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Live

Songs From Black Mountain  Hear it Now

RS: 2of 5 Stars Average User Rating: 4of 5 Stars

2006

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You gotta hand it to live for sticking to their guns. Long after Creed and other irony-deficient Nineties rock acts hung it up or changed their stripes, Live have stubbornly stayed true to their original sound and have managed to actually maintain an active fan base -- particularly in Europe, where they remain huge. The problem is that now, on their seventh album, singer and primary songwriter Ed Kowalczyk is revisiting themes (Eastern religion, the futility of war and Kowalczyk's love for his wife and daughters) he's been mining for years. The band's signature sound of slowly rising choruses punctuated by Kowalczyk's rumbling wail has also grown quite stale. "Home," the only topical song on the album, is perhaps the most inoffensive anti-war song ever written: It channels a grieving wife actually crying, "Politics aside, what I'd give to have him here tonight."

ANDY GREEN

(Posted: Jun 13, 2006)

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Review 1 of 2

Warzawa writes:

2of 5 Stars

On first listen, I discarded Live's seventh album "Songs from Black Mountain" as overpolished, effects heavy, pop-rock crap. While there is a lot of truth to that declaration, I decided to give it a chance. I figured it was the least I could do for a band that defined my teen years with classics like "Throwing Copper" and "Secret Samhadi." Surprisingly, the album has grown on me. Sure, the lyrics are trite and the verse/chorus/verse formula gets tired after awhile, but there's still something about Ed Kowalczyck's voice and his always energetic backing band. I mean, Live has always been a vehicle for Ed to show off, but every once in a while I still shudder when I hear his falsetto. And songs like "Show" and "Sofia" have enough guster to get me going after all these years. Even the overpopped "The River" and "Mystery" have interesting, unexpected parts that make me sing along to their Hilary Duffesque choruses. "Night of Nights" sounds like a 3 Doors Down single but it's irresistably hypnotic, "Love Shines" is enough to make me puke, and "Where do we go from here?" has such an awkward chorus that it's almost painful to listen to. But if all that is true, why the hell am I still listening? You've got me. I love this band.

Aug 21, 2006 15:56:25

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Review 2 of 2

kezza34 writes:

5of 5 Stars

With time I think Live have really mellowed, Like a fine wine they keep getting better and better.

Jul 12, 2006 04:32:55

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