To me it’s all just rock music in the end.
“V” is album number five, released in 2001. The band for the album is Ed Kowalczyk on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Chad Taylor on lead guitar, Patrick Dahlheimer on bass and Chad Gracey on drums. Like most of the albums, the majority of tracks are written by Ed Kowalczyk.
Wikipedia tells me that the collection of songs that became “V” was never intended to be released as an album. Guitarist Chad Taylor said, “The goal was to prepare songs for the next studio session. MCA got a hold of the material and pushed us to call it an album.” The songs were originally going to be released free to fans as a collection called “Ecstatic Fanatic”.
One of their most creative songs. I was hooked from the intro.
It basically starts off with a music box piano riff, and then a Middle East music melody crashes in, which keeps repeating under a catchy verse vocal line which I’m pretty sure Karnivool was influenced by for the verse melody on “Themata”.
And the track was meant to be the album’s first single but the record company pulled rank and released “Simple Creed” instead which proved to be a big mistake.
Maybe they got scared from the lyrical nature of the song, about skirts rising and male appendage excitement rising with it.
“People Like You”
It feels like a Guns N Roses song from the “Use Your Illusion” album. In the Chorus, Ed even sounds like Axl.
In a dream I had you were standing all alone
With a dyin’ world below and a microphone
I finally broke their mold
We take and cop so much crap as we go through life. People try to shape us to some version that they believe is true. Be unique, be free and don’t let others drag you down.
People like you! people like you! Motherfuckers like you! people like you!
It’s my favourite part of the song, when Ed sings the melody for the above lyrics and the guitar plays the octave guitar melody. And yes, he does say “motherfuckers”
“Transmit Your Love”
This track could have been an album cut on “Secret Samadhi”.
“Forever May Not Be Long Enough”
The piano riff to start the song is excellent.
It’s a co-write with Glen Ballard, who everyone wanted to work with after “Jagged Little Pill” blew up around the world in 1995.
In 1997, Aerosmith worked with him on the very underrated “Nine Lives” album and it’s the song “Taste Of India” which Ballard co-wrote with Steve Tyler and Joe Perry, that I’m reminded off when I hear this song, which was also played during the closing credits of “The Mummy Returns” movie.
“Call Me A Fool”
The Beatles influences come through on this.
Musically, this is Live bringing the funk and soul.
Take away my TV
don’t want your fuckin’ therapy
it’s all decay decay decay
not today, not today
Kids listening to this song today, won’t even know why someone would want their TV taken away. For them, the TV is like how the radio was for others, background noise. Most of our attentions are fixated on our small black screens.
It’s got a piano riff and violins to set the mood and a nice vocal melody, but the lyrics about “holy water in lungs” are way to pretentious.
“Hero of Love”
The Beatles are back again for the album closer. Listen to this song for the Chorus.
“Throwing Copper” at 8x Platinum in the U.S was never going to be topped. It was part of a cultural movement. And “Secret Samadhi” is a great album, but it only went 2x Platinum in the U.S.
No small feat, but a massive drop in commercial expectations. “The Distance To Here” is at Platinum for U.S sales. “V” has no certification, not even a Gold.
And their commercial trajectory was similar to the 80’s bands on albums four and five except Metallica who had their biggest success with album number 5.
But they still do good live business, when live shows used to happen.
Because of “Throwing Copper”.