Alive (Ed Kowalczyk album)

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Alive
Studio album by Ed Kowalczyk
Released June 6, 2010 (2010-06-06)
Recorded Wire Recording Studios,
Austin, Texas
Genre Alternative rock, Post-grunge
Hard rock, Christian rock
Label Soul Whisper Records / Sony RED Distribution (North America)
V2 Records (Europe)
Sony Music (Australia / New Zealand)
Producer CJ Eiriksson (tracks 1-2, 5-11)
Gregg Wattenberg (tracks 3-4)
Singles from Alive
  1. "Grace"
    Released: 2010 (2010)

Alive is the debut solo album by former Live lead singer Ed Kowalczyk.

History[edit]

Kowalczyk entered the studio in early 2010 to record material that he began writing in 2008. He wrote songs for Alive with an acoustic guitar, as he had when he wrote for Live.[1]

The lyrics on Alive feature much religious and spiritual imagery. Kowalczyk's acknowledgement of his faith is much more explicit on this album than it was on his work with Live. The album entered Billboard's Christian Albums Chart at number 6.[2]

The album entered the charts in The Netherlands, debuting at number 4 on the Dutch album chart. It has also charted in the United States, Belgium, and Australia.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Ed Kowalczyk, except where noted.

  1. "Drive"
  2. "The Great Beyond"
  3. "Grace" (Kowalczyk, Gregg Wattenberg)
  4. "Stand" (Kowalczyk, Wattenberg)
  5. "Drink (Everlasting Love)" (Kowalczyk, Chris Daughtry)
  6. "Zion"
  7. "In Your Light"
  8. "Just in Time"
  9. "Rome"
  10. "Soul Whispers"
  11. "Fire on the Mountain"
  12. "Eat Your Love" (Dutch bonus track)
  13. "A New World" (Dutch bonus track)

Personnel[edit]

  • Ed Kowalczyk – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
  • Ramy Antoun – drums
  • James Gabbie – lead guitar
  • Chris Heerlein – bass guitar
  • Additional Keyboards – Andy Dollerson
  • Guitars and Bass on "Grace" – Gregg Wattenberg

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
About.com 2/5 stars[3]
Allmusic 3/5 stars[4]
The Border Mail 3.5/5 stars[5]
Decoy Music 2/5 stars[6]
Lazyrocker.com 81%[7]
PopMatters 2/10 stars[8]

Alive garnered mixed reviews. Allmusic was positive, giving the album 3 out of 5 and saying that Alive features, "The biggest, boldest music he’s made since Throwing Copper, lacking the overheated hard rock poses of Live’s albums immediately following that blockbuster." They conclude that Kowalczyk's, "Unfettered passion and sincerity...burn brighter now that he’s on his own." Decoy Music was less favorable, claiming that the album lacks character, "Each song sounds like he hired some run of the mill group of musicians to come in and play...There's nothing exemplary about the writing, in music or lyrics." They conclude by saying that listeners would only appreciate this album if, "You find yourself happy to take whatever the modern pop/rock stations feed you."

Pop Matters was highly critical of the album, claiming that the metaphors in Kowalczyk's lyrics are "ridiculous." They summarized Alive as, "An album that deals in a calculated sort of emotional manipulation that comes up short of its targets in every conceivable way." About.com said that the album is, "Filled with lumbering, spiritual-themed songs" and "so unremittingly bombastic that...anyone who isn’t already a sucker for Live’s pseudo-uplifting songs will easily resist Kowalczyk’s barrel-chested fervor." With regard to Kowalczyk's spiritual lyrics, the website bemoans that, "Alive is so relentless in its metaphorical content that it feels like a crutch. Great artists...have made great music about their spiritual struggles, but Kowalczyk can’t seem to express himself without resorting to cliches that fail to dramatize his personal journey of faith."

Lazyrocker.com gave the album 81 out of 100, describing the album's tracks as, "Energetic, melodic alternative rock songs about faith, love, children and the elements of nature." They conclude a very positive review by saying that, "Ed Kowalczyk made a damn good first solo record, full with new classic rock songs." The Border Mail summarized the album as, "Passionate" and asserted that Kowalczyk "doesn’t stray too far from his former band’s signature sound."

Chart performance[edit]

Chart Peak
Australian Albums Chart 42 [9]
Dutch Albums Chart 4 [9]
Belgium Flanders Albums Chart 27 [9]
US Billboard 200 166 [2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chad, "Ed Kowalczyk Rejuvenated by Solo Career" Alternative Addiction June 19, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Rhett, What Went Wrong?…Live Drone - November 2, 2010
  3. ^ Grierson, Tim "About.com review"
  4. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas "Allmusic review"
  5. ^ Horne, Jamie "The Border Mail review" - July 22, 2010
  6. ^ Deal, Jeremy "Decoy Music review"
  7. ^ Coonen, Raymond "Lazyrocker.com review" - July 18, 2010
  8. ^ Schiller, Mike "Pop Matters review" - 27 July 2010
  9. ^ a b c Dutch chart history for Alive dutchcharts.nl