Review Summary: An average live album from an above average band. They trade their electronic influences for acoustic renditions, with a slightly negative effect.
I’ve never really been into live albums. Generally, there is no reason to buy live recreation of songs when I already own the original recordings that were professionally done in the studio. For me, live albums are only ever good if they improve on the sound quality of the original recording or they play the songs with an interesting twist or include unreleased songs or you’re a hardcore fan and buy everything a band releases. Unfortunately, Lunik’s live album doesn’t do any of these things well and as much as I like them, I am definitely not a hardcore fan.
This live album actually starts out with a studio recording of the song "Summers Gone" originally from the album Weather
. I’m not sure why this song is included on the album, as there seems to be absolutely no difference between this version and the one on the original album. After that song (which is good, just not necessary as a studio recording on a live album) we get into the live songs. Above, I mentioned that a live album could be good if it included an interesting twist to the songs; the keyword in that statement would be “interesting”. The twist on this live album is that the entire thing is done acoustically, which does not add up to “interesting” when most of the songs derive their quality from the electronics and loops present in the original songs. The electronics are semi-recreated on this live album through the use of a piano, which, doesn't not have the same impact as the original sounds and loops.
The album closes with another studio recording called "Serenity" which actually isn’t found on any other album. It isn’t bad but also isn’t very original and isn't representative of Lunik’s overall quality. It’s your typical acoustic guitar-based pseudo-ballad that seems to go nowhere in particular and brings nothing you haven’t heard from Lunik or countless other bands. Basically, I could end this review right here by stating that unless you feel the need to own all their albums or have an overwhelming need to hear the new sub-par Lunik song you don’t need this album, but I’ll continue on with other details that come up with live recordings.
A big question for any live recording is always, “How is the crowd noise, does it take away from the recording"”
The answer is easy; there isn’t any crowd noise except respectful clapping and subdued cheers in-between songs. As this is a live album, performance is also a factor. The band plays the songs flawlessly and Jael’s vocals are perfect. There seems to be no mistakes at all, and her voice never loses the quality expected of her. I mentioned above that a live album could be good if it improved on the sound quality of the original recording, and subsequently stated that they didn’t do very well with that. I need to make it clear that this album sounds awesome, and if not for the cheers could almost be mistaken for a studio album. The thing is that the original albums these songs came from sound just as good but also include the electronics so lacking in these versions.
The quality of the overall performance and recording add to the score this album has received because it has to be factored in when reviewing a live album. If it wasn’t factored in then the score would actually be lower due to the way the songs were re-worked for this live album. That’s not to say that the live versions of these songs aren’t good, they’re just not as good as the originals. With all of that in mind I am going to simply return to the statement I made at the end of the third paragraph; unless you feel the need to own all their albums or have an overwhelming need to hear the new sub-par Lunik song, you don’t need this album.