V, Live Radioactive Records

Paul Wong
Dude, have you seen the size of that thing?” 20010911, arts, New Line greenlights, <br><br>Courtesy of Compaq

Ever since 1999″s The Distance to Here, Live has been meandering around the musical desert searching for nirvana or at least a commercial bone since 1994″s Throwing Copper. Now Live returns to CD players everywhere with an unhealthy dose of Indian-fused stadium post-grunge layered with do-overs of their back catalog of “hits.”

“People Like You” recalls the dynamics of “The Dolphins Cry” from their The Distance to Here. “Flow” is a complete remake of “Run to the Water,” another song that failed to dent the charts and the public ear.

The mop-topped Monkees make a near-cameo on “Like A Soldier” which constantly threatens to breakout into an alt-rock rendition of “Stepping Stone.”

Live also chugs along in the direction of bad rap, bringing in a special guests to appear with a “featuring” credit in the video and ideally, to thicken the sound. They do this on V with the help of Tricky, the trip-hop sultan himself. He lends his vocals to the single “Simple Creed” a song driven by a failed stadium guitar riff and R2 D2-ian synth warbles.

“Transmit Your Love” rides somewhere between a VH1″s “Bands on the Run” winner Flickerstick ballad and a cover of their own “They Stood Up For Love.”

With V, Live has demoted themselves into the third-tier of post-grunge rock firmly behind low-level stock rockers Stroke 9 and in the same category as Aussie-hit machine Silverchair. Now Ed”s shed his cue-ball look and there may not be a tomorrow for Live, especially if they keep putting out albums like V.

Grade: C-

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