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LIVING COLOUR ‘CollideØscope’ Sanctuary (2003)

Living Colour

I can recall seeing Living Colour on what must have been their first tour of the UK in the late eighties, supporting Dan Reed Network. Now Dan and his men were shit-hot but Living Colour damn near blew them away in best time-honoured support-good-as-headliner tradition. Poor Dan.

I bought the band's highly rated second album but in truth never really played it once the initial euphoria wore off. Now, after a ten year lay-off, the band are back and I sense this new album might similarly be consigned to the "great-when-first-heard, never-listened-to-later category".

You see Living Colour are a fine contemporary funk rock metal band and in a post 9/11 situation they have plenty to say, always being the more politically aware amongst their peers. But in truth a lot of CollideØscope is recycled classic rock material with a metal edge. Imagine what Cream would have sounded like with a political conscience and computers and you get Living Colour. And on the new album this feeling is confirmed by two covers: the classic AC/DC 'Back In Black' and The Beatles 'Tomorrow Never Knows'. The standout slowie on the album "Flying' also steals Bowie's riff on 'Ashes To Ashes'.

Vernon Reid is already feted as one of the guitar innovators and there are some wonderful off-the-wall sounds on this album. 'Lost Halo', 'Pocket Of Tears' and 'Sacred Ground' are standouts. Metal and hard rock fans should lap this up.

Living Colour

Website

***

Review by David Randall

Buy this CD
£13.99

Pocket Of Tears
© 2003 Living Colour/Sanctuary. All rights reserved.

Postcript:

DVD-Audio version (Silverline Records 288215-9)

I too was at the Dan Reed gig and never felt the need to indulge in a Living Colour album. And this offering wonít have me reaching for back catalogue.

Perfectly acceptable fodder but it tries to be all things to all men, alternating between a heavily 70s reminiscent style and todayís nu metal sound without ever successfully blending the two.

And as for the covers, AC/DC and the Beatles neednít worry. Iíd agree on the standout tracks (Lost Halo sounds like early Lenny Kravitz) and the overall ***.

Collideoscope is a fairly apt title, but Identity Crisis may have served just as well. The DVD-Audio includes enhanced sound, video scrapbook, lyrics and photo gallery.

Pete Whalley

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly


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