Review by Dom Vigil
Us And The Night is a fresh blend of new sounds and the classic 3 Doors Down that listeners fell in love with to begin with. While at times, this new album may feel a little easy or safe, it is a solid release, full of promising, soon to be hits, and a refreshing new look at a band that has really seen it all.
Kicking off Us And The Night on a crisp, upbeat and hopeful note is “The Broken,” which serves as an anthemic opener from 3 Doors Down. While the song may feel as if it’s missing a bit of heavy bass in the backbone, it makes up for it with a fresh synth part that carries much of the song. On top of that, “The Broken” hosts some strong guitar work and stunning vocals, making it a killer intro song. “In The Dark” follows, giving us a little more of that trademark grit that we’re used to from 3 Doors Down. They really shine on songs like this, with soulful, gritty vocals and strong guitar and bass work. The synth elements from “The Broken” carry over into “In The Dark” as well, and while they may catch you off guard at first, they make the songs sound very full. It’s subtle enough that it isn’t distracting, but strong enough that it adds just a little bit more energy to the two songs.
The high energy from the first two tracks carries over into the third song, “Still Alive,” which almost has a punk vibe in the guitar intro. This song feels a little more aggressive, the energy building up until the chorus, where it just explodes. Then comes “Believe It,” which takes a step away from “Still Alive” with a big, anthemic quality. This positive and uplifting track tells of following your dreams and working hard, a story that many will be able to connect with. Not only that, but the track is strong instrumentally as well, especially when the key change comes toward the end of the song without warning, and is executed perfectly. And then, changing things up even more is “Living In Your Hell,” a frustrated track about a toxic relationship.
Vocally, Us And The Night can tend to stay on very much the same level from song to song. While the vocals are strong, solid and full of that grit that makes a great 3 Doors Down record, the range doesn’t necessarily vary too much. Instrumentally, however, the album is very versatile, fun to listen to and incredibly fresh. Take “I Don’t Wanna Know,” for instance, which is spearheaded mainly by upbeat acoustic guitar work, taking a step away from anything else on the album. “I Don’t Wanna Know” is not only refreshing, but is one of the strongest tracks on Us And The Night. The following ballad, “Pieces Of Me,” is also a great transition from the faster, fuller acoustic work to stunning picking. The bass work at the beginning of the song is some of the strongest on the album, and when the vocals come in, they’re impossible to ignore. “Us And The Night” is big and beautiful, the cumulation of every other song on the album.
There isn’t one track that feels out of place on Us And The Night. Even slower songs like “Fell From The Moon” and “Inside Of Me,” which are carried by piano and acoustic guitar fit right in alongside more upbeat songs like “Us And The Night” or “In The Dark.” And while the album definitely ends on a slower note, with “Walk Before You Run” closing things out with one final love song, vocalist Brad Arnold crooning, “I’d give up forever just to be with you,” it just works. 3 Doors Down have been doing this for over two decades, and it shows in the ease at which this album progresses. Us And The Night is sure to be a hit.
Listen to "Believe It" or "I Don't Wanna Know"
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