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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Vivid

Living Colour

1988

Vivid

Album Summary

Vivid is the debut studio album by American band Living Colour, released on May 3, 1988, through Epic Records. It was one of the most popular albums of 1988, peaking at #6 on the US Billboard 200 chart and certified double platinum by the RIAA.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.15

Votes

5622

Genres

  • Metal
  • Hard Rock
Reviews
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Thu Jan 21 2021
3

Cults of Personality is a straight banger. The rest feels like a lesser tier of Huey Lewis

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Mon May 03 2021
5

I listened to the heck out of this album in the 90s. It still rocks, if it's just a bit dated. Great guitar and bass playing. Very high energy, hard rock with some other stylistic elements. All very good!

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Tue Jan 04 2022
4

What a blast from the past. I had this cassette and listened to it quite a bit. Gotta remember late-80s mainstream music wasn’t that great, and this was an excellent alternative to hair metal (pre-grunge). Couple of great covers (Memories Can’t Wait!!). Still has bones!

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Fri Sep 25 2020
5

Listened to half the album, surprised by how much I liked the yeehaw. Will Deff finish the other half soon.

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Tue Dec 28 2021
4

Opens with Cult of Personality which took me right back to the late 80's. I don't know when I last heard this song but all the grooves are still worn into my brain. The opening riff is worth a star all on its own. I'm not sure how much more I've heard before; I'm perfectly happy to explore further. The lyrics are somewhat hit or miss, though I definitely like the singer. The music has tons of hooks and I find enjoyable to listen to. The song Open Letter is familiar, though honestly a little hokey, but the music carries it. Funny Vibe and Which Way to America are somewhat better. Very fun Clash cover. I like Faith No More and Primus and etc and feel like this is right up my alley. I've told Spotify that I wouldn't mind hearing it again from time to time.

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Mon Mar 15 2021
3

An album that is somewhat idiosyncratic and yet very of it's time. Certainly a unique combination of genres. I want to like this more than I do but I think its the vocal style (and some of the lyrics) that bring it down for me. I am more familiar with guitarist Vernon Reid from his 96 solo album "Mistaken Identify" which I enjoy much more. Even their 93 album "Stain," though generally not rated as highly, is much heavier and more interesting to me.

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Wed Sep 01 2021
3

I expected not to want to revisit this.. i don't have great recollections about Living Colour, but Cult of Personality was way better to listen to again than thinking about it. It holds up. Unfortunately, there's a lot of okay content and then the weird funny vibe. Open Letter is also strong and i give them props for what they were doing at the time.

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Tue Mar 15 2022
2

Funky rock like a light RHCP. Very early 90s, like it belongs in some action set piece for a Nickelodeon live action show. break out the zubaz and flat tops. I drags on at points. Extended version does not help. Standout tracks: Cult of personality Funny Vibe What’s your Favorite Color?

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Mon Mar 01 2021
5

Well timed on the last day of black history month. Hopefully I’ll see them at riot fest this year

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Fri Jan 22 2021
5

J'aime beaucoup beaucoup. Excellente découverte. Lola aime bien aussi.

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Wed Jun 02 2021
5

Living Colour is something genuinely unique in rock and roll. An absolutely phenomenal album, and featuring one of the greatest rock covers of all times in These Memories Can't Wait.

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Mon Feb 08 2021
5

Great

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Fri Jul 02 2021
5

En general un grato descubrimiento. Escuchar una banda negra con un sonido tan pesado (o sea pesado en el sentido hard rock/metal) es muy refrescante. A reserva de sonar patronising, creo que de las cosas que más lamento de la escena del metal en la actualidad es en realidad la falta de negros. Me la pasé re bien la verdad. Uno que otro momento de vocales muy de la época que no me gustaron pero en realidad, bastante chido casi todo, El final de Which Way to America está loco, solo por eso fue mi fav. Mood: headbanging to funky tunes

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Fri Mar 26 2021
5

Amazing. From start to finish, this album is funky, rockin' and gets you moving.

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Fri Mar 26 2021
5

Funk-tastic! This is the shit.

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Fri Apr 16 2021
5

It's like they've taken all the bits of hair metal that I like and dropped the bits I don't like.

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Thu May 27 2021
5

Open Letter (to a Landlord) is a tune and still applicable mostly Which Way to America? is very topical and current still. Memories can't wait cover is excellent, catches the song very well but still made it their own and arguably better. Tasty, tight and short 11 track album. Bonus track: Should I Stay or Should I Go cover was unexpected but very good with double time, small lyric tweaks and no spanish backing vocals which are odd choices.

