Live - 2003 Birds Of Pray

ALBUM: Birds Of Pray
LABEL: Universal/Radioactive
SERIAL: B0000374-02
YEAR: 2003

LINEUP: Ed Kowalczyc - vocals * Chad Taylor - guitars * Patrick Dalheimer - bass * Chad Gracey - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Heaven * 02 She * 03 The Sanctity of Dreams * 04 Run Away * 05 Life Marches On * 06 Like I Do * 07 Sweet Release * 08 Every Time I See Your Face * 09 Lighthouse * 10 River Town * 11 Out To Dry * 12 Bring The People Together * 13 What Are We Fighting For?


After Live's disastrous attempt to modernize and experiment with their sound on previous album 'V', this time around the label no doubt ordered them to get back to their classic sound from the era of albums such as 'Mental Jewelry' and 'Throwing Copper'.

Of course, it's a long time since the days when 'Selling The Drama' was such a massive hit, but credit where it's due, 'Birds of Pray' is Live's sixth full studio release, and although producer Jim Wirt (Incubus, Hoobastank) brings a crisp, contemporary flavour to proceedings, the album really recaptures the traditional essence of the band.

The Songs

That much is clear from lead-off single and opening track, 'Heaven', with its gentle, soulful verse, crunching, epic chorus and typically thought-provoking lyrics from vocalist Ed Kowalczyc: 'I don't need no-one to tell me about heaven/I look at my daughter and I believe'.

Similarly powerful lines are delivered on closing track 'What Are We Fighting For?', although the punchy 'Sanctity of Dreams' stretches Kowalczyc's lyrical credibility somewhat. Perhaps rather surprisingly,

Live were chosen as support band for Bon Jovi's recent UK tour, but it was probably the quartet's mastery of ballads and slower-paced songs such as 'Sweet Release' and 'Everytime I See Your Face' which landed them that gig.

On a more cerebral plane are the highly symbolic 'Lighthouse', the heaviest track on the album and the rousing 'River Town', while 'Out To Dry' neatly displays Live's trademark melodic sound.

In Summary

Live have made no excuses about returning to their roots on this album, and while the purists may hate it and it probably won't convert many new fans, 'Birds Of Pray' will go down a storm with the die-hards.

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