School shooting, loving each other, rocking hard? “Me and my crew,” “Sweaty thongs,” and a sex anthem? Live rapping? Um… what the hell happened here? Every song on V has elements of heavy rock, techno, and most newly added, rap lyrics? That’s right, Live fans, Ed is trying his hand at a thug life. Aside from being the singer of a band like Live, he’s really not all that bad, it’s just that he’s not a rap star — he’s not even that close to Bubba Sparxxx, for that matter. With every CD, Live have reinvented themselves a little, but this time, with this reinvention, they gave up a lot of the things they’re really great at: original sounds, honest and well-written lyrics, and thoughtful songs that every other band isn’t doing. It’s always important to try new things, but it’s too forced on V. The best policy is always to be yourself, and this CD is like a mask that what used to be this really great band is now wearing. This is by no means the CD to buy if you’ve never listened to Live before, because it isn’t really even them, in a lot of senses.
Radioactive Records, 2220 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90404; http://www.friendsoflive.com