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Sat Aug 28 2021
5

Tellement bon , un classique vraiment 5*

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Wed Sep 15 2021
5

There's a lot that I should say about this album

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Thu Sep 16 2021
5

the opening track is awesome, really sets you up for the whole album! love it’!

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Fri Oct 08 2021
5

Qué buen y entretenido disco. Conocía la de Cult Of Personality que salía en el Guitar Hero (y que Casper dominaba) pero nunca le había dado play al disco completo. Hasta la versión extendida me gustó. Creo que mi parte favorita es la mezcla de guitarras pesadas con ondas funk y las voces que no son exactamente metaleras y entonces le dan una textura extra.

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Sat Oct 23 2021
5

Back to being young again!

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Fri Nov 05 2021
5

Yasss. I owned and played this tape until it died. Loved it and never understood why they never achieved this high again.

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Fri Jan 21 2022
5

what a band and songs with a message or commentary about the times. Great to hear a full album of theirs, it’s been ages

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Tue Feb 01 2022
5

From the title and cover art I did not expect this to be a heavy rock album. From the era I did not expect this late 80's heavy rock album to have aged well. My expectations have been proved resoundingly wrong. This is a hugely enjoyable album with well constructed songs, catchy choruses, faultless musicianship, a variety of styles (arena rock, metal, funk, soul, rap) and interesting themes. 5/5

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Sun Mar 20 2022
5

This was great. I remember this leading to a bit of a funk-metal craze at the time, but they were missing the whole free form thing that Vernon Reid was throwing out there. This is still their best integration of all that.

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Mon Mar 28 2022
5

I had no idea. Amazing.

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Fri Apr 01 2022
5

Good album.

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Thu Jul 21 2022
5

Brilliant! Loved every song!

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Mon Aug 15 2022
5

I remember hearing "Cult of Personality" back when the single was released and rushing out to buy the album. That song has to be one of best singles released in 1988. The rest of the album is good, including a great cover of the Talking Heads' "Memories can Wait." The only thing that detracts from it a little is the production. The mix of songwriting and musicianship on this debut album are so strong though that you can easily forgive that. A sure 5 star album from start to finish!

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Mon Aug 15 2022
5

What a dynamite f'n album. Almost has a bit of that unique rock, funk, and rap feel of Faith No More but even better. Tracks 1-5 are just so full, hard, loud and awesome with such intricate instrument work (and a bit of soaring ballad to boot on Open Letter). I did not realize how incredible a guitar player Vernon Reid is. Yeah, he kills it on Cult of Personality but what he does on I Want to Know, Middle Man, and Desperate People is just as electric. I mean, Muzz Skllings and Will Calhoun are no slouches on bass or drums, but damn the guitar sounds. I also think Corey Glover's vocals are fantastic. Tracks 10 and 11 had a similar pulsing rock vibe (loved Which Way to America) while they seemed to experiment with different sounds a bit more on tracks 6-9. Funny Vibe almost felt like a Rush song with its different time signatures and long bridge to outro. Broken Hearts sounded a bit country. Glamour Boys sounds like a more rocked-up combo of Jimmy Buffet and Gloria Estefan. Whatever the case, I loved this album. It may have just rocketed into my top 25 all-time favorite albums I loved it that much.

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Mon Aug 15 2022
5

Living Colour is one of my favorite bands from the 90s. This album is pretty bright, compared to their later albums. I personally prefer 'Time's Up' and 'Stain' to this one, but I understand why they chose this one, as it has "the hit" on it. This album has the song of theirs that I never got into, which was "Glamour Boys". Maybe it's because I'm neither a "Glamour Boy" nor do I consider myself "Fierce." The song seems different, lighter and a little goofier than their later stuff, even with Reid's guitar crunch. But despite that, this album started them on their journey, and everything comes from this album. They've really progressed from here, and you should really check their other stuff if you liked this one.

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Sun Aug 21 2022
5

A few weeks ago (as I write this in August 2022), my wife and I saw Nate Smith and his band play at the Blue Note in NYC (they were incredible; see Nate Smith if you can), and Vernon Reid, the guitarist from Living Colour, hopped on stage with them for the last 15-20 minutes or so and was absolutely incredible. And I can hear it here. And I loved this album when it came out and I love it now. These guys are fantastic.

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Wed Aug 24 2022
5

This album is awesome.

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Fri Sep 02 2022
5

This is an unexpected 5. Feat. Public Enemy, Mick Jagger, funk bass and occasional socialist undertones. I had Living Colour as UK synth pop in my mind but was way off the mark. A real cool fusion of stuff going on that I’ll have to revisit.

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Sat Sep 24 2022
5

Bangers up and down the track list. What a vibe.

