Average White Band - Times Squared: Live From New York, Vol. 2 (2009)

Average White Band
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A live CD will never supplant seeing a band perform live. That is especially the case for groups as funky as the Average White Band. However a live CD is sometimes the best one can do (unless, of course, a group also decided to release a DVD).  Still, a listener can learn things of value by listening to a CD such as the Average White Band's Times Squared: Live From New York, Vol. 2.

Times Squared is a follow up of AWB's 2006 live album Soul & the City. Like that recording, Times Squared includes live versions of songs from the band's heyday, as well as material recorded from later albums. That means that most AWB fans will be at least somewhat familiar with some of the songs on these albums.

A live CD will never supplant seeing a band perform live. That is especially the case for groups as funky as the Average White Band. However a live CD is sometimes the best one can do (unless, of course, a group also decided to release a DVD).  Still, a listener can learn things of value by listening to a CD such as the Average White Band's Times Squared: Live From New York, Vol. 2.

Times Squared is a follow up of AWB's 2006 live album Soul & the City. Like that recording, Times Squared includes live versions of songs from the band's heyday, as well as material recorded from later albums. That means that most AWB fans will be at least somewhat familiar with some of the songs on these albums.

Concerts are supposed to be different experience than listening to a studio album. The uninformed might leave a concert wondering why the band didn't play it the way they played it on the record. That's not what I plunked down my hard earned money to see when I go to a concert, and I imagine that is not what people who buy a live album want a band to paint in audio pictures.

When I get my hands on a live album, I want the band to make me want to see them in concert. In that regard, AWB accomplished their mission with Times Squared.  On this live album, AWB fans hear the jazz, soul and rock infused funk that made all those albums must buys. Listeners also hear musicians who can more than hold their own in concert. This is a band that has the kind of jam band sensibilities to go on improvisational journeys that don't seem self-indulgent. Listeners also get a sense that the band has a friendly and approachable stage presence.

And then, there are the songs such as 1970s classics "A Love of Your Own," "Person to Person," "Nothing You Can Do" and "Get It Up For Love" that need no introduction. A band puts itself on display when they go live - all of those artificial enhancers are gone. There are no second takes on stage. AWB didn't need any on Times Squared. Recommended

By Howard Dukes
 

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