Live began back in 1988, when they exploded into the mainstream music scene with the album Throwing Copper. After some internal band issues and a pretty hefty hiatus, the Pennsylvania quartet are finally back with their new album The Turn.
The Turn is the first album to feature new singer Chris Shinn after the departure of original vocalist Ed Kowalcyzk in 2008. It’s always a big ask for die-hard fans to accept a brand new singer, but Shinn seems to have done his research – his vocals are powerful, his range vast and his emotion consistent across the board.
This piece of work is chock full of brash, bravado rock and searching, melancholic lyrics. Hints of the old Live come back on songs such as ‘6310 Rodgerton Dr’, whereas tracks such as ‘The Strength To Hold On’ showcase a sleek, modernised version of the band. ‘Sirens Call’ is another strong track, easily demonstrating the band still has the ability to churn out killer, radio-ready anthems.
‘Natural Born Killer’ is a natural born classic, showcasing a softer, huskier side to Shinn’s vocals and a deliciously 90’s powerhouse chorus. ‘Till You Come Around’ is another highlight; closing the record with a gentle burr of acoustic guitars and a decidedly country vibe.
This album is, in essence, a big rock record the likes of which very rarely get made anymore. It’s not 100% the old Live, but in 2014, that’s not what it should be. Much of the music here is familiar, but the addition of a vocalist who refuses to be a carbon copy of his predecessor, as well as some time away from the music scene have allowed the band to breathe new life into their songs.