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4.0 out of 5 stars Not for Everyone.
So.... were to begin. Well, this album is very diffrent to any Lacuna Coil album that has come before it. It still has a rock and metal undertone to it with a hint of Gothic thrown in. But this time the band have gone for more of a pop like sound on this album. But dont let make you think that this album is know good.

I personally think that this album is ust...
Published 2 months ago by Earwig

versus
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Remember this is a concept album
I've been a fan of LC since Karmacode, which remains one of my favourite albums. I'm not afraid (pun not intended) to say this has been the album I was most looking forward to this year. Was I pleased? Yes and no.

My main problem with this album is the vocals. Ferro seems to be a lot more present here, and I'm not saying he is bad vocalist at all, he should...
Published on 13 Jun 2009 by Jemma Elliott


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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Remember this is a concept album, 13 Jun 2009
By 
Jemma Elliott (North Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Shallow Life (Limited Edition) (Audio CD)
I've been a fan of LC since Karmacode, which remains one of my favourite albums. I'm not afraid (pun not intended) to say this has been the album I was most looking forward to this year. Was I pleased? Yes and no.

My main problem with this album is the vocals. Ferro seems to be a lot more present here, and I'm not saying he is bad vocalist at all, he should stick to backing Scabbia up and making both of them sound terrific. Cristina is my all-time favourite vocalist and I was dissapointed to hear that the she seemed... restrained. Like she was desperately trying to do her best but was unable to... or not allowed. The main two reasons I love LC: the gorgeous harmony of male-female vocals and fabulously exhilliarting riffs and tunes. Neither seems to be really present here.

That's not to say it is a failure. What people seem to be forgetting is that this a concept album about... shallow life unsuprisingly. I, personally, think the tunes and lyrics are deliberatly simple to highlight this concept. It actually adds depth in an odd way. There are some joys to be had here, if we forget this is LC and focus on the album itself.

1. Survive. A fantastic opening and a riff that will instantly implant in your head. As I mentioned, Ferro seems to be here a lot, and I'll admit it, it does dampen the song a bit. Like The Wolf said, his long vowels seem a little silly. But, all in all, especially if you tune out the weak vocals, a fantastic song. 8/10

2. I Won't Tell You. A vocal strong point in my opinion. Scabbia's backing gives depth to Ferro's lead. If only the vocalists would work together more this album would be better. Overall, a pretty average song. Listenable. 6/10

3. Not Enough. Scabbia vocals shine in this song. Ferro resumes rightful place as backing/her equal. Again, average but more likeable than the previous song. 6.5/10

4. I'm Not Afraid. A high point of the album. A nice tune and a lyrical strong point. Great. 8/10

5. I Like It. When I first saw the track list to 'SL', I was suprised to see such a title. 'I Like It'? What has happened to my LC? Yes, this is incredibly poppy and will hopefully do well as a single (It won the poll). But the incredibly uplifting and hopeful lyrics caught my attention and I had to hum along by the end. Once again, you must concentrate on the song itself, and try to forget this is LC. 7/10

6. Underdog. The end of the 'I've had enough of your crap' trio as they've become known in my head. I dare you not sing 'back down!' with Ferro. Another vocal strong point for the two, and a good song. 7/10

7. The Pain. I'm still not big on this one. It's okay for an album track but is a little lacklustre on it's own. Rather weak and dull. 4/10

8. Spellbound. The first song I heard of this album had me shocked. It's incredibly pop and obviously written as a single (which I have no problem with). Even so, I'm not impressed with this one. 5/10

9. Wide Awake. A breath-taking intro that shows that Scabbia has not lost it, she really is just restrained. Gorgeous and uplifting, a highlight. 9/10

10. The Maze. Ferro's best vocals are located here, and there is a perfect balance between the two. Impressive, but lacking something I just can't put my finger own. A grower, don't pass this one over after just one listen. 7/10

11. Unchained. I have to admit, Scabbia's 'uuuuuuunchained' started to grate after a few times. Similar vein to the previous track. Say the name of the track, and then a line, repeat. Rather annoying after a good previous track. 5/10

12. Shallow Life. I still can't like this one, no matter how much I want to. Perhaps it'll grow but it reminded me too much of 'The Pain'. I hope they avoid these types of song in the future. 5/10

Overall, there are some cracking tracks worth the price. LC have made an interesting concept here and there is nothing wrong with experimenting at all. However, I have hopes for the future, and after this foray in to new ideas, I think they'll move back to tried-and-tested.

My advice is to listen to the previews, and if you like it, like it, (I'm sorry, couldn't resist) buy it, as I will.

If you are a new listener, do not judge Lacuna Coil on this album alone. My favourites are 'In A Reverie' and 'Karmacode'.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not for Everyone., 12 Aug 2014
This review is from: Shallow Life (Limited Edition) (Audio CD)
So.... were to begin. Well, this album is very diffrent to any Lacuna Coil album that has come before it. It still has a rock and metal undertone to it with a hint of Gothic thrown in. But this time the band have gone for more of a pop like sound on this album. But dont let make you think that this album is know good.

