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(By Rice)

distance.jpg (26418 bytes) LIVE - The Distance To Here
Released singles: "The Dolphin's Cry"
Notable guest singers: ?
Street release date: October 5, 1999

    I was first introduced to the band LIVE via our own Song of the Week, when Gerry ran the ultimate server. For those O.G. enough to remember, it was a song called LIGHTNING CRASHES, from their Throwing Copper album, and I fell instantly in love with the song. I loved how the lead singer, Ed Kowalcyzk (from Alhambra, no less! Or at least Wisdom claims...), has a deep and versatile voice that ranged several octaves from deep baratone to Backstreet Boy high. Couple that with a great band behind his vocals and you have one of my favorite alternative / rock bands of all time. Since Lightning Crashes, I have downloaded every Live song I could find online, and recently, I have aquired their new, recently released, THE DISTANCE TO HERE. Does it live up to my great expectations, or does it disappoint the modern rock enthusiast that I am? To sum up the album in a word, it's EXCEPTIONAL.

     Now, I don't have many albums. I am not one of those people with stacks of CD racks scattered across their room filled to the max with CD's that they don't even listen to anymore. Instead, I am very tight with my coins when it comes to music, simply because they can be aquired for free through MP3's. I only shell out when I either have an excellent impression of the band / singer, or there are several notable singles that I enjoy. Eagle-Eye Cherry and The Wallflowers' Bringing Down the Horse are examples. I am happy to say The Distance To Here will be here to stay for a long, long time.

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     Ever since the middle of August, a small song called THE DOLPHIN'S CRY have graced the airwaves of nationwide alternative stations, and has slowly gained in popularity. That's one thing that I like about this genre. It's not as saturated as the hip-hop / R&B community, which when a song becomes popular, will play it over and over again until the enough hate-mail pile up in their mailboxes to tell them to stop running the song. I have once heard Backstreet Boys - I Want it That Way played 5 times within an hour on 3 various R&B stations. Anyways, I digress. THE DOLPHIN'S CRY is currently gracing my WinAMP as I type up this review, blasting through the headphones on full volume. Hold on, the chorus is coming up, let me soak it up............ Ahhh yeah!

     If there was only 1 good song, then this album would be a waste of money. The purpose of this review category is to examine all the tracks as a whole, not individual songs, and extract the value of it to see whether it is worth your money. However, THE DISTANCE TO HERE is an instant classic in my books, because every single damn song I can't stop listening to it. There ranges slow and melodic tunes, such as FACE & GHOST (The Children's Song), to hardcore NIN / Korn drumming / electrical guitar-ish tunes, such as SUN. Kowalcyzk's voice rips through the air and touches in on my inner emotions. When I close my eyes, I can see the cynicism and skepticism that some of their songs convey. There is a certain power to all of their tracks, each similar in certain ways that it makes me want to drum my hands on my keyboard and nod my head back and forth in rhythm, yet unique in the sense that.... oh, what am I saying, that I want to know every tune on every song like the back of my hand.

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     My favorites include the hit single THE DOLPHIN'S CRY, THE DISTANCE, RUN TO THE WATER, WHERE FISHES GO, and a few other I can't remember the name right now. There are ZERO that I don't like, and when I listen to the album, I play it from 1-13 without skipping any tracks. Not even Eagle-Eye Cherry was able to achieve that. The best way I have found to enjoy THE DISTANCE TO HERE is via my large 3D headphones. If you ever get a chance, listen to them at full blast (well, not too loud as to harm your ears) with the lights off. It's truly a rush of emotions and a perfect mixture of human arts and the nature of sound.

**** out of 4
Music Scale:
4- a classic; one for the collection
3- satisfactory; worthy of a purchase or at least a listen-through
2- mediocre; get the mp3s
1- atrocious; buy it so you can destroy it and prevent someone else from getting tainted by its hideousness