Living Colour – “Vivid” (1988)

Living Colour were critical darlings from the get-go.  They fused hard rock with other stuff that I don’t really care about, like funk.  Their unique blend of styles and sociopolitical lyrics had critics and hipsters falling all over themselves showering Living Colour with praise.  But, from a purely hard rock perspective, the question is: “Does Vivid ROCK?”  The answer is: “Yes, about half the time.”  The best song (by far) is also the album’s most famous song Cult Of Personality.  This song has endured over the years and is pretty much now a “classic”.  As good as it is, I kind of snicker that a song with such a god-awful guitar solo still gets daily airplay on rock radio.  Listen to it sometime, and keep in mind that this song won a Grammy (not that we should put any stock in the Grammy Awards).  Aside from that highlight, I also think Middle Man, I Want To Know, and especially Open Letter (To A Landlord) are pretty good.  However, when Living Colour do the whole funk infusion thing, they kind of lose me.  And that’s about half the album.  But what do I know?  Critic Greg Prato of Allmusic calls Vividone of the finest rock albums of the ’80s — and for that matter, all time.”  Uhh… take it down a notch buddy.  My score: B-

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