- Audio CD (June 6 2006)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Sony Music Canada Inc.
- ASIN: B000ELJAZG
- In-Print Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
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Songs from Black Mountain Import
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|1. The River|
|3. Get Ready|
|7. Love Shines (A Song For My Daughters About God)|
|8. Where Do We Go From Here?|
|10. All I Need|
|11. You Are Not Alone|
|12. Night of Nights|
Live has sold more than 20 million records including two albums reaching number #1 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart (Throwing Copper and Secret Samadhi). Now after making music together for more than half their lives, touring their way around the world, Songs From Black Mountain marks a new beginning for the original four members of Live.
Live is continuing to grow into their ambitions, as "Love Shines (A Song for My Daughters About God)" indicates, but they remain invigorated on their seventh studio recording. They deserve some credit for that as they've been at this rock thing for awhile now, forming in 1988 and releasing debut Mental Jewelry in 1991. Although there's nothing as epic here as 1994's fist-pumping anthem "I Alone," Songs from the Black Mountain still reaches for the skies--or at least the back row of the arena. Frequently taken to task for their idealism and "preachiness," the Pennsylvania quartet isn't likely to convert any non-believers this time around. Then again, the very qualities that some find precious and silly, like brow-crinkling seriousness, strike others as passionate and spiritual. Live aren't taking any risks on this outing, unless the pro-soldier "Home" is considered a risk, but nor are they phoning it in. Well, not exactly. As always, Ed Kowalczyk sings it like he means it, but his songwriting relies too heavily on clichés and the occasional space-filling "Ooo baby" ("the River") and "Oh, yeah" ("Where Do We Go from Here?"). Rather, Live has produced a solid, respectable effort, which neither advances nor jeopardizes their cause. Can you say "holding pattern"? --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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Live is one of my favorite bands, both before and after their breakout "Throwing Copper" No Album is like another of theirs and over the years I find that the records that I will continue to listen to.
Just listen to "Show" and "Where Do We Go From Here" if you want two songs to start with.
Yes it is different from every other Live record, but each other Live record was different from one another. Yes it is more acoustic and probably a bit more accessible (meaning less esoteric and more "pop" but far from pop) than some things
If you are willing to ivee it more than a cursory listen, 80% of this LP, if not more, is worth it. A couple of songs are okay, the rest very good.
"The River" is a an incredible song, albeit a little short, but that's life. It is one of the strongest introductory songs of any Live album I have heard to date.
"Mystery" is a progression of Ed's neverending attempt to carry his voice into new realms, and while some of it sounds a little forced, the orchestral backing of the song makes it a very strong submission.
"Get Ready" is a subdued but powerful melody about hope and communicates a Carpe Diem message that never gets old. It could be called repetitious if the listener forgets to pay attention to the lyrics.
"Show" is one of those songs that, like many songs from Live, started out as one of my less favorite songs on the album and is now working its way onto my favorite list.
"Wings" is a more traditional Live sound, but is still very different and enjoyable in its own right.
"Sofia" is another outstanding song from this album. It is in strong contention for my favorite song on the album, but it has some stiff competition. No doubt, it will take it's turn at the top of my favorites list in the near future.
"Love Shines" I overlooked during my first few listens and since then it has grown on me tremendously. I feel like more care went into the contruction of this song than any other on the album and it is one that I can't help turning up I'm driving.
"Where Do We Go From Here" is lyrically interesting and I feel it speaks, intentionally or not, to the growth of this band in general. They have explored more musical experiments than any other band I have ever heard, and the question can be asked "What's next?".
"Home" leaves me with mixed feelings. On the one hand, it is a powerful, well made song. On the other it ventures more into the political realm than Live usually gets and seems a little out of place. Any time they venture into territory that Green Day can call its own, I would say its time to go a different direction.
The last 3 songs are, in my opinion, the weakest songs on the album.
"All I Need" is technically strong but doesn't stir a lot in me beyond that. Again, though, even as a weak Live song, it does more for me than the strongest songs from some other bands.
"You Are Not Alone" stands a chance of drawing my interest more as I listen more to the album. I already find it more interesting than I did in the beginning. It could well be a sleeper.
"Night of Nights" is a mess. This song reminds me of every Open Mic Night band I went to see growing up with their disjointed time changes and less than polished musical construction. It has tones of familiarity with some songs off Secret Samahdi, but does not impress as well as it could. It is an unfortunately weak ending for the album.
Overall I have no regrets about having purchased this album, and I have not been able to stop listening to it since I did. When I am away from it, I find myself humming songs from it and looking forward to getting back to it. This, to me, speaks very well of the album.
Is it the second coming of Throwing Copper? No, but even Throwing Copper released today would not work like it did back in 1994. This album stands very firmly on its own in the here and now.
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