I personally think that this album is ust what Lacuna coil needed to do. Do something diffrent, show everyone that the band can evolve and wont just bring out the same old stuff.

After a few tracks in you realise that they havent got ride of the soud that they have spent to so long creating, they have added to it and developet it a way that keeps there music fresh.

It is definalty an album that you should listern to before you buy, as it is not for everyone as you may find it just to diffrent. But saying that do give it a chance to grow on you.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars at last, a new(ish) band i can really get into!, 7 Oct 2010
This review is from: Shallow Life (Limited Edition) (Audio CD)
Dont want to bore everyone with a track by track disection of this album, suffice to say it has plenty for everyone, and hopefully will set the band on course for more worldwide recognition, which is always nice if your into a band. I would echo the other favourable reviews of the individual tracks, so you'll probably have read those already! I'm a 52 year old fan of all the usual classic rock stuff, and have been concerned and saddened by the gradual passing of some of my all time heroes, Ronnie Dio, for example.

Ronnie would be delighted to know that there actualy are new(ish) bands out there ready to assume the mantle. I saw Lacuna at Exeter on Tuesday last, and will definatly be booking for the next tour!

Lets not make life too complicated, Shallow life is great rock, aimed at the more mainstream rock fans. There really is nothing not to like. Having heard this, I then discoverd Karma code which is an all time classic by anyones interpretation of the word. Buy both, and book your gig tickets! How come I got into Lacuna?? ...via Megadeth and Dave Mustaine/Christinas duet on "Tout la monde". Anyway, anything Lacuna is ok by me from now on, just glad there will be bands like them around for the next ten years or so, for dinosaurs like me to go and see, until I die of too much rock!
...LONG LIVE ROCK AND ROLL!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Evolution.....possiblily, 24 April 2009
By 
A. J. White (Mid Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Shallow Life (Limited Edition) (Audio CD)
I was hugely looking forward to the release of this album and now have mixed feelings on it.

It is definately a step towards the mainsteam, but thats not always a bad step. I loved the start of Survive, with many of the tracks giving a more rockish sound compaired to the earlier albums, though some of the tracks, mainly unchained, do not do any justice to Cristina's awesome voice. Andrea's vocals seem to have improved a bit, he's better live than he is recorded imo.

Hopefully i will get another chance to see tham live again soon, last time was a few years ago and they were awesome.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Return To Form, 26 April 2009
By 
Warren Bubb - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Shallow Life (Limited Edition) (Audio CD)
Unleashed Memories & Comolies are two of the best goth metal albums arround so I expected great things from Karamcode. It should have been the album to take Lacuna Coil to worldwide fame. However it was a huge disappointment with only Our Truth and The Edge being up to standard.
I approached Shallow Life with caution then. But what a return to form it is. Gone are the meandering half songs of Karmacode and in their place punchy short melodic metal songs like the opener Survive, I Like It & Spellbound. Great production too. Lacuna Coil are back & how!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SHALLOW...LIFE! (NOT THE CD ;-P), 13 May 2009
This review is from: Shallow Life (Limited Edition) (Audio CD)
I have to confess that I was a bit worried about the outcome of this last LC effort; plus I'm a quite recent fan of the band, so you know, I was prepared not to like it so much as the previous one but, quoting one of their new songs...I LIKE IT!! More, the single "Spellbound" stand up well for the rest of the cd: you've got a good example of the rest of the work, what's the kind of music/production, it's all very linear clear,even if it sounds as an american one,it's not grungy at all.

Nevertheless it really depends on you personal taste, how much do you like this new path in LC music. First of all let me say that I think that for a relatively young group like this, perhaps to continue the style sound similar to "Karmacode"cd, would have been a smart choice, because their audience responded so well to it (and other bands like Ac/Dc, still replicate over and over again their same typical sound...): but for whatever personal reason they have to go this new and more mainstream way, they decided to change especially the pace, generally the whole work is way speedier than before, and stirred towards the hard-rock sound rather than the previous "slightly goth/dark melancholy" kind of feeling.

Is it worth it? I respect their new wave, even if a song like "I'm not afraid" sounds exactly like Linkin'Park stuff...however this doesn't bother me so much, because in the end they remain Lacuna Coil at the core, and this new record will be so much fun live for sure! Plus being italian I'm happy to hear something different from music that we always hear on the radio here.

