The Good: Good lyrics, good voice, good package design.
The Bad: Poor mix, doesn't add anything to the Heather Nova experience
The Basics: Unless you're trying to complete your Heather Nova collection, this is not the c.d. to buy. If you love Heather, don't expect much from this outing.
Whenever an artist in any medium does a permutation of their work (a live show, for example) part of the goal ought to be to expand the audiences' appreciation of their medium and their talents. Unfortunately, Live From the Milky Way does not do that for Heather Nova.
The redeeming features of this six-track album are that the cover art is nice and the lyrics are good. If that sounds like a stretch, well, it is. Heather Nova has an amazing voice and amazing lyrics and the former is poorly represented here. Having seen Heather in concert, this album was a letdown. It is a poor collection of her range both vocally and lyrically. If you are a die hard fan of Heather's, as I count myself, by the time you collect Live From the Milky Way you will likely be getting righteously sick of "Maybe an Angel" which leads this album (it appears on Live From the Milky Way, Blow, Oyster, as well as on an EP by the same name).
Otherwise, the point of this album (released so close to Blow and Oyster) is rather elusive. A die hard fan will likely enjoy the live version of "Walking Higher" which is about the only bright light on the album. There are no tracks unique to this album.
While not entirely "bad," Live From the Milky Way is uninspired. The lyrics do not vary from the studio versions and the lack of engineering needed to make a live version real, in fact, detracts from the presentation of the songs that have solid messages. I'm a big fan of Heather Nova and I find myself listening to this album the least of any of her works.
Now is an appropriate time to mention Heather Nova's last live album, Wonderlust. Where Live From The Milky Way fails due to having few tracks, not expressing anything extra through the live performance than the studio albums, and not being a terribly good selection of Heather's talents, Wonderlust is amazing. If you want an excellent Heather Nova "live" experience, Wonderlust is the way to go. She has songs from Oyster and Siren on the album, often adding new lines. It's quite clear she can sing and she also includes a live interpretation of Bruce Springsteen's "I'm On Fire." It's worth the price to find that import! It's a FAR better bet than her weak link Live From the Milky Way.
For other Heather Nova album reviews, please be sure to check out:
The Jasmine Flower
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© 2011, 2002 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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