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Non-Prog CD Reviews

The Livesays

The Rhythm Of Love And Dysfunction

Review by Gary Hill

The latest from The Livesays, this pretty much what I expect from them, well-done mainstream rock. It's catchy and yet meaty. There is not a weak track in the bunch. There is a fairly wide range of sounds here, too.

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Track by Track Review
There's Something Coming Now
Coming in with a bouncing kind of pop rock vibe, this tune is classic in sound and a lot of fun. The instrumental cut is tasty and the whole tune has a great groove to it.
When I Dream
Less pop oriented, there are still some strong hooks here. This has a vibe that makes me think of Bruce Springsteen. It's solid mainstream rock, and the tune works well.
Another Mile
Another solid rock and roller, this also begs some comparisons to Springsteen. While an effective piece, it's not one of the standouts.
Let It Flow
Now, this is a real standout. In fact, it might be my favorite on the disc. It has plenty of old school rock sounds, particularly that fuzzy, wah guitar. The tune has a bluesy kind of magic to it. This is dramatic, powerful and so strong.
Now, this is interesting. The song was originally written by Joni Mitchell. A version from Crosby Stills and Nash is the most well-known rendition, though. This version is a very different take. It has a lot more modern tone and style. I don't think anyone will ever  touch the magic of the CSN version, but this is a very good attempt. It also avoids trying to just replicate that version. This is a completely different thing. i love the killer psychedelic rock guitar soloing that really dominates the second half of the tune.
The Rhythm of Love
Another real winner, this has a killer bluesy groove. It's packed full of drama and magic, too. I just love the passion and vibe to this. The keys lend some magic, but everything about the tune is cool.
Better Than He Ever Was
A more mainstream and modern sounding rocker, I guess this probably qualifies as alternative rock. That said, it's more pop rock oriented than that might indicate. Call it what you like, but it's a catchy tune. I'm not sure it's a standout, but it's very strong.
How Can I Be?
This has a rather generic texture to it. That's not a complaint, though. It's well done and effective. It's just not Earth-shattering in terms of originality.
That's the Trouble with Love

There is a Latin edge to this fun number. It's catchy, playful and tasty. It's a nice bit of variety, too. The melodic guitar soloing on this is particularly charming.

Heart of the Matter
This is extremely hook-laden. It makes me think of things ranging from Bryan Adams to Collective Soul. Of course, it's a cover of the Don Henley song. They play this one more faithfully than they did "Woodstock."
Better Than You
There is a country rock edge to this cut. While it works well, it doesn't seem to fit seamlessly into the album to me. It feels almost like a different artist. Still, it has some great hooks and some meat on its bones.
Book of Rules
A hard rocking jam, this is classy stuff. It's a gritty tune that manages to also be very accessible. This is another standout.
Can I Have (What You Have)?
There is a mean, edgy, hard rocking sound at the heart of this tune. It's packed with style and charm. The dropped down, mellower movement is magical and classic. This is another highlight of the set, making it a great closer.
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