Wednesday 6 December 2017

Album Review: LIVING COLOUR - Shade

Living Colour - Shade

01. Freedom of Expression (F.O.X.)
02. Preachin' Blues (Robert Johnson cover)
03. Come On
04. Program
05. Who Shot Ya (Notorious B.I.G cover)
06. Always Wrong
07. Blak Out
08. Pattern in Time
09. Who's That
10. Glass Teeth
11. Invisible
12. Inner City Blues (Marvin Gaye cover)
13. Two Sides

Living Colour is a blast from the past for me. I used to listen to them when I was a kid, and have the CDs Vivid and Time's Up. I noticed an ad on the internet for this new album, Shade, and was excited to re-connect with them, and see if they've still 'got it'. Incidentally, Shade is only their sixth studio album, so they've clearly not been in a rush to make records, suggesting that the band favours quality over quantity.

I'm pleased to say that Shade is really good. The production is an acquired taste, as it sounds more like a live session than a polished studio album, but the real magic comes from the players and it really shines through. Most importantly, they clearly haven't forgotten how to write a catchy song or two!

There's still a good mix of Funk and Rap in their music, most notably on my personal favourite Program. This is Living Colour at their best, as it's instantly catchy, and shows off some fine musicianship as well as their signature sound. Guitarist Vernon Reid's solo is awesome, as is his playing throughout the record. Lead singer Corey Glover has an amazing voice, and he sounds as phenomenal as he did twenty years ago.

Shade is a pleasant surprise from a band that fell off my radar a long time ago, and is a testimony to how good they still are. The really sad thing is that I've never seen them play live, and this record makes me keen to rectify that when they next tour the UK.


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