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Birds of Pray

Anthemic alternative rock
"I don't need no one to tell me about heaven/I look at my daughter and I believe/I don't need no proof when it comes to God and truth/I can see the sunset and I perceive"
— from "Heaven"

In a sense, Live is to mainstream music what The Matrix is to the movie industry. Like the films, Live combines loud bombast with striking beauty. The band also boasts big–budget polish and production, due especially to the mixing talents of the great knob–twirler Tom Lord–Alge. Most analogous of all, Live presents a hodgepodge of spiritual beliefs like The Matrix films, with songs that explore Christian themes from time to time.

Together for more than 15 years, Live's quest for faith and truth is fascinating. Though lead singer and lyricist Ed Kowalczyk apparently grew up in a Christian home, he came to resent the religion in the years leading to the formation of Live. With the band's 1991 debut Mental Jewelry, based on the writings of Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti, Kowalczyk–who had apparently embraced Eastern religion–blasted Christianity in the song, "Operation Spirit (The Tyranny of Tradition)."

Rejecting Christianity would not prove permanent, however. The band's 1994 breakthrough sophomore effort, Throwing Copper, marked a seemingly reluctant return to Christian imagery, though offering a few mixed messages in the process–the cover art is an indictment of Christians too pious to show love and compassion. Not until Live's fourth album, 1999's The Distance to Here, was there a seemingly dramatic turnaround in Kowalczyk's beliefs. "Where Fishes Go" is a solid illustration of evangelism, "Run to the Water" a powerful testament of grace and renewal, and "Dance with You" is virtually a prayer ...

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Posted:
September
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