I feel like I’m getting out of touch with the mainstream music listener. Can I ask you people something? Do any of you actually want this album? Are people twitching their fingers, anxiously waiting at their computer screens with bated breath to hear just a teensy-tiny morsel of new 3 Doors Down material? Because as far as I’m aware, nobody really asked for this record, and to be honest, I can’t really see any reason that anybody would.
You probably know 3 Doors Down from their two really big singles “Kryptonite” and “Here Without You”, two songs that are obviously radio-ready, but not all that bad; boring, certainly, but at least they’ve got hooks. You may notice that “Here Without You” is from almost a decade ago, and if you’re extremely perceptive, you may also realize that their newest album, Time of My Life, is the third full-length since the one that was on.
Let’s get this out of the way: for lack of a better term, Time of My Life just plain sucks. It’s boring, faceless, shamelessly corporate radio rock, and it’s no wonder that the band haven’t exactly been lighting up the charts since a decade ago, because they’ve shown zero growth in their sound. As such, it comes off as supremely lazy, and an album that I simply can’t imagine anyone over the age of 14 enjoying.
Honestly, there’s very little to talk about here, because there’s very little of interest. “When You’re Young”, “Heaven”, and “What’s Left” all pretty much sound like “Here Without You”, with the same arpeggiated guitar intro and oh-so-pained vocal approach. Everything else is just a big mess of obvious chord changes, flaccid melodies and terrible 13-year-old-girl-but-written-by-a-30-year-old-man lyrics. The best part of the album is when it ends – and I mean that literally, because the only thing on Time of My Life that is even remotely unique is at the end of the final track “Believer”, which ends abruptly with a neat little record scratch noise.
Listen, I’m not saying that every piece of music needs to be an absolute work of art, or push the boundaries of the medium, but if it’s not going to do those things, the least it can be is fun. 3 Doors Down have always been a band aimed towards the lowest common denominator, but at least songs like “Kryptonite” have catchy choruses or slick guitar lines that get begrudgingly stuck in your head. They’re easy to sing along with when listening to the radio, no matter how ironically it may be. Time of My Life has nothing; when it’s over, not a single piece of it will stay with you. 3 Doors Down might be having the time of their lives, but if it’s going to be like this, maybe they should just do it in private next time.