of song that makes you roll your windows down and try to blow out your car speakers when it comes on. On the other hand, I also love "I Can Get Used to This." It's a love song, something that is rare in Christian music - but, I think we could use more songs celebrating romance. It also reminds me of slow dancing in high school (usually an awkward experience for me), but the nostalgia is still awesome.
Excellent Debut from Mac Powell's New Band| Posted August 03, 2019
Mac Powell was the lead singer for the Christian band Third Day for 25 plus years. During that time, the band sold 10 million albums, earned 4 Grammy Awards and 24 Dove Awards. Powell formed his new band in 2018 after Third Day played its final show. The Family Reunion is a band that has developed over the past several years from musicians that have been recording and playing live with Powell in support of his two solo albums, the self-titled 2012 debut and 2014’s Southpaw. Back Again is southern roots and American rock music, propelled by Powell’s powerful voice, that pays tribute to the early musical inspirations from his childhood. Though this is not a "Christian music album", there is Christian content in “Heaven” and “What I Came Here For” and there are no objectionable lyrics. Powell and the band use this music to bring light to those who would never go to a Third Day concert or go to church. The album was recorded in Atlanta and produced by Jason Hoard and is one of my favorites of the year.
Below are a few comments about each of the fifteen songs: Back Again – This is an excellent opener. It’s an upbeat southern rock song with driving guitars and drums, with Powell’s strong vocal. He was raised to ramble and born to run. He’s always been a traveler and made to move. The only thing that will make him settle down is to come on back to her. Flood Waters – This is a toe-tapping guitar-driven song. A storm is coming. There will be earthquakes, lightening and flood waters rising. You’ll (God? A woman?) be the only one he’ll be looking for. There are some nice backing vocals and a guitar solo mid-song. Whoo! – This song features guitar and drums. It’s a fun song about celebrating the weekend, after a long week of work. The song features country artist Craig Morgan on vocals and a guitar solo mid-song. Watermelon Rind – This song features guitar and drums, with some organ and a brief guitar solo. The joyful song is about remembering when he was a little boy down at the river with his cousins and sister swimming. When they got hungry his mama got them a watermelon and they ate it down to the rind. Red On A Rose – This song has a slower pace. It features acoustic guitar, keys, light drums and backing vocals. Sometimes life doesn’t work out as planned, but she can count on him. He’ll be her shelter, hold her close and never let her go. I'm Beginning To Wonder – This song features a driving guitar sound and backing vocals. She’s been pulling him down and treating him so bad for so long. He’s beginning to wonder if she ever did love him. Going To California – This easy-going song is driven by pedal steel guitar. written He’s going to California, find a diamond and buy it for a song. When she wakes up in the morning, he’ll be gone, but he’ll come back home to her in Georgia. The song features a guitar solo mid-song. I Could Get Used To This – This is a slower paced love song that builds. It features light guitar and drums. He’s never been the type to stick around for too long. But she’s the only one whose made him want to stay. He could get used to staying with her rather than running around. Tiptoein' – This is an upbeat fun swamp rock song featuring banjo, guitar, drums and backing vocals. From the time he was five, he was tiptoeing. Now he has kids and he can hear the kids upstairs tiptoeing. Heaven – This is a slower paced song featuring light guitars and backing vocals that gradually builds. The world’s going crazy and sometimes it seems nothing is left here for him. But all that he wants and needs is right there where he longs to be (in Heaven). The song features an excellent guitar solo near the end of the song. What I Came Here For – This song has an acoustic, unplugged sound, featuring banjo that builds toward the end. He’s been running. He doesn’t know what he is chasing but he knows there is something more. One of these days, he prays, he’s going to open up the door and find what he came here for. He’s looking for a light to guide his way. Thematically, it reminded me of U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”. A highlight. Mess of Me – This song begins with acoustic guitar, and is a toe-tapper, instantly likeable. First time he saw her he fell in love. But he’s running out of time to get her to love him. The temperature is rising and it’s hard for him to breath. He’s dizzy, and it’s hard for him to see. It features a guitar solo mid-song. A highlight. Settlin' Down – This song features driving guitar and drums and a sound not unlike a Springsteen solo record. He wants to settle down, get a little place, go out dancing on a Saturday night, talk to dawn and have a couple of kids. Sittin' Here Talkin' With You – This love song has a slower pace with accordion, acoustic guitar and light drum. There is nothing he would rather do than to hold her hand on the front porch swing. It’s his favorite thing sitting there talking with her. The song features a guitar solo mid-song. Mississippi – This foot-stomping song is driven by guitar and drums. She treats him bad and he’s going to leave. By the time she gets to “10 Mississippi” he’ll be long gone.