The title track Time Of My Life kicks off the album with heavy guitar work and a lot of energy. Arnold is a gifted vocalist and the song works well as an opener but in itself the song isn't necessarily very strong. When You're Young could've come from "Away From The Sun" or "Seventeen Days" as the melodic lines are almost identical to the core sound on those albums. You could see this song as an updated version of Let Me Go mixed with a touch of Away from the Sun. But here's why this song will work. The fans hear something they recognize, something almost nostalgic. It has a slight alternative edge (primarily in the guitar sound and vocals) but still follows an attractive format for commercial radio. And lets be honest, 3 Doors Down kicks ass on tracks like this one. They are what Nickelback wants to be when they grow up, a solid rock band that can play energy-laden rock songs with a passionate delivery. So a number of their songs are formulaic, is that really so bad?
The middle part of the record starts with Round And Round; a track that has a lot of live potential. Heaven comes off a little forced but that is in large part because there seems to be a little strain on Brad Arnold's vocals. The arrangement of the song is actually quite clever. The catchy Race for the Sun isn't quite as impressive as songs the band released earlier but it does have a lot of appeal. On the more paced Back To Me the melodic quality of 3 Doors Down becomes apparent again and I forsee a potential radio single.
Every Time You Go is classic 3 Doors Down without sounding like an old song. This is the song that sticks out for me. I can really feel the passion and energy come across and man, how would that be for a show opener! I find myself moving and singing along to this song. Sadly it's the only one so far. What's Left is executed better than many similar songs by other bands but while the building of tension in the song is admirable it won't stand out enough compared to releases by other bands. Thankfully the band kicks it up a notch on On The Run which has all the drive and edginess you were hoping for with this band. As a band, 3 Doors Down has always been a unit and they are really a tight outfit. You can hear that on this song as everything comes together perfectly from the drive in the guitar and the superb rhythm instrumentals and Arnold's vocals that infuse a sense of urgency and passion that shows why this band really does deserve the praise they've been getting all these years.
A blast of the past in She Is Love which has a "The Better Life" kind of sound which still suits the band perfectly. The track isn't the most surprising on the album but it is a very good song that showcases the band's talent. My Way will be a great song to play live and it fits in the mold of this album but my expectations for this band are higher. The closer called Believer finishes the album on a high note. Amps to 11 and lets go. At times you may think: Hello 90s. But that's a good thing. For me, this brings me back to the rock bar I used to frequent where rock music was all about energy, passion and a helluva good time. That's what this track symbolizes for me.
My opinion of "Time Of My Life" changes from time to time. I do think it's a good album but I also think it could've been so much more. This is partly because I hold 3 Doors Down in a very high esteem and my expectations are really high. I still believe "Away From The Sun" is their strongest album as it shows the most versatility but the other albums are all close behind because "The Better Life" has so much energy, "Seventeen Days" has the clever songwriting and "3 Doors Down" brings the band's core sound to the foreground perfectly. On "Time Of My Life" there are excellent songs with Every Time You Go and On The Run as absolute high notes but there are also songs that don't really show the full potential of this band. I imagine the album will be a moderate commercial success but not become as big as their previous albums. The fans will most likely appreciate it but there might be a group of fans that wonders what could've been, just like I'm doing.