The Better Life


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Bob Waliszewski

Album Review

Pro-Social Content

“Smack” warns a drug addict to straighten out before it’s too late (“Don’t throw your life away”). Other songs express love for (“So I Need You”) and devotion to (“Kryptonite”) a romantic partner.

Objectionable Content

Instead of counting his blessings, the singer on “Duck and Run” gripes that society is all take and no give. Abstract ramblings portray existence as empty and futile (“Loser,” “By My Side,” “Life of My Own”). Similarly, “Not Enough” views work as a form of slavery that sucks men dry (“Seven days underpaid, gotta give it up . . . shackled down, kicked around, now slave to the grind”). It all comes across as ungrateful whining in an age of entitlement. But the track that may send the most dangerous message to discouraged youth is “Better Life,” a suicide fantasy that imagines transcending to a better place (“I’m about to sleep until the end of time/ Drug I take gonna wake my fear right now/I’m passing away on to a better life . . . I’m about to see just how far I can fly”). Mild profanity appears now and then as well.

Summary Advisory

Whiny, gloomy, occasionally self-destructive moping. At least “Smack” points out that heroin use only compounds life’s problems. Still, this five-man band won’t be welcome in most homes until its pseudo-martyrdom fades and 3 Doors Down learns to look on the bright side.

Bob Waliszewski
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