Live; The Turn

The Turn
Think Loud Recordings, LLC
October 28, 2014


It’s been eight years since Live’s last studio album and twenty years since the release of their bestselling album “Throwing Copper”.  Now, Live is back with a brand new album, “The Turn”.  After more than twenty years of music, over 20 million albums sold worldwide, a five year hiatus, and a lineup change, Live’s new album is a rock intense drama sure to please.

Live took a turn in the road of music, and replaced front man Ed Kowalczyk following alleged inappropriate business actions by Kowalczyk  and several lawsuits against Kowalczyk by the remaining three members.  The new route on that road includes vocalist singer/songwriter and guitarist Chris Shinn, formerly of the band Unified Theory.

The first time I heard Chris Shinn sing was in 2001 on a random internet college radio station. The song playing was “Wither” from the band Unified Theory.  I was so impressed by Shinn’s vocals and the fresh blend of melodic rock, that I bought their album on the spot.  Shinn teaming up with Live is the perfect fit for all.  Live reached a musical peak with “Throwing Copper” but eventually fell off that peak when subsequent albums failed to place high in the charts.  It was once said the band’s music became basic & Kowalczyk’s vocals became stale.  “The Turn” is a unique pairing of musical and vocal stylings of both Live and Unified Theory.  As a music lover, the new album grabs me the way “Throwing Copper” did in 1994, in my teen years.  Songs such as “Siren’s Call” and “Don’t Run to Wait” have that heavier hitting rock sound and intense edges we’ve come to love from Live.   In the song “6310 Rodgerton Dr”, Shinn sings of a 1997 mishap in which Shinn, Shinn’s brother, and some friends allegedly caused a fire to a Southern California home he was renting from Dean Torrence-1/2 of the 60’s music duo Jan and Dean.  Shinn’s voice takes a very soulful yet boisterous tone at times in “6310 Rodgerton Dr” and the guitars carry a majestic yet powerful sound to them.  “Need Tonight” and “The Strength To Hold On” grooves on a sonic journey of melancholy melodies and heartening lyrics.  The first song to be released from “The Turn” is “The Way Around Is Through”.  This song carries a rocking U2-esque sound and Shinn’s vocals are uplifting and commanding.   With a dynamic vocal range and soulful voice, Chris Shinn is proving he has what it takes to draw us in and while the change of band members can sometimes have a negative effect, it seems Shinn is a winning fit.  The chemistry of Live is flowing again and with the band taking us back to the styles of their seasoned work makes “The Turn” a highly regarded album in my book.


Live, ‘The Turn’ Track Listing

1. ‘Sirens Call’

2. ‘Don’t Run to Wait’

3. ‘Natural Born Killers’

4. ’6310 Rodgerton Dr.

5. ‘By Design’

6. ‘The Way Around Is Through’

7. ‘Need Tonight’

8. ‘The Strength to Hold On’

9. ‘We Open the Door’

10. ‘He Could Teach the Devil Tricks’

11. ‘Till You Came Around’

Bonny O’Brien