Monday, August 30, 2010

1991: Brothers Unaware

mental jewelry

Live: Brothers Unaware


I think for this round, boyhowdie has chosen one of the strongest years in music. (Not that I was much aware of it at the time with a new baby---let's just say I had to make up for lost musical time somewhat later.) Grunge, which gave us arguably the year's top album in Nirvana's Nevermind, was gradually giving way to Post Grunge, an odd categorization that defines a genre by what it came after rather than what it is.

A whole bunch of bands who would become huge in the 90's released strong, memorable albums in 1991 (and I'm guessing we'll see some of these here this week). R.E.M.'s flagship Losing My Religion showcased Out of Time. Soundgarden's Badmotorfinger and Pearl Jam's Ten kept the spotlight on the Seattle scene, while Toad the Wet Sprocket's Fear and the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Blood Sugar Sex Magik represented southern California.

Live, a band from Pennsylvania with a particularly craptastic name (one that's fairly hard to track in a database, at least), debuted their first major-label album, Mental Jewelry. Many of the songs are based on the writings of an Indian philosopher. These quasi-religious themes continued in their later music. Sadly (perhaps predictably), the positive introspection they embraced in their songs is nowhere to be found these days among Live's band members – they're currently caught up in a rather nasty lawsuit over songwriting credit and royalties owed.

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