Live in Los Angeles

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Live in Los Angeles Review

by Andrew Hamilton

Maze's live albums are true reflections of their live show. You know what to expect from Maze: they sing the songs that made them famous, and others culled from many albums recorded over a successful career. You don't have to worry about them trying to show their versatility or musical awareness by performing songs made famous by others. The show opens with a bang with Frankie Beverly and the boys doing a rousing "Running Away" for an elated crowd, and it's followed by "Too Many Games," where he scats a bit. Beverly writes all of Maze's material and has been prolific without the quality suffering. On "I Wanna Thank You," he gives thanks to Maze fans and supporters, highly unusual in song form but a nice gesture. "Happy Feelin's" will remain a concert staple as long as Maze performs, regardless of how many other hits they have; they enjoy doing it, and its positive, perky beat never bores. Famous for their beat ballads, "I Want to Feel I'm Wanted" doesn't disappoint. The groove continues on an uplifting "We Are One," where they cleverly interject snatches of "Look at California." "Back in Stride Again," with its maniacal beat, is crisp and clear. An added studio cut, "When You Love Someone," is satisfying. Aesthetically pleasing, and all Maze; the '60s-sounding MC is a bit much, though.

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