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Shallow Life


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Audio CD, April 21, 2009
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Shallow Life + Dark Adrenaline + Karmacode
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Editorial Reviews

2009 release from the Italian Goth Metal band, one of the most anticipated Metal releases of the year. Recorded with acclaimed producer Don Gilmore (Avril Lavigne, Linkin Park, Pearl Jam) at the famed NRG Studios in Los Angeles, the first full-length studio album since the 2006 release Karmacode is undeniably a huge step forward in the band's musical evolution, and promises to be well worth the wait.

1. Survive
2. I Won't Tell You
3. Not Enough
4. I'm Not Afraid
5. I Like It
6. Underdog
7. The Pain
8. Spellbound
9. Wide Awake
10. The Maze
11. Unchained
12. Shallow Life

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 21, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Century Media
  • ASIN: B001UGGVBU
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,823 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Angry Mofo on November 7, 2009
Format: Audio CD
It seems that Lacuna Coil have suffered a backlash with Shallow Life -- just read some of these reviews. I can see where the critics are coming from. Shallow Life has a much smoother, more mainstream production than Karmacode. The music is much less tumultuous, the vocals are much louder in the mix, as in typical radio-friendly rock. Karmacode certainly sounds more interesting.

But the band's songs haven't really gotten any worse -- it's just that the production exposes the weaknesses that were always there. For all that Karmacode is a good album, it has all of the same problems. First, Lacuna Coil are not terribly proficient songwriters. They don't really write memorable hooks or riffs, and they rarely play solos that go beyond following the vocal line. They're good at creating a loud, roiling sound, where the drums crash and the guitars have this metallic reverberating growl, and the synthesizers are sort of swirling around everything else, but they tend to repeat this approach on most of their songs. Even Karmacode has a bunch of tracks that sound very similar. Really, the main attraction of Lacuna Coil is the remarkable vocal interplay between Andrea Ferro and Cristina Scabbia, rather than the music.

Shallow Life is no different in this respect. Honestly, I can't really differentiate the music in "I'm Not Afraid," "Underdog," "Spellbound" and many other songs. However, the radio-friendly production actually leads Lacuna Coil to branch out a bit by trying out some dance elements on two songs, "I Won't Tell You" and "I Like It.
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Don on April 29, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I'm a new Lacuna Coil fan within the past two years. I picked up their back catalog and really enjoyed "Comalies" and "Karamacode." It took a bit longer, but I think "Karmacode" is a better (musically) designed album. A lot of my favorites come from "Comalies."

I can understand why 'old school' Lacuna Coil fans would dislike "Shallow Life" -- it definately continues the trend from "Karmacode." But with that said, I Like It. (See what I did there?) :)

My complaints are that the songs are far too brief -- 4 minutes is a long song on this album -- and there are several duds (The Pain, Underdog) that do nothing for me and all sound alike. But there's plenty to like, including I Won't Tell You, Not Enough, I Like It, and Spellbound.

I've no idea why the male vocalist gets so much air time; Christina is the reason you listen to Lacuna Coil. I don't hate the male vocals -- they provide a nice contrast -- but come on, with her voice I shouldn't have to wade 30+ seconds into a song before she comes on board and essentially "saves" the track.

If you're a new fan and liked "Karmacode" you'll probably like "Shallow Life." Everyone else needs to come to grip with the fact that the band -- and their sound -- is evolving.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By George Robert Synan on May 25, 2009
Format: Audio CD
The good points... Andrea has never sounded better (Christina is her usual hypnotic self) and the production is crystal clear.

However, the songs lack substance. Many albums require multiple spins to reveal the underlying nuances. Shallow life doesn't have any. What you hear is what you get.

There are some interesting ideas and vocals in typical Lacuna Coil style, but as they move headlong to a more radio-friendly style, the short durations do not allow the songs to breath nor develop. One can hear the goth style trying to emerge, but there is no time for twists nor reflection.

The songwriting is simply not there. This is not one of Lacuna coil's finer hours.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Gemperline on May 1, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I just wanted to provide a bit of a contrasting opinion, many reviewers seem to suggest (and dislike) that this album follows in the tracks of Karmacode. I began listening to Lacuna Coil with the release of Comalies, and went so far as to acquire their previous albums too. They quickly became one of my favorites. With the release of Karmacode, they became firmly rooted as my favorite; thats right, I liked Karmacode, I liked the "nu metal" sound they chose for it, I think it is their best album thus far.

If, indeed, Shallow Life were in the same vein as Karmacode, I should end up liking it too. It isn't, and I don't.

Thats not to say it isn't at least worth a listen, and a few of the tracks shine out above the rest, I Survive, Spellbound, and if you spring for the extended edition, the extra track Oblivion does too. These are the best of the album, unfortunately, they aren't quite up to Karmacode standards.

There are other tracks that are a good enough listen, but hardly striking the way Lacuna Coil's music has been to me in the past.

Where are the problems? Like others have said, it seems uninspired and often repetitive, and I'm very disappointed with the decision to move Andrea into a more central vocal role. The major draw for me with Lacuna Coil has always been Christina Scabbia, and seeing her relegated to such a limited supporting position in this album is far from satisfying.

I still hold out hope for the future, and I'll still buy Lacuna Coil's next album, but some words of advice for them; feel free to be as poetic with the lyrics as you want, dump the pop producer and go back to Sorychta.
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Thoughts on "Spellbound" and new album "Shallow Life..."
Lacuna Coil's been moving in a different direction lately, and I personally don't care for it. "Karmacode" was lousy compared to their earlier work, incorporating too many male vocals, pushing Christina to the background, and giving the music a ridiculous nu metal vibe. I sold my copy... Read More
Apr 1, 2009 by p-51 |  See all 20 posts
Album cover for "Shallow Life"
I like how in the widget they keep pushing ( http://ecard.centurymedia.com/lacunacoil_widget/ ), it explodes into shattered glass. Kind of harkens back to some of the themes in KarmaCode for me.
Apr 10, 2009 by Ashley J. Motia |  See all 4 posts
i,m spellbound by her music! Be the first to reply
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