On their sophomore outing, Throwing Copper, alternative-rock band Live “eased up a bit on the Eastern philosophy,” GB “tightened their sound, added crashing crescendos for dramatic effect, and injected some anger into their sound and songwriting.” GB “Ed Kowalczyk knows a thing or two about transmitting personal anguish through song. Even though the Live frontman is often derided as a budget-bin Michael Stipe, there is no denying his cathartic influence on this Pennsylvania foursome’s musical direction.” AV This proves to be “the best showcase for Kowalczyk’s fierce vocal prowess,” AV making for “an album of unparalleled intensity by a singer and group of rare passion.” AV
The result is “quite an improvement from the sometimes overly precious Mental Jewelry.” GBThrowing Copper “is a more cohesive, memorable record overall” GB and “ultimately a more passionate and successful album.” GB
In fact, the album met with surpisingly strong commercial success. With their debut, Live was just another face in the crowd of alternative rock bands. With Copper, they jump to the head of the pack on the strength of massive airplay for songs like “the violent Selling the Drama” AV, I Alone, and All Over You.
The album’s biggest hit, though, was “the rebirth-themed Lightning Crashes,” GB a “moving” AV tribute “written in memory of Barbara Lewis, a classmate who was killed by a drunk driver in 1993.” GB
“Other standouts include the Kurt Cobain/ Courtney Love-inspired Stage, the apocalyptic White, Discussion, the bass-driven, obsessive Iris, and the dark Dam at Otter Creek. Of course, Ed Kowalczyk couldn’t resist throwing in a song like T.B.D. (for the Tibetan Book of the Dead), based on Aldous Huxley’s slow descent into death, aided by heroin. Its melodrama is a bit much, even for Live, and is just a sign of things to come on their next album, Secret Samadhi. But Throwing Copper is still a huge improvement from Mental Jewelry, and is the least overtly preachy Live album to date.” GB
The album “was produced by Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads and was recorded at Pachyderm Recording Studio. The cover art is a painting by Scottish artist Peter Howson titled ‘Sisters of Mercy’.” WK