Album review

Live : V

Live : VDelivering another huge slice of spiritual American pie, Live continue to display the makings of one of the seminal acts of our time - so why does it all sound so interchangable with the last album? Their consistency in building this powerful mix of post grunge positivity with great tunes is almost frightening, and it's a fantastic album, so why do I feel disappointed?
    The scenario could be a lot worse - take a look at Our Lady Peace who wore such brilliant colours on their debut Naveed and them couldn't seem to keep up with the dream; and annually kept us appeased with promises of 'almost', but I digress.

V has everything going for it - potential MTV/radio-friendly hits in both Call Me A Fool and Nobody Knows that could go the distance alongside of the likes of Matchbox Twenty for months on end, the wickedly hummable Flow and the sub-melancholy Like A Soldier that will keep V on your deck for a long time.
    Meanwhile, beneath the unique vocals of Ed Kowalczyk lies a band of such immense proportions, I wouldn't even begin to try and dissect it. For a group of guys so talented, to underplay so much for the sake of the song isn't something you come across every day when you're five albums down the line.

Here's an interesting aside for you - this is from my previous review of The Distance To Here:
    "The strength of purpose in this album is shocking. Never out to claim the world or usurp the next man, Live just do what they do - tell stories of lost souls fighting their way in the big bad world. So effective is their little melodrama that they can bring a man to tears in minutes. At their best, they sear the very ground that the genre is built upon. At worst, they should be making a lot of artists wonder why they bother."
    While all those things still hold true for me, I think the fomulae has worn a little thin on me. I'm willing to go to the next level with them but V ain't the one to do it.

Best listened to in the dark with headphones on, V deserves repeated listenings, but when so much of Throwing Copper and Secret Samhadi could make you cry and The Distance To Here let you lick the heart it wore on its sleeve, I guess I just expected more. Maybe I've been spoilt.

:: Sion Smith

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