Unlike its predecessor, Dance to the Music, Life was not a commercial success, although it has received mostly positive reviews from music critics over the years. Many of its songs, including "M'Lady", "Fun", "Love City", as well as the title track, became popular staples in the Family Stone's live show. A middle ground between the fiery A Whole New Thing and the more commercial Dance to the Music, Life features very little use of studio effects, and is instead more driven by frontman Sly Stone's compositions. Topics for the album's songs include the dating scene ("Dynamite!", "Chicken", "M'Lady"), groupies ("Jane is a Groupee"), and "plastic" (or "fake") people (the Beatlesque "Plastic Jim"). Of particular note is that the Family Stone's main themes of unity and integration are explored here in several songs ("Fun", "Harmony", "Life", and "Love City"). The next Family Stone LP, Stand!, would focus almost exclusively on these topics.