Somewhere a soft greeze is blawing...

For all of your Dylan needs and needn'ts

Friday, August 28, 2009

I actually purchased this?!!!

Yes, it's true. I purchased this about eight years ago. Now, to be fair, the first four Live albums were good (at least if you were into that whole almost-grunge, pseudo-spiritual rock thing they had goin'), so I gambled that this would be good too. I should have just stared at the album cover for a few minutes until it sunk in: look at how cool they are attempting to be. Their last four albums had interesting artwork featured on all the covers. This has a bunch of "bros" or "bras" in their early thirties trying to look cool to the rap-rock generation. PUT IT BACK DYLAN!!!!

Alas, I did not.

I'm also sad to report that eight years ago, I enjoyed this album. Not as much as the first four, mind you. I acknowledged that much, but I still enjoyed it much more than I should have. Fancy that, I found it the other day in my now "musically advanced" collection and popped it in. What an ear-opener.

The music is adequate, if not relatively forgettable. The only reason I recalled it as well as I did was because I listened to the CD SOOO MUCH back in the day. Why? Because when you're young, broke, and Napster has been shut down by the RIAA, you have to purchase one CD at a time. Regardless of if an album was bad, I'd still usually play the crap out of it. But I digress...back to the music. Some songs still hit that guilty-pleasure sweet spot for me. Ed's voice doesn't grip me like it used to, but he uses it to good effect in some songs like "Call Me A Fool."
Most of it though is weak.

The lyrics are where this album firmly takes a nosedive into Ginger Ale's litter box. Let me post an excerpt for you:

Let's go to ray's, not the pizza hut
Let's go to the pig, not the starbucks
Let's vote for nadar
What are we waiting for
I'm gonna live to be a 164
To crib then back to the studio
To write a song so good and make a midgit grow
From the northpole down to mexico
If you don't know the words
F*** it, let's go

Now, to complete the musical picture, imagine this being rapped, not sung, by the "bra" with his shirt open on the cover. Oh yeah, bad. Even in 2001, this would've been regarded as laughable by real "bros" like Jay-Z. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING???!!!! They were coming off of the high of their 1999 masterpiece "The Distance to Here." They had made four good-to-great albums. There is no reason why they had to go down the toilet, except....

They wanted to follow a trend AND be themselves at the same time. Up until this point, Live had been put in the grunge category, but they weren't really grunge. They weren't hard rock or folk-rock. They were always themselves, a little left of the mainstream. I remember reading an interview with the lead singer when this album came out, and he said something to the effect of wanting to make "V" his party record, similar to Limp Bizkit and bands of that nature. They failed. They should have continued to be themselves and not gone head first into the rap-rock trend that lasted all of two years.

Now, let us reflect on greatness:

Oh snap! That song was amazing. It's their biggest hit for a reason. Now... this.

Hmmm... "We're the boys in Live just pissing in the mainstream??" First of all, WHAT?! Second of all, no, you're not. You're making weird wuss rock, while attempting to act "hard."


Blogger Shaun H said...

*sigh* how the mighty have fallen....

August 29, 2009 at 8:01 AM  
OpenID psiteleport said...

Heh. Angry Video Game Nerd ref FTW. Alas, my Live knowledge doesn't extend much beyond "Lightning Crashes."

August 29, 2009 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Dylan said...

"Throwing Copper" is usually hailed as their best by most fans. It's certainly their most popular, but I'd say it's their second best behind "The Distance to Here."

One reason I like "The Distance to Here" as much as I do is because when it came out in 1999, it sounded nothing like the type of mainstream rock that was popular. It didn't sound like Creed, Limp Bizkit, Korn, or Rage Against the Machine. It had its own sound, and it was awesome (again, if you're into them - it could also be heard as cheesy and corny).

August 29, 2009 at 11:57 AM  
Blogger Brian- said...

Wow. Okay, for reference: I enjoyed to a little over 3 1/2 minutes of "Lightning Crashes" (normally I'd do the whole thing, but have duties which need be fulfilled today). "People Like You", in comparison, lasted for a painful 37 seconds.
I sort of had the same thing with Project 86. Now I listen to some of the stuff I enjoyed back then and can't help but wonder where they went awry (or if their goals were that skewed from the beginning).

August 29, 2009 at 3:13 PM  
OpenID bigpockets said...

I'd have to agree with psiteleport. I know little of Live save for "Lightning Crashes."
I will say the cover has brought something to my attention. Any movie poster, cd cover, or advertisement that has people in the "walking forward" pose can't lead to something good.

August 30, 2009 at 10:07 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home