Review Summary: Live experiments a bit more with V, and shows another side to their mainstream rock profile.
Look, I could rant and rave about how great Throwing Copper
and Secret Samadhi
was, then complain about how bad V
is. But, I'm not going to, mostly because its cliche and overused, but the truth is that V
isn't a bad album. In fact, its most likely Live's best album since Throwing Copper
, and was the last good album Live put out before the downhill slide Live has been on for most of the millenium with the christian-rock Birds of Pray
and the utimately desperate and boring Songs From Black Mountain
explored Live's more experimental, almost-funk influences with good success. Even though the album was received well by fans and critics, this album was the end of the road for Live. Why is that, you may ask?
Don't ask me, because V
was better than half of the albums out on the shelves during its time. 2001, had, well, Weezer's Green Album
, Jimmy Eat World's Bleed American
, or Tool's overly-long-and-boring Lateralus
. The album had some funky beats, keyboard squiggles, fast guitar riffs, and uplifting lyrics. What was not to like about V
? Apparently, a lot, considering this album hasn't even gone Gold, and Simple Creed
was barely a radio hit. The album may drag in the middle and be boring in parts, but still it should be good enough to at least go Gold-which it hasn't to this date.
There's plenty excellent, well-crafted uplifting songs like Simple Creed
which was a bit unorthodox step-outside of the box for Live, as the verses were kind of rap, but the chorus was typical arena-ready anthems which catchy choruses and guitar riffs. Or, there's Deep Enough
, which sounds just plain different than anything Live has done up to this album, as the verses feature some Pink Floyd-esque guitar riffs and rhythms behind Kowalcyk rapping (that's right, rapping) and a fun, atmospheric, and truly enjoyable chorus. Hero of Love
has got some Beatles influences in it, as Kowalcyk goes into a high-pitched, almost folk whimper backed by some light, fluffy, almost-acoustic guitar riffs, or there's Transmit Your Love
, which has a strange, sexy undertone about it, as the lead singer goes into a low-roar backed by some tuned-down guitars and bass riffs.
The album is still edgy and 'in-your-face' though, as many of the songs are aggressive, guitar-riff heavy anthems that should
have been massive radio hits. While Live may have taken a more experimental step in the way of the They Stood Up For Love
off of their last album, they still have that inital charm that made Live a big hit in the first place. Every song has its own identity, and its pretty astounding considering how much Live has matured over the years. Even though the album drags in the middle and becomes a bit boring with the over-abundance of low-toned ballads like Forever May Not Be Long Enough
and Call Me a Fool
, the album still manages to come off better than anything Live has put out in the past few years, and makes a truly good listen, especially if your open-minded and have the ability to look past Live's identity as a mainstream alternative rock band. Don't be expecting a trip down memory lane, but be expecting a breath of fresh air and take on modern alternative rock, but without all the depressing, burden-carrying angst of alt-rock bands of today.
Transmit Your Love