Monday, August 15, 2011

Isis - Live 2 (2005)

Ah, that's better, now that we have the taste of Live 1 out of our mouths, we can focus on the far superior Live 2. There is a lot of overlap from one album to the next, and three of the four songs on Live 1 can also be found here. In addition to the material from Oceanic that was on Live 1, we also get two tracks from Celestial.

The sound quality here is not as consistent as with Live 1, and "Glisten," a track from Celestial is especially rough. For what it's worth, I have always liked the songs from Celestial better in a live context, and this album shows off why. I have heard complaints that these songs seem to lose their edge in a live context, but I strongly disagree. In fact, Celestial feels like it was made to be played live. In addition to "Glisten," which I prefer to the album version, we also get an extended version of "Celestial" that is fanfuckingtastic.

After a one minute ambient intro, which is complemented well by the drunk people yelling in the background, the band tears in to "Celestial," complete with the sound effects from the album version. This track is reason enough to track down this live album, and it may even be good enough to validate throwing out Celestial and replacing it with this track. Even though this track clocks in at over 17 minutes, it feels dynamic and interesting throughout. This track makes an excellent closer and, really, what the fuck else could they play to top this at this point in their careers?

Furthermore, the 13 minute version of "Weight" returns with Maria Christopher on vocals, which adds a lot, as she not only sings but adds another guitar to the mix. I was lucky enough to see them pull this off during their 10th Anniversary Tour, and it was phenomenal. It's nice to have this track to recapture the moment where I said "oh shit, 'Weight,' no fucking way... Oh. Shit. Maria Christopher is coming out with a guitar. No fucking way." This is without a doubt the definitive version of "Weight" and trumps the album version by a narrow margin.

If you ever wanted to snag one of these live cash-grabs (I mean albums...) this would be the one to get, although a couple of others are also worth your time.

Verdict: Win [8/10]

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