On October 19, Third Day released Move, their 11th studio album. The new release has a familiar feel. The quartet from Georgia returns to the classic southern rock sounds of early Third Day albums.

For Christian radio listeners, or those who tuned in to the Alabama-Penn State game on Saturday, September 11, you’ve already heard “Lift Up Your Face” the powerful first single from what’s sure to be another award-winning offering.

Recorded in the band’s new Atlanta-based studio, The Quarry, Move was a labor of love that began while the band was touring last year. Its impending release has got even a music veteran like lead singer Mac Powell excited.

“I’m really partial to this record,” says Powell. “These songs were meant to encourage. I know they encouraged us, so I’m excited to see the response from our fans.”

“Lift Up Your Face” lays the instantly recognizable rugged vocal talents of Powell in front of the smooth harmonies of the legendary Blind Boys of Alabama. It’s an inspired coupling.

While “Lift Up Your Face” immediately sets Move in motion, the momentum continues to pick up steam as the next track releases bassist Tai Anderson’s heavy-handed introduction on “Make Your Move.”

Anderson explained the band’s mindset during recording.

“We wanted to write songs specifically designed for live events. Sure, we put them on a record, but these are songs that we want to really resonate with fans at live performances.”

The band proved their point during this year’s Night of Joy at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, when they previewed several selections for the crowd in front of Cinderella’s Castle.

Full of strong anthems and powerful ballads, Move comes alive with Powell’s immense vocal, and physical, on-stage energy. Backed by the incredible instrumental performances of Third Day members Anderson, guitarist Mark Lee, and drummer David Carr, and accompanied by musicians extraordinaire Scotty Wilbanks and Jason Hoard, the band unleashes a live stage show that becomes more interactive worship event than performance concert.

As Powell leads the audience in “Children of God,” the compelling repetition of the bridge immediately engages the audiences, even those members hearing the song for the first time.

While there is nothing quite like a live Third Day performance, the Move CD captures the honesty and depth as closely as any recording can.

The prayerful styling of “Trust in Jesus” and the pensive “What Have You Got to Lose” beg personal introspection.

The closing track “Don’t Give Up Hope” ends the record with a plea for perseverance. It’s as if the band is saying, we’re in the same boat you are, we’re struggling just as you are, keep the faith. It’s the perfect ending to an amazing record.

Third Day is currently on the Making A Difference Tour, featuring tobyMac, Michael W. Smith, Jason Gray, and best-selling author Max Lucado. Check the Third Day website for a venue near you.