Sound — 9
Living Colour were one of the earliest examples of the funk sub-genre known as funk metal and though the style of funk metal varies drastically between artists - bands classified in the list of notable funk metallers include Limp Bizkit, Primus and the original lineup of the Red Hot Chili Peppers - Living Colour are one of the groups that sound closest to what the uninitiated would most likely assume a funk metal band sounds like. A heavier, almost Van Halen-esque guitar sound, a noticeably louder drummer than standard funk music, fun bass lines and a guy with a really, really good singing ability. That is what Living Colour are, in the easiest way I can explain it.
Lyrics — 10
Well, the lyrics are good, better than a lot of lyrics I've heard, but at the same time, they're not the highlight of this album. If you're a fan of Funk music lyricists, you won't be dissapointed and if you're not, then you probably won't become a fan just from listening to this one single album. The guitar work is nice. I compared Living Colour's guitarist Vernon Reid to Eddie Van Halen earlier in this review and in my opinion, he has an almost exactly equivalent level of skill. I would also say that some of the guitar playing sounds eerily like David Lee Roth-era VH, but that's not really a bad thing as it fits well with the rest of what's going on. The bass lines are fun, I wouldn't call it the best bass work ever, but it's interestingly cool. The drummer, now I have seen this band live, he could probably outplay most straight-up Metal drummers. As for the vocals, I can't figure out a way to describe the singer's voice, but I can say that he sounds like a cross between a standard Funk singer and one of the few Hair Metal frontmen who could actually sing.
Overall Impression — 9
I saw these guys open for Joe Satriani and they were surprisingly good. I was amazed that they could perform so completely well, being that they've been around with mainly the same lineup for 25 years. A lot of the songs that they played were off of this album and I can safely say that the live renditions were quite a bit better than the studio recordings. My point is, "Vivid" is a great album, but Living Colour put on such amazing live shows that, unless, like myself, you really, really enjoy this particular genre of music, then honestly, you'd be better off going to one of the many events the band is performing at and judging whether or not you would buy any of their albums based on that.