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Live & Learn

7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 6, 2007
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 6, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Drive Thru
  • ASIN: B000MMLPBO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #562,884 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Brian S. Popowitz on March 6, 2007
Format: Audio CD
[...]

Though second-guessing was extensive when I first jumped into Live and Learn, it soon become strikingly blatant that House of Fools is so subtly brilliant that it's a wonder this band hasn't made it further than they have. First impressions hardly grasp the finer points of the album, so I'm glad I came back to Fools's debut as quickly as I did. Hailing from North Carolina, this sextet is just one of those bands that really doesn't need much explanation. Rhythmically solid collectivity and well orchestrated country-influenced pop cadence flow through all fourteen tracks exceptionally, only stumbling on a few tracks here and there. It's no wonder they were confidently scooped up by Drive-Thru and have been on "Look Out For..." lists ever since. With the release of their incredible debut, Live and Learn, expect a scene of fools for House of Fools real soon.

With a couple songs still lingering on the debut that date back to the band's self-titled EP ("My Life Before Today", "Kiss the Haze"), we get a chance to sample both the old and the new. But the tracks we're still rocking from the EP hold their charm and are in fact some of the best songs on Live and Learn. "Kiss the Haze" is undeniably the highlight of the album's first half simply because its completely unique sound and best example of that collectivity I spoke of earlier. If it's not bassist Jeff Linn's irreplaceable arpeggio-based grooves fronting drummer Phil Bell's one-two beat, its Matt Bowers's organ-like keyboard tone backing vocalist Josh King's lively chorus lead.

And as I witness this perfect soundtrack to warm Southern days, so graciously peppered with hints of The Beatles and The Format, nothing so delightful could be led by any better than the former mentioned frontman.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JDTampa on February 19, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Radio as a means to discover good music lost my faith long ago. Until I pidcked up this CD, I thought I'd lost my faith entirely in the music industry. But then one day a friend of mine played "Pour me Out" for me, and I knew that there was still some magic left out there.

The band refers to their style as rock/folk/experimental, and they're not far off. In fact, in some songs you'll find on genre at the beginning and wind up with another at the end. Their musicianship, song craftsmanship and production rival in quality (although not in style) to contemporary masters like the Dave Mathews Band.

The cd starts out sedately but well, but by the time you're 1/3 into "Until it's Over", you don't know what you're in for. It starts out sweetly, and then becomes this anthemic 1970s guitar romp that changes chord patterns and tempos several times, shifting finally to a piano taking the stage. "My Life Before Today" just sparkles. This is a band that makes you feel good because the music is so good. "Kiss the Haze"... what can I say. Why this single never really took off is beyond me. It's fun (a harpsichord and a brass band in a ska tune? Who knew?)and is extremely well-recorded. "Me and Everyone I Know" channels the band's inner Mark Knopfler. "What are we Supposed to Do?" is sublimely beautiful with rich strings and synths. The prog side of the band escapes toward the end of "Go Down", rivaling Muse in arpeggios and crunching guitars. The stunner on this amazing disc has to be "Better Part of Me" which is just brilliantly sunny. The arrangement is breathtaking, with guitars, organs and banjos taking turns in the foreground. It's one of those shiny summery songs you just don't want to end. I wish they'd added another verse.
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Format: Audio CD
If you listen to this band once and aren't crazy about them or if you just listen to the sample and are undecided buy the album. It takes a little while to sink in simply because you naturally want to classify it in a specific genre but can't. This is rock in it's purest form, this band is the real deal. To me they sound like The Format and Queen fuzed together with some bluegrass influence. Although I can listen to this whole album on repeat for hours, Live and Learn, the title track, was the song I originally fell in love with. Live and Learn starts out soft and slow with piano and eventually swells into this epic rock opus the likes of which i haven't heard since Led Zeppelin and Queen. Buy this album and enjoy.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Fantastic album by a band that should be a lot more well known than they are. I highly recommend their second album as well.
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