Radioactive Records - 2003 - 53 minutes

Full of spiritual joy and soppy nonsense about lead singer Ed Kowalczyk's daughter, with lyrics about as meaningful and intricate as the word-play in the album's title, Live's new album is not going to convert many new fans.

While it comes as a pleasant surprise to discover an optimistic rock outfit, Live's constant cheeriness is as annoying as the constant depression of other bands. Live are often similar in sound and spiritual style to Creed, though they lack the occasional bursts of intricate guitar (and the faith in organised religion) of that band. The amiable 'Heaven' and 'Like You Do' capture Live's radio-friendly sound perfectly: catchy melody, upbeat lyrics and guitars hard enough to rock but not hard enough to offend anyone.

Elsewhere there's a live version of 'Overcome' (yes, that's a live Live song), resonating with post-9/11 shock, and a rather simplistic attempt at an anti-war anthem in 'What Are We Fighting For?', whose risible lyrics (including "the crucifix is not a baseball bat" - and that's one of the better examples) are not going to give Bob Dylan any nightmares.

Live's no-nonsense, no-effort slices of pop-rock won't trouble the mind, but nor will they linger there - in fact, if this music has any effect on you whatsoever, you probably need to broaden your musical range.

Gearóid Reidy

Tracklisting: Heaven - She - The Sanctity of Dreams - Run Away - Life Marches On - Like I Do - Sweet Release - Everytime I See Your Face - Lighthouse - River Town - Out to Dry - Bring the People Together - What Are We Fighting For? - Forever May Not Be Long Enough (Remix) - Overcome (live from Philadelphia)