Collideascope

Collideascope

5.0 1
by Living Colour
     
 

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In their initial incarnation, these New Yorkers were hailed for making the most successful storming of rock's great racial divide. But more than a decade on, it's evident that Living Colour's most important contributions were strictly sonic -- what with the now ubiquitous presence of the funk-metal they pioneered way back when. Reunited here, sans original bassist… See more details below

Overview

In their initial incarnation, these New Yorkers were hailed for making the most successful storming of rock's great racial divide. But more than a decade on, it's evident that Living Colour's most important contributions were strictly sonic -- what with the now ubiquitous presence of the funk-metal they pioneered way back when. Reunited here, sans original bassist Muzz Skillings, Living Colour don't so much pick up where they left off as restart another quantum leap ahead, as evidenced by the genre-jumping "Choices Mash Up." Powered, as ever, by the avant-garde gut-bucket riffing of guitarist Vernon Reid, the foursome kick hard and heavy on the bulldozing "Song Without Sin," then step back for a look into the abyss on "Nightmare City," on which the apocalyptic vibe is heightened by a dark dub reggae backing. Frontman Corey Glover is still possessed of one of the more effectively melodramatic voices in hard rock, which he puts to good use on the post-9/11 foray "A ? of When" and a spot-on (if somewhat tongue-in-cheek) cover of AC/DC's "Back in Black." The social commentary that's always been a part of the Living Colour continuum is still there -- and still sometimes heavy-handed -- but the unmistakable joy and energy they employ in driving home those points helps that medicine go down in a most delightfully mosh-worthy way.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Johnny Loftus
Living Colour's appetite was always voracious. It attacked rock, funk, and jazz textures with a tenacious, blind energy, and opened wide to accommodate lyrically outsized social and political issues. But while the band had an incredible capacity for honing its humongous sound and vision into searing (or grooving) anthems, its lyrical kvetching sometimes seemed self-righteous, and the constant, radical aesthetic shifts could be jarring. And yet, Living Colour's stagnation after 1993's Stain was strange. They had always been so hungry, so exploratory -- three albums didn't seem like sufficient nourishment. As it turns out, the quartet wasn't finished. A round of 2000s reunion gigs has led to CollideØscope, a barbed and literate work that tears anew into Living Colour's signature sound, but is also flawed by a few of those old shortcomings. Vivid and Time's Up's flashes of cynical humor ("Glamour Boys," "Elvis Is Dead") were largely gone by Stain, replaced with a claustrophobic weariness typified even in song titles -- "Go Away," "Mind Your Own Business." CollideØscope further emphasizes that shift. Here, Corey Glover's lyrics grapple with media, herd mentality, and the loss of faith. But it's the specter of 9/11 that really casts a pall, since he sees much of the mind control and climate of complacency in the U.S. as ramifications of that tragedy. Vernon Reid accompanies this sociopolitical soul-searching with guitar work that's serrated, dirty, and consistently amazing. "Song Without Sin" and especially "A ? of When" nod again to Bad Brains; the latter's staccato lyrical fatalism unfolds hardcore style over Reid's assaulting riff. As they do throughout, Will Calhoun and Doug Wimbish prove to be a formidable rhythm section, expertly exerting varying levels of pressure on the mid-level mess of guitar and sound bed cacophony. In a classic Living Colour move, one of the album's most alluring songs is also its most disturbing. Detailing the World Trade Center's destruction from one wrenching point of view, Glover's voice follows "Flying"'s light, soaring funk with a detachment that's arresting. "I jumped out the window to get to the parking lot," Glover sings. "Never in my life have I felt a heat so hot/I had to get out." When things get this heavy, a little levity would be nice -- not to ignore what happened (or what is happening), but to alleviate the immediacy of CollideØscope's single-mindedness. This dour heart is at once the album's greatest strength and biggest weakness. Living Colour proves it hasn't lost a step by rocking out of the box with such visceral anger and scenery-chewing musical adventurism (check out the drum'n'bass/dub hybrid "In Your Name" or instrumental coda "Nova"; a mid-album run through AC/DC's "Back in Black" also rocks energetically and without agenda). There's no doubt CollideØscope is a welcome return for a group that never should have left. But the quartet's blistered, gray-sky worldview makes listeners forget the flutter of "Solace of You" or the sighing soul update "Broken Hearts," and the permeating darkness obscures the mixture of hope and anger that makes its music so thrilling.
Rolling Stone - David Fricke
[Living Colour] return to shame the whiners with righteous choler and elevated invention.

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/18/2003
Label:
Silverline
UPC:
0676628821596
catalogNumber:
288215

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Living Colour   Primary Artist
David Sancious   Keyboards
Will Calhoun   Drums,Tabla,Sampling,Loops,electronic percussion,Water Drums
Corey Glover   Vocals
Vernon Reid   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Sampling
Doug Wimbish   Bass,Guitar,Drums,Vocals,Ambience

Technical Credits

Living Colour   Producer
Will Calhoun   Composer
Corey Glover   Composer
Vernon Reid   Composer,Sound Design
Mike Ryan   Engineer
Danny Saber   Engineer
Chris Weinland   Engineer
Doug Wimbish   Composer,Executive Producer,drum programming,beats,Sound Design
Fran Flannery   Engineer
David "Hot Rod" Shuman   Engineer
Mike Zinczenko   Engineer
Nick Copeland   Engineer
Josiah Hendler   Engineer
Steve Rakidzioski   Engineer

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