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"WILD YEARS-THE MUSIC & MYTH OF TOM WAITS" BY JAY S. JACOBS

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PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Record Reviews > Live

MUSIC REVIEWS

 

Live-Songs from Black Mountain (Red Ink/Epic)

Through a weird circumstance, York, Pennsylvania alt-rock group Live is suddenly in the public eye in a way that they have not been since their mid-90s heyday.  At the time they were riding high with their 1994 breakout smash Throwing Copper, which spawned four hit singles "Selling the Drama," "I Alone," "All Over You" and "Lightning Crashes."  They followed it up with the oddly pretentious disaster Secret Samadhi, an album which did okay at the time but eventually kind of wrecked their momentum.  The band has tried to capture our attention ever since, releasing some good albums (the 2001 disk V was particularly strong) but continuing to fade from the public consciousness.

The 1,000 pound Gorilla which finally got Live back on the country's mind over a decade after their brief superstardom was American Idol, of all thingsOn the show, popular rocker Chris Daughtry acknowledged that Live was his favorite band and did a carbon-copy version of their Johnny Cash cover "I Walk the Line."  Then the band was invited to preview their new song "Mystery" as a duet with Daughtry on the 2006 finale show. 

The table is set for the band to make a return as they release their first album on a new label in the wake of this unexpected publicity windfall.  Songs from Black Mountain has a better chance of getting heard than any Live album in years.  So is it up to the task of revitalizing the band's fanbase or will it just follow their last few albums down the black hole?

In fairness, Songs from Black Mountain should do the trick.  It's not as good as Throwing Copper, but a spike in sales would be deserved.  Songs from Black Mountain reminds us why we fell for Live in the first place from the acoustic rock of "The River" to the slightly pompous but undeniably cool progressive punk of "Mystery."  (Love the string section!)  "Get Ready" is an atmospheric ballad in the "Lightning Crashes" vein.  "Sofia" is a sweet rocking love jam.

We have waited quite a while to get a Live album this good hopefully the world will catch on.  (6/06)

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright 2006 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.  Posted: June 1, 2006.

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Copyright 2006 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.  Posted: June 1, 2006.