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Sat Sep 24 2022
5

Hard, funky and soulful.

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Tue Sep 27 2022
5

cool

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Mon Oct 24 2022
5

This was a really good one with some absolute hard rock bangers! Enjoyed pretty much every song on the album, there were some amazing solos, and the cover of Should I Stay Or Should I Go on the expanded edition is really good too. Favourite: Cult Of Personality

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Tue Dec 13 2022
5

Good album

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Sat Dec 17 2022
5

just for cult of personality it’s automatically 5 stars

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Tue Jan 12 2021
4

Heard this album a fair few times, it's funky and metal and just fuckin cool 4/5.

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Thu May 27 2021
4

i was excited about this album when it showed up and i'm FEELING it!!

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Mon May 10 2021
4

This was really quite good! Not nearly as heavy as I was expecting, given the Wiki article, but still a good combination of different genres imo.

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Fri Jun 25 2021
4

Love the variety here, great album

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Mon Jul 19 2021
4

I thought of this band as a one-hit wonder before today, but that was unfair. This album is full genre-bending goodness. Best track: Cult of Personality

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Fri Jun 25 2021
4

Cult of personality!

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Sat Jan 30 2021
4

Can't believe I've never heard this before. Great album.

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Tue Jan 19 2021
4

Metal/hard rock with clear singing. Some songs stand out, most others are solid

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Mon Feb 08 2021
4

Good stuff! Luv

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Sun Mar 14 2021
4

Enjoyable album great rock and hip hop inspiration at points 3.8

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Wed Jan 27 2021
4

apparently cult of personality comes off a woke bop of an album

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Tue Jan 19 2021
4

This album was so groovy! Not sure if everyone had the live versions or if mine was extended somehow but I didn’t love the live versions. Loved the rest of it though!

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Wed Mar 17 2021
4

Funky metal

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Wed Jan 27 2021
4

4 exactly. hard to put cult of personality as the first track and be able to follow that up

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Fri Jul 02 2021
4

Buen rock, creo que no ubicaba a una banda de rock cuyos integrantes fueran todos negros. Lo disfruté y además lo que tiene de denuncia social fluye junto con lo demás. "Cult of Personality" y "Funny Vibe" fueron mis favoritas. 8.5/10

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Thu May 20 2021
4

I grew up hating the cult of personality. I can't tell you why other than people having different taste but I loved rock and alternative so it's the kind of song I should've liked but I didn't. Skip to today. This album is on my list and I listen to all of them even if I suspect I will dislike it. Wow. Was I missing out. The album starts with cult of personality but this time I'm thinking, "maybe I wasn't very fair with this song. It's not as bad as you thought." I actually kind of liked it. After hearing it a million times maybe it's acquired taste! The rest of the album though I really did like. I was missing out on a great album that was always there and available for me at any time. Can't go back now but I'm glad I listened and changed my mind.

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Wed Mar 03 2021
4

Really good album beginning to end

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Sat May 15 2021
4

In 1988, few heavy metal bands were comprised of all black members, and fewer had the talent or know-how to inject different musical forms into their hard rock sound (funk, punk, alternative, jazz, soul, rap) -- but N.Y.C.'s Living Colour proved to be an exception. Unlike nearly all of the era's metal bands, the group's music has held up over time, thanks to its originality and execution. Living Colour leader/guitarist Vernon Reid spent years honing his six-string chops, and was one of the most respected guitarists in New York's underground scene. He couldn't have done a better job selecting members for his new rock band -- singer Corey Glover, bassist Muzz Skillings, and drummer Will Calhoun -- as their now-classic debut, Vivid, proves. Though the album was released in mid-1988, it picked up steam slowly, exploding at the year's end with the hit single/MTV anthem "Cult of Personality," which merged an instantly recognizable Reid guitar riff and lyrics that explored the dark side of world leaders past and present (and remains LC's best-known song). The album was also incredibly consistent, as proven by the rocker "Middle Man" (which contains lyrics from a note penned by Glover, in which he pondered suicide), the funky, anti-racist "Funny Vibe," the touching "Open Letter (To a Landlord)," plus the Caribbean rock of "Glamour Boys." Add to it an inspired reading of Talking Heads' "Memories Can't Wait," the Zeppelin-esque "Desperate People," and two complex love songs ("I Want to Know" and "Broken Hearts"), and you have one of the finest hard rock albums of the '80s -- and for that matter, all time.

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Fri Mar 19 2021
4

Awesome album! Not quite a 5/5 but close!

