Offerings II: All I Have To Give
Essential Records, 2003
REVIEW BY: Daniel Camp
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 06/06/2008
Third Day’s first attempt at making an album containing both studio tracks and live worship, Offerings, was a bold effort, one that gave the listener highs and lows but no definitive experience.
But with Offerings II, they’ve nailed it.
Mac Powell and the band wisely stuck with the same formula that made Offerings successful, inserting brand new studio worship tracks amidst the theme of a live concert. The improvement between II and its predecessor does not lie in the album’s formula, however, or even in the quality of the songs, but in the overall feel. Powell’s goal, as he reminds the crowd in one of the live selections, is for the listener to “have church” every time he or she listens to the album.
Songs like “Nothing Compares,” “God Of Wonders,” and “May Your Wonders Never Cease” rejoice in God’s greatness, and seem capable of making even the most secular of listeners lift their eyes heavenward. Powell’s charisma is palpable; he has the sort of Southern charm that is magnetic, yet he has an unquestionable sense of humility as well. When he says that the next song is all about his Lord and Savior, you cannot help but believe that his purpose is worship, not fame.
The Southern rock style can initially be off-putting to the untrained ear, making “Sing A Song” an excellent choice for the album’s opener as it pulls out all the country twangs manageable. Beyond this song, though, the style becomes irrelevant to the purpose, theme, and direction of the album. Unlike many CCM groups, the lyrics are central to the message, not to Third Day’s image.
The most masterful track is an unexpected live choice: a medley of “Give,” “Turn Your Eyes Open Jesus,” “With Or Without You,” and “Your Love Oh Lord” that serves to end the album stylishly. The mixture of contemporary selections with a hymn with a secular hit is a daring one, but the group pulls it off brilliantly. Each song blends marvelously into the next, and it is nearly impossible for the Christian listener not to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit as the song comes to a close.
This album, as can any worship album, does tend to become repetitive at times, and the final track, “Take My Life” (which is complete with the live crowd sing-a-long) is unnecessary following the excellent medley. However, in the end, this album is a groundbreaking effort for both Third Day and the worship genre, and it’s truly the best worship album I’ve ever heard.