Considering he claims to have written their songs as well as sung them, Live were surely taking a gamble replacing estranged frontman Ed Kowalczyk with Unified Theory’s Chris Shinn on their first new album in eight years.
Maybe that’s why there are few risks taken with the content, as songs such as lead single The Only Way Around Is Through and Natural Born Killers employ the band’s trademark touches of post-grunge melodrama allied to big stadium rock choruses. It’s neither subtle nor adventurous, but you can’t keep a good hook down on booming anthems like The Strength To Hold On and We Open The Door.
Shinn isn’t one for the showy vocal histrionics of his predecessor, but on the final track, the quietly alluring ballad Til You Came Around, he shows he can emote with the best of them. Ed is dead, Long live Live? Well, it’s a start./o:p