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Sat Apr 24 2021
4

Ja ik mag dit wel. Fantastische stem, en lekker energiek. Duidelijk de sound van eind jaren 80, maar nog steeds goed te pruimen. Beetje oude Chili Peppers maar dan met een echte zanger 😁

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Wed Mar 10 2021
4

Really enjoyed this album...except for the last song. It sounds ahead of its time by about 10 years. It's made me want to check out their other albums.

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Tue Apr 20 2021
4

Finde es tatsächlich n gutes Album. Vereinzelt echt gute Lieder!

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Mon Mar 29 2021
4

I liked that

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Thu May 20 2021
4

Creo que está un poco pasado de moda pero se deja escuchar.

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Thu May 27 2021
4

It is ironic (not the right word… cosmically aesthetic?) that I got Living Color the day after Rage Against the Machine, since RAtM basically took “Cult of Personality” and “Funny Vibe” and ran with it. But here we are decades later, and these songs are still sadly relevant. Bit more funkay than RAtM, bit less serious. I can dig it. Now I’ll stop before I embarrass myself further.

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Thu May 27 2021
4

Solid jams, songs are a little repetitive but the sound is good so it's the worst thing.

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Thu May 27 2021
4

What an amazing album. I came in pretty cold - had only heard "cult of personality" before. But wow, they sound like a few other bands from the time but have their own distinct twist. And what a varied album, hard rock, pop rock, funk, soul, rap, little bit of country. Memories can't wait is a great cover. Every song is fantastic. Coming out of the gate with a debut album like this, I dunno how I've never listened to them before but I'm blown away. I'm keep 5-star ratings for what I consider to be perfect albums. I would give this a 4.5 but have to round down.

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Thu May 27 2021
4

Was hoping for an aural detox after yesterday’s fiasco. Dare not say the name. And BANG! Hit with a hard rock banger that brings back the excitement of playing GTA San Andreas. Opening track, Cult of Personality. I would have struggled to stay alert for another 1 star album and I’m conscious not to let that skew my review of this album. Style is in line bands of the time. Faith no More, Janes Addiction, RHCP and even Mr. Big. However as the album progresses, there are harder rock and cheesier riffs that drag us back to the 80’s and give off Van Halen feels. Have to remember this album is ‘88. Some very catchy, punchy bass riffs that are keeping me interested and even reminding of Big Country in part. Nice to hear songs I’ve definitely heard before but maybe wasn’t sure who the song was by. “Funny Vibe” could be straight out of RHCP’s Mother’s Milk. It’s interesting to see this band is a group of black New Yorkers and have produced very similar sounds of mostly white LA 80’s funk rockers. Verses of “Which Way to America” is borrowed straight from Talking Heads which is good to see. Very Tina Weymouth with heavier tone. Decimalised ratings would have helped me rate this more effectively. It’s better than a 3 but not quite a 4. I’m not counting any of the bonus tracks included on the Spotify bonus version.

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Mon Jun 28 2021
4

Sequência de riffs que verdadeiramente arrebata.

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Mon Jun 28 2021
4

Two bands helped save the boredom of rock at the end of the 80’s: Jane’s Addiction and Living Colour. Vivid was killer through out and still got something to it.

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Thu Jul 29 2021
4

Reminds me a lot of mother love bone. Had a few listens of this just on in the background. Think it needs a proper listen. I'll revisit it but going high and giving it a 4.

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Mon Aug 09 2021
4

Very solid debut from this quarter of NYC music students. Some classic songs here, with just a little bit of filler(“What’s Your Favorite Color” in particular never landed for me). But it has aged well, and the performances and production are both fantastic. The band’s next album, Time’s Up, is their masterpiece imo.

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Thu Aug 12 2021
4

An excellent album that I haven't listened to in far too long.

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Wed Aug 18 2021
4

Grand Theft Auto San Andreas let’s goooo!!!!!! Really enjoyed this one - full on late eighties nostalgia - the sound is so crisp and clear! - and the playing is incredible, especially Vernon Reid’s funky guitar solos and Muzz Skilling’s amazing melodic bass. A funk rock fusion to savour- just blast the album and enjoy musicians doing their thing.

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Wed Sep 01 2021
4

Fantastic album. Brings all the songs of yesteryear back to me.

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Fri Sep 10 2021
4

Unexpectedly enjoyed this!

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Fri Sep 17 2021
4

Nice. Pretty good rock album.

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Fri Sep 17 2021
4

I have listened to all of this album before. I liked it enough back then, that I listened to the next album too. I like "Cult of Personality" and "Glamour Boys" enough that they are on my 'I will listen to this again' list (5 stars). As a whole, my opinion of the album is still the same as it was when the album first came out. I like some tracks very much, but most of the album is okay (3 stars). With rounding, I guess the album gets 4.

