Rob Zombie

Zombie Live

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Why now, Rob Zombie? Why a live album in 2007, just when it seemed like you were gracefully transitioning from music to movies, with your remake of Halloween turning into a hit despite decidedly mixed reviews? Clearly, the answer is that Rob Zombie never intended to leave music behind; he's a cross-platform juggernaut who delivers variations of trashy yet clever schlock-horror to all manners of media, from film to the stage, as captured on Live, his first live album ever. Recorded on various stops on his Educated Horses tour in 2006, Zombie Live does lack some might when stripped of its visuals, but the interesting thing about this set is that it feels live. Which doesn't necessarily mean that it sounds raw: Zombie does a giant production designed for arenas, and the music does sound appropriately big, polished, and punchy. But for as professional as this group is -- it includes Johnny 5 on guitar, drummer Tommy Clufetos and bassist Piggy D -- they still play with vigor, and Zombie's vocals sound live, sometimes swallowed by the mix but never playing like mere replicas of the record. This element of performance energy gives Live its kick -- there are no reimagined songs here, only enthusiastic readings, which should be enough for fans.

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