Mar 17, 2009

From The CD Shelf: 3 Doors Down - The Better Life

The dominance of pop/rock radio for 3 Doors Down started with their '99 release "The Better Life". This came right about the time I really started to get into music, 1999 being my sophomore year in high school.

As I listen to the opening track "Kryptonite", I'm swept back to Hampden, Maine in my poster plastered room with the tune pumping out of my now defunct Sony boombox. Almost everyone that listened to the radio in that year and the many years after couldn't help but know that infectious tune that was just so easy to sing along with and always left you wanting to hear it again. (For me anyway.)

From start to finish, this album spun in my old Sony over and over and truly jump started my love affair with alternative rock. It might have also been my first real clue into how much I liked to sing. Brad Arnold's vocals always fit my vocal range brilliantly and as testament to that, track 5 on the album, "Be Like That" was one of the first songs I learned on guitar and sang along with.

It was 2001, in the last months of my senior year that I got to see 3 Doors Down live. I use the term "see" very loosely. The band played at the annual music festival called Bumstock at the nearby University of Maine (a festival that my band was a part of 3 years later) but since my girlfriend and I weren't 18 yet, we weren't allowed inside the gate.

So people like us couldn't get a free show, multiple truck trailers were lined up to block the view of the gigantic stage. The great thing about rock 'n roll is that is takes much more than a couple of trailers to drown it out. We curled up in a blanket, leaned against a tree in a grassy area outside Somerset Hall and listened.

Many years after I finally got a chance to "see" 3 Doors Down in Portland as they toured to promote their 3rd studio album. The show exceeded my expectations by far with the intense light show, the pyrotechnics, the slamming base and the outstanding stage presence of Brad. When they blasted out "Kryptonite" it took me back for a couple of seconds to where I am right now as I listen to the "The Better Life" here at my computer.

Who knows where my music tastes would be today if it weren't for this album. Who knows if I would have developed the passion for music and singing that I have today and can't live without. One thing is for sure, I need to whip this album out a little bit more often.

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