by Living ColourLiving Colour


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Shade, the sixth studio album from Living Colour (and the first since 2009's The Chair in the Doorway), opens with an anthemic track full of Vernon Reid's guitar heroics, Corey Glover's impassioned vocals, and a prominent sample from Malcolm X. No, it's not "Cult of Personality," it's called "Freedom of Expression (F.O.X.)," but in a world where African-American hard rock bands are still considered a novelty, you can't blame these guys for thinking not much has changed since their debut album, Vivid, dropped in 1988 -- or at least not as much as a reasonable man would hope. Arriving in 2017, Shade is a somewhat different animal than Living Colour's early (and best-known) work, but there are more similarities than differences. The band's attack is harder and heavier than it was in the '80s, the sly humor that once leavened their albums is largely absent, and their production is more clearly informed by hip-hop in its use of samples and edits, though this is still a hard rock band first and foremost. Shade is also more steeped in the blues than most of Living Colour's previous work, especially on "Who's That" and a fiery cover of Robert Johnson's "Preachin' Blues." But the center of this music is still Vernon Reid's guitar, and he's still a remarkable player, fusing the wail of hard rock, the cry of the blues, and the broad tonal palette of jazz into a musical flamethrower that puts most metal soloists to shame in terms of vision and impact. Glover, bassist Doug Wimbish, and drummer Will Calhoun have the strength and the imagination to keep up with Reid, and while they may take their sweet time between albums, when they come together the results remain taut and satisfying. If defiance and anger are the key operating emotions of many of these songs, that's probably to be expected in 2017, and the full-bodied cover of Marvin Gaye's "Inner City Blues" only points to how many social ills of the '70s are still plaguing us today. But as Joe Strummer once told us, anger can be power, and the musical and emotional furor of Shade is a powerful and much-needed weapon in a chaotic time.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/08/2017
Label: Mri Associated
UPC: 0020286223436
catalogNumber: 622343
Rank: 175360

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Living Colour   Primary Artist,Background Vocals
Andre Betts   Keyboards
Will Calhoun   Drums,Vocals,Group Member
Marc Cary   Organ
George Clinton   Vocals
Bernard Fowler   Vocals
Corey Glover   Vocals,Group Member
Malcolm X   Sampling
Vernon Reid   Guitar,Vocals,Group Member
Doug Wimbish   Bass,Vocals,Group Member
Martha Redbone   Background Vocals
Shelley Nicole   Background Vocals
Big Sam Williams   Trombone
Roosevelt Collier   Lap Steel Guitar
Jason Craig   Vocals
Kendra Jones   Background Vocals
Darly "Malachi" Thomas   Vocals
Bernard Hawkins   Piano,Keyboards
Amma Watt   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Marvin Gaye   Composer
Living Colour   Composer,Producer
Andre Betts   Arranger,Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer,Remixing,Band Photo
David Hewitt   Engineer
Robert Johnson   Composer
Vernon Reid   Artwork,Art Direction,Inside Photo
Adrian Sherwood   Engineer,Remixing
Doug Wimbish   Engineer
Matthew Cullen   Engineer
Paul Antonell   Engineer
John Hanti   Engineer
Christopher Wallace   Composer
James Nyx   Composer
Douglas Heusser   Graphic Design
Matt Smyth   Engineer,Remixing
Dave McEwen   Engineer
Ben Lorio   Engineer
Penelope Cruz   Engineer,Remixing
Mike Dwyer   Engineer
Billy Perez   Engineer
Anike Robinson   Cover Art
Eduardo Marson   Engineer
Andrew Sheppard   Engineer
Alex Elsammak   Engineer
Kendra Jones   Composer
Jaeme Brennan   Engineer
Dylan Cocozzo   Engineer
Bernard Hawkins   Composer,Programming,Sound Effects,Engineer

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