Third Day's original Offerings album was a side-project, a special little something for the band's truest fans. A mixture of newly-recorded studio songs and live, in-concert versions of their existing worship favorites, the disc was never intended to become the group's first gold-certified record, win them their first Artist of the Year Dove Award, and completely transform their career.
But it did all of those things and more, making Third Day one of the most prominent and popular bands in all of Christian Music. It was only a matter of time before a sequel was hatched, and while the Gomers (Third Day's most hard-core fans) couldn't be more excited, the cynics are wondering why it was necessary. The fact is, wherever your bias puts you is where you're going to fall in the camps of "like" and "don't like" when all is said and done for Offerings II: All I Have To Give.
I think the "like" camp far outweighs the others (just look at the original's sales figures), so I'm inclined to think that most listeners will be won over by Offerings II. I was. Much more than just another collection of going-through-the-motions modern worship, Offerings II bares all the hallmarks of Third Day's best work.
The live songs are fun revisits to many of the group's best-loved songs, usually with some new twists. For example, "Your Love Oh Lord" is put inside of a medley of worship songs that even includes part of U2's "With or Without You" (the "you give yourself away..." part) right after the chorus from the hymn, "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus"; you'll be surprised at how well the pairing works. Michael Tait guests on a Third Day-only version of "God of Wonders," and we're even treated to a never-been-recorded Third Day version of Rich Mullins' "Creed," a natural fit for their sound.
The six original tracks are all truly stellar, showing off just how good this group really is. Beginning with the rousing "Sing A Song," straight on through the lovely title ballad "Offering," the rock-a-billy "Anything," and the fantastically haunting "May Your Wonders Never Cease," Third Day proves that it's still a creative powerhouse in its prime.
Bottom line: it's another winning disc from Third Day. What more do you want? (Okay, most of us wouldn't have minded an entire album full of new tracks, instead of half-new and half-recycled.) It doesn't top Come Together, but it's at least as good as the original Offerings.
Album cover courtesy of Essential Records.
By Robert Parrish