“Living Loud” by Living Loud

Artist: Living Loud
Title: “Living Loud”
Label: EMI/Capitol Records
Release Date: 1/6/2006
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 3/5

So it seems as though the idea for this little endeavor was based on the fact that Ozzy Osbourne had never sufficiently paid out drummer Lee Kerslake and bassist Bob Daisley for their co-writing contributions on some of his earliest blockbuster tunes when they were all working together. I won’t review all of the legal entanglements that ensued as enough about this has been debated already. From this both Daisley and Kerslake would form a project group of their own and bring in legendary guitarist Steve Morse, keyboard luminary Don Airey and Australia’s number one singer Jimmy Barnes and call the project “Living Loud”. Together the unit would not only compose music of their own but also rework in some respects several of their co-created Ozzy Osbourne contributions – something that the duo had apparently wanted to do for a long time before the troubles even began . These rearrangements would remain very close to that of the originals so listeners would not have any trouble recalling what the actual tune was. Let’s talk about these covers because for lack of a better term that is essentially what the end up as in this point of history. While Barnes might be the number one vocalist in Australia I cannot say enough at how weird it sounds hearing him do these legendary Osbourne tracks. The songs are so ingrained into the Metal fans heads that hearing them with different drumming, additional or less guitar and a different vocal phrasing just comes off as if we are watching some cover band in a bar somewhere. “Crazy Train” lacks the vocal power and loses something under Barnes bluesy rasp while Kerslake doesn’t do any of the drumming patterns he once did and instead keeps it very straightforward. They start “Flying High Again” as a quasi Blues Rock tune and there is too much in the way of added vocal parts that didn’t work for me. Yes the guitar work and overall playing from the members is tight but in the end it all seems over simplified and that was unnecessary. Steve Morse’s solos are probably the best part of the whole album when it comes down to it. My least favorite out of the covers would be “Mr. Crowley” as this rendition is just deplorable but the best would fall to “Over The Mountain” as this came off as the strongest one of the lot.

As far as their originals are concerned well these are good Rock tunes and that is that. There is nothing that really stands out in this area to be brutally honest and with their choice to mix up the albums presentation of them as cover, original, cover, original etc. it makes the feel of the album come off as very uneven. My thoughts were that they should have begun with all of their originals and then delivered the rearranged cover tunes. “Last Chance” is an OK song and “Pushed Me Too Hard” is probably the best of the lot out of the originals. They serve up a ballad but it comes at us as song number three which makes “Every Moment A Lifetime” a real momentum killer as opposed to a song that will win over the softer side of the listener. The CD closes out with a couple of live songs that can also be found on the concert DVD, so we get another rendition of “Crazy Train” and a truly kickass version of “Good Times”. It’s a worthy piece of music for those who are fans of all of the contributors but I fear that this is something the casual listener might only give one or two spins. It’s important to note that this was not done by Kerslake and Daisley as retaliation against Ozzy, but instead something that they always wanted to give a try to. The combination worked so well in their eyes that originals were also written and presented to their fans. While I had some reservations about the release it is a relatively solid listen and works for fans of any Hard Blues based Rock and Roll. A booklet is included that presents lyrics for all of the tunes except the live stuff and many photos from their concert DVD.

Song Listing:
1. Last Chance
2. I Don’t Know
3. Every Moment A Lifetime
4. Crazy Train
5. In The Name Of God
6. Flying High Again
7. Pushed Me Too Hard
8. Mr. Crowley
9. Tonight
10. Walk Away
11. Over The Mountain
12. Crazy Train – live
13. Good Times – live

Official Web site: www.livingloud.com

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