Ralphy's C.D. Reviews

Review date 27-11-1999: Live - C.D. The distance to here

"The distance to here" is the long awaited (at least by me) fourth album  of the rock quartet, that started their musical career under the name Public Affection, but didn't become famous before they changed it to Live. When I heard of this new album (their fourth) I couldn't wait to get hold of it, because I've been an admirer of the band since I heard "I alone"on the radio for the first time, way back when. When I saw their performance at Pinkpop 1997 I was totally sold on them, so I really looked forward to this new album. The members of Live are front man Ed(ward) Kowalczyk (vocals and lyrics writer), Chad Taylor (lead guitars), Patrick Dalheimer (bass) and Chad Gracey (on drums).

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In reviews I read so far about this CD it is described often as their return to the good path of their first 2 albums ("Mental jewelry" and especially "Throwing copper") and thus describing their previous musical effort "Secret Samadhi" as straying of that same good path. I don't agree with that. "Secret Samadhi" may not have been as great as their masterpiece "Throwing copper", but it was still pretty powerfull, at least in my humble opinion. What "Secret Samadhi" and "The distance to here" have in common is the high spiritual tone of the lyrics, although other critics also judged badly on the spirituality of the former and praise it on the latter. In fact on this album Kowalczyk only talks (well sings) about some sort of spiritual love and the need to find it, maybe it's because of his move from the smaller York (PA) to Los Angeles that his lyrics aren't about down to earth subjects anymore like in older songs like "Shit town" or "Waitress". To me it made their music more accessible for the common man. I know Ed truly wants to help people in finding their own inner peace and by that help to make the world a better place with his songs, but why not once again include a song about the troubles of every day life? Best songs on this album to me are the epic "Where fishes go" and as top of the bill "They stood up for love". Also worth a mention are the enchanting "Voodoo lady" and "Feel the quiet river rage", which stuck in my head for a real long time. Yesterday I heard that "Run to the water" will be the successor of "The dolphin's cry" as the new single. It wouldn't have been my first choice, but still there aren't any really bad songs on the album, although the album as a whole didn't live up to my (maybe too) high expectations. It's a good CD, but (still to me) it's the least good one of their four releases, so I rate it with a 7.0 .

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