Songs From Black Mountain

Songs From Black Mountain by Live, 2006, Sony

by Live

The band Live has affirmed their position in the rock world for years. Perhaps you have heard their powerful Lightning Crashes song back in 1995. Continuing their career-spanning theme of Christian keywords, Songs from Black Mountain comes out with a surprisingly reflecting and uplifting Live.

To a Christian, the song that would stand out most from Live would be Heaven from their last album Birds of Pray. It declares, "get back your faith again, you have the power to believe...I don't need no proof when it comes to God and truth, I look at the sunset and believe." Essentially the new album follows the direction of the more mellow, inspirational tune. A lot of this I personally think is due to vocalist Ed Kowalczyk's baby. Although the album has positive lyrics about love ("my love is here to stay") and hope ("the weight that lays on your shoulders could be the wings that carry you home") it is not a Christian record. For instance, although the song Love Shines says "think of gentle Jesus" the next line says, "think of the Buddha underneath his tree". Even though there's Christian words in essentially all of Live's records, the songs promote a spiritual awareness of love rather than promoting religion and dogmas. Songs from Black Mountain covers a lot of ground without going on the edges. Even with the War in Iraq, Live focuses on the troops feelings rather than debating issues of ideology. "When they comin' home? When they leavin' that place? See their lover's face again, kid will see his daddy's face again," Ed sings.

If Live's new album were summed up in one sentence I would say it's an album of romance, love, of family, and what relationships mean to human nature. It is not here to protest or even prove a point. Songs exists to relate to your life. Musically, there's still the soaring choruses full of emotion that you're used to from Live, only more mellow. Recommended.

- Garrett Johnson


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