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Mon Sep 20 2021
4

Rocking, social commentary, catchy. I had heard Cult of Personality a million times on GTA but really enjoyed this listen. Blunt. Aware. Cool. 4/5.

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Fri Oct 01 2021
4

Oh, those late 80's vibes, the 90's were just around the corner and things were taking a good shape. Love how these guys would mix several influences into their brand of groovy hard rock.

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Thu Oct 07 2021
4

Dope album with some really inspired tracks. Totally worth the time.

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Fri Oct 08 2021
4

Después de reconocer Cult of Personality no tenía grandes expectativas pero fue una grata grata sorpresa. Los solos bastante atascados y los poderosos riffs hacen de este disco una chulada. Mi único pero son las dos últimas canciones que siento son los tracks más flojos del disco pero en general, gran sorpresa. Songs: I want to know, Middle Man, Memories Can't Wait, Cult of Personality

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Fri Oct 08 2021
4

3.5 | En realidad no conocía mas que Cult of Personality y no tenía bien idea de qué esperar. En mi opinión el disco llega a su pico de manera inmediata con esa canción y nunca llega al mismo nivel, sí es un caso en que la canción y el sencillo es lo mejor que tiene que ofrecer, sin embargo no es para decir que el resto sea malo, quizá solo que es demasiado estandar. Por letras en realidad nada que poner atención, todo lo esperado y sin cosas notables. La música bien hecha, hard rock/pop noventero que suena muy correcto, a veces un poco más pesado, a veces más baladesco, un poco de funk, metal... suena bastante a RHCP pero sin sentirse forzado ni copia... simplemente es la manera en que hacen canciones. Buen disco , muy sólido pero lo realmente brillante es esa primera canción.

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Fri Oct 22 2021
4

Second great album in a row from 1988 (got Tracy Chapman's ST yesterday) and man Vernon Reid is a monster! I still dig a lot of this, obviously Cult of Personality is great song with a classic riff. I had forgotten about Chuck D and Flava Flav popping up in Funny Vibe. Open Letter To A Landlord and (Talking Heads cover) Memories Can't Wait are also highlights.

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Tue Nov 02 2021
4

So, I loved this band when they first came out. I generally preferred Time's Up, which I thought had stringer songs across the board. But, listening again, it does have Cult of Personality, Glamour Boys, and Middle Man, all of which are very strong. Some dated production choices aside, it still sounds great. Everyone's playing at their peak. Contemporaneous live records tend to cut loose a bit more, which si wild. It has the advantage of a metal album that incorporates other influences (most notably funk, which was pretty fresh at the time, if later to become cliched) and not-dumb lyrics (occasionally a little heavy handed, but forgivably so). Politically aware, energetic, heavy. Still a great listen

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Tue Nov 02 2021
4

Good album - thoughtful lyrics

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Sat Nov 06 2021
4

281121 14:48 4

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Mon Nov 08 2021
4

I really like the "groovy funk" feel of songs like Middle Man. Then the heavy drums of songs like Desperate People. Seems weird to me that as much as I loved Cult of Personality in my youth and the rest of my life, I don't think I ever heard this whole album before. And lots of powerful lyrics like in Which Way to America.

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Wed Nov 10 2021
4

I listened to it, it wasn't quite my cup of tea, not bad though

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Thu Nov 11 2021
4

Genre defying: metal/funk/hip-hop/rap. An eye-opener!

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Thu Nov 18 2021
4

I've heard a couple of songs on this album before but had no idea what band sung them. The albums great - I listened to a couple of the songs multiple times!

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Tue Nov 23 2021
4

bella scoperta molto glam

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Tue Nov 23 2021
4

Rock animado.

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Tue Nov 23 2021
4

This band. What a sound. Corey Glover. What a voice. Fuck yeah. This album gets double horns. \m/ \m/

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Thu Nov 25 2021
4

Enjoyed Middle Man

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Tue Nov 30 2021
4

Better than I expected!

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Wed Dec 22 2021
4

Hard Rock, quindi mi piace. Bella 'Cult of Personality'. Anche 'i Want to Know' continua sullo stesso, piacevole stile. Arrivato a 'Open Letter (to a landlord)' posso dire che l'album mi piace molto, ma gli manca qualcosa per fare lo scatto definitivo a masterpiece. Bello però, un 4 pieno.

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Thu Dec 23 2021
4

I really loved this, it was a few songs shy of being a ten out of ten for me

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Sat Jan 01 2022
4

Kom stórkostlega á óvart. Las mér síðan til um bandið. Frábær skilaboð. Ekki verið að syngja bara um sólarlagið heldur texta og lagasmíðar með bit!

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