Birds of Pray [Bonus DVD]

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
You've gotta hand it to Live. No matter how frivolous the rock world around them gets, the Pennsylvania-bred quartet keep their collective face locked in a stoic, sincere set -- and their riffs pointed straight at the apex of anthemic durability. On Birds of Pray, their sixth album, Ed Kowalczyk and company retrace some of the steps they paced off back in the day -- "She The Dolphins Cry" could pass for a Throwing Copper outtake -- but there's more brawn in evidence here. "Like I Do" presses a gnarled chord progression deep into the gray matter, imprinting the synapses with a need to fist-pump. Similarly, "The Sanctity of Dreams" resonates with a classic-rock intensity...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
You've gotta hand it to Live. No matter how frivolous the rock world around them gets, the Pennsylvania-bred quartet keep their collective face locked in a stoic, sincere set -- and their riffs pointed straight at the apex of anthemic durability. On Birds of Pray, their sixth album, Ed Kowalczyk and company retrace some of the steps they paced off back in the day -- "She The Dolphins Cry" could pass for a Throwing Copper outtake -- but there's more brawn in evidence here. "Like I Do" presses a gnarled chord progression deep into the gray matter, imprinting the synapses with a need to fist-pump. Similarly, "The Sanctity of Dreams" resonates with a classic-rock intensity think Bryan Adams with an attitude that overcomes some of Kowalczyk's most overwrought lyrics in eons. The singer is prone to fits of wordiness, but on the wistful "Heaven" -- a hopeful but not overly blessed-out slice of astral exploring -- he keeps it simple and cuts straight to the heart. Even more back-to-basics is "Life Marches On," a sinewy slab of southern-tinged rock that owes as much to Lynyrd Skynyrd as to the spiritual sources Live often draws upon. The rusticity that exudes from this disc makes Birds of Pray seem a little more human, a little more settled on terra firma, than the bulk of Live's work. It doesn't, however, get in the way of the band's seemingly endless -- and still engaging -- psychic quest.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
At 12 years and six albums into Live's recording career, the bandmembers have fewer qualms about letting their spirituality and big themes rise to the surface, as the very title of Birds of Pray indicates. They even open the record with "Heaven," a plea to "get back your faith again," where leader Ed Kowalczyk claims "I don't need no one to tell me about heaven/I look at my daughter and I believe." Scott Stapp had similar sentiments about his son on Creed's "With Arms Wide Open," but Kowalczyk's song has grander ambitions, which echo throughout Birds of Pray. He's struggling through the post-9/11 world, believing in "The Sanctity of Dreams" and hoping to "Bring the People Together" as he questions "What Are We Fighting For?" but realizing that "Life Marches On," so he finds solace in his family, particularly his daughter, who is mentioned or alluded to often on these 13 songs. Interestingly, his song titles state his themes much better than the lyrics, which are either too literal or bewilderingly obtuse. These are all the concerns of a group whose members are in their thirties, and they appropriately have tweaked the music. It's still recognizably Live music -- big, big guitars, sweeping anthemic choruses, earnest ballads, mildly histrionic vocals, all tied together as post-U2 arena rock -- but it's a little more subdued and a little more serious and quite streamlined, subtly fitting Kowalczyk's themes. The biggest problem with the record is that the eye is on the big picture -- from how the songs fit together to how the overall sound fits a song -- to the extent that the individual moments aren't all that memorable, clearly lacking singles as forceful as those that fueled Throwing Copper and not quite as compelling as a whole as its predecessor, V. These, however, are all signs that Live is growing up and settling down, turning into a solid thirty-something rock band -- it won't gain much attention outside of its core audience, but it will satisfy them, largely because the band is growing with them. [Upon its initial release, Birds of Pray was also available in a limited edition with a bonus DVD containing live footage of Live at the Pinkpop Festival in the Netherlands, filmed on May 18, 2002.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/20/2003
  • Label: Mca
  • UPC: 008811324308
  • Catalog Number: 000037410
  • Sales rank: 316,203

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Heaven (3:49)
  2. 2 She (2:40)
  3. 3 The Sanctity of Dreams (3:33)
  4. 4 Run Away (3:53)
  5. 5 Life Marches On (2:53)
  6. 6 Like I Do (4:14)
  7. 7 Sweet Release (3:02)
  8. 8 Everytime I See Your Face (3:16)
  9. 9 Lighthouse (3:08)
  10. 10 River Town (4:09)
  11. 11 Out to Dry (3:20)
  12. 12 Bring the People Together (3:02)
  13. 13 What Are We Fighting For? (3:21)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Selling the Drama
  2. 2 Voodoo Lady
  3. 3 Nobody Knows
  4. 4 White, Discussion
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Live Primary Artist
Bruce Dukov Violin
Paul Buckmaster Conductor
Larry Corbett Cello
Patrick Dahlheimer Bass
Joel Derouin Violin
Chad Gracey Drums
Ed Kowalczyk Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals
Chad Taylor Guitar, Background Vocals
Patrick Warren chamberlain
Evan Wilson Viola
Technical Credits
Paul Buckmaster String Arrangements
Ted Jensen Mastering
Phil Kaffel Engineer
P.J. Smith Engineer
Jim Wirt Producer, Engineer
CJ Eiriksson Digital Editing
Jeff Robinette Engineer
Ok Hee Kim Engineer
Michael Attardi Engineer
Neil Couser Engineer
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