Live have had an interesting history these past few years to say the least as after splitting-up in 2009 and parting with lead singer Ed Kowalczyk, lawsuits and recriminations followed.
Eventually in 2011 the other band members rebooted the Live name and enter new vocalist Chris Shinn, who makes his recording debut with the band on this album. In a nod back to their past and arguably most popular era in commercial terms, Jerry Harrison (ex-Talking Heads) is back as a co-producer.
Chris Shinn has a nice melodious vocal with a gruff edge when needed, in fact on songs like ‘Don’t Run To Wait’ and ‘By Design’ he reminded me of Widespread Panic’s vocalist John Bell. Hints of the ‘Throwing Copper’ days come back on ’6310 Rodgerton Dr.’ where Shinn digs deep and pours some real passion into the vocals.
If anything this album sees Live at their most commercial as ‘Need Tonight’ is an instant melody and ‘Sirens Call’ could become a staple of alt-radio airplay in the US. ‘Til You Come Around’ shows the band can still produce those gentle, yet effective acoustic tunes.
This is a good album, not a classic by any means but enough to keep the doubters at bay who thought the band would be finished without Ed Kowalczyk. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
Live play Koko, London on 5 November
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Pete Feenstra celebrated his 300th show in October 2019. Pete heads up a five-hour blues rock marathon when “Tuesday is Bluesday” from 19:00 GMT. Listen out also for his interview-based Feature show on Sundays (20:00 GMT)
Power Plays w/c 11 November (Mon-Fri)
MILES NIELSEN AND THE RUSTED HEARTS Hands Up (indie)
THE FARGO RAILROAD COMPANY Something In The Water (indie)
THE DARK ELEMENT If I Had A Heart (Frontiers)
LIBERTY LIES A Thousand People (indie)
DIRTY SHIRLEY Here Comes The King (Frontiers)
CARRY THE CROWN Runaway (indie)
Featured Albums w/c 11 November (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 WORK OF ART Exhibits (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 SIGN X Like A Fire (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 JACK BROADBENT Moonshine Blue (Creature Records)
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
MAGNUM Sleepwalking (1992)
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