All in all, if you were an hardcore fan of their previous times, probably you won't like it, if not, like me, give it a try and you'll enjoy it!
I presume that their next cd will tell us exactly the direction LC will want to follow, if this will be also their future, or just an experimental phase..however, at least, it isn't boring at all! Cheers ;-))

PS_the packaging is really nice, the purfum bottle that explodes in the inside of it: I remember some of the critics praises this good artwork..but there's more than meets the eye!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars everything is different with them. I LIKE IT, LIKE IT!! (2013 Review Update), 23 Jun 2009
By 
Michael Smith ""SAY HELLO TO GOOD TIMES"" (Norfolk, UK, in a little village named Crimplesham...) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Shallow Life (Limited Edition) (Audio CD)
I am going to leavetmy original review at the bottom of this new update.

In the four years since the release of Shallow Life, we have had an expanded two-disc set (released a year later), a new album (the better received Dark Adrenaline), a backlash from a large portion of the fan base, who saw this was a sell out, but also, surprisingly, further chart success in the USA!

So why the reevaluation now?

To put it simply: this album is a masterpiece. No, it isn't Comalies pt II, or even another Karmacode (my personal favourite). But with the passing of time and the gift of hindsight, it is clear to me now that this album was a pleasure for the band to record, and should have been a refreshing change of pace for the fanbase.

Every album by this band has been different from the one before. Karmacode was an absolute stonker of a release, pushing the band into more commercial territory while at the same time showing off the new and improved in pretty much every single way. The songs were more tightly produced, the melodies were powerful, Cristina sang like a siren AND a rock star, and it featured a powerful combination of European metal and American hard rock that sounded unique, and distinctly Lacuna Coil. It proved to be a major success, and with songs like Fragile, Our Truth and Closer, it also became a major opinion divider amongst the bands fanbase, who felt the band should perhaps have stuck to doing the same album over and over (this attitude still continues down to this day...).

So what to do next? Stick to creating the same album that widened their horizons to please the masses, or return to their older sound and please the fans?

Well, to their credit they chose neither direction. Instead they pushed in yet another direction, and almost became unrecognisable. And you know what? They pulled it off perfectly!

When I first heard Spellbound, I was dismayed. I both loved it and worried about it. I thought that it would be representative of the album. In short, I felt it was a tiny bit bland. Then the songs Not Enough and I'm Not Afraid were posted online. Not Enough instantly won me over. It was the pop anthem I always knew they had in them (my music taste has never been limited strictly to metal or hard rock), and I loved how brave they were to write and release such a song. Its melody also reminds me of great eighties rock and also The Never-Ending Story's theme song. Classic! And I felt the same about I'm Not Afraid.

The press photos were also at that time released, and I loved the new image. Cristina looked stunning in her pop diva dresses and at the same time I also completely understood the humour. This album is called Shallow Life, right? And they were mocking the celebrity lifestyle! Sadly this went over most people's heads, and for a long time many thought these pictures were representative of the bands new image. Irony isn't always readily understood, and since this albums release they have made a concentrated effort to be more direct, not only with their "dark" image, but also with who they describe as their influences. Shame, as I looked forward to a more colourful future!

Anyway, as you may have expected, I bought the album on the day of its release. I really did enjoy it, but much of the time spent listening to it that first week left me worried about the bands future, and a part of me thought that maybe they really were becoming shallow. Don't get me wrong, I was in on the joke, and I loved most of the albums songs, but there was something missing. But then the b-sides were released, and it became obvious I was right!

Oblivion, The Last Goodbye, Leaving Alone. All three of these songs were a tad more interesting than half the albums track list. It isn't an opinion. It is a fact. But rather than say the wrong songs were chosen for b-sides, it is my opinion that Shallow Life should have been a fifteen track album. Not one song deserved to be left off.

Over time, having already loved the album, I also gained a great deal of admiration for the risks the band took. The pop songs (Not Enough, Spellbound, I Like It) are startlingly great. I Like It is disco diva gold in a way that doesn't make one cringe in embarrassment! It doesn't matter to me if it doesn't sound like Unleashed Memories, it simply is the perfect pop song. The verses have a sinister edge, and then when the chorus kicks in it is like euro-pop heaven! And funnily enough, it still sounds like Lacuna Coil, even if it does sound a lot like ABBA.

Then there is Survive. What a creepy intro. Again, the chorus hits home, and a great way to kickstart the album. I Won't Tell You, Spellbound (which sounds much better when played with the rest of the album), Underdog and The Maze are brilliantly catchy. After four years of listening to these songs, I feel so glad about them. Lacuna Coil's back catalogue needed an extra boost in the anthem department, and this album is chock-a-block full of them! I love the moody metal of the bands first four albums, but I also am grateful they had a change of pace. Uptempo suits them just as well!

Then we get Unchained. Solid gold vocals from Cristina, she really lets her vocal runs rule this song (she would improve upon this style with Intoxicated on their next release). And the guitar solo is beautiful. The Pain...oh The Pain...for the longest time I hated this song. Now it is a highlight! Its got a robotic edge to it that reminds me of both mid-eighties Rush and Nine Inch Nails, and the album truly benefits from this darker edge. The lyrics are poetic and haunting. The final song, Shallow Life, is a wonderful throw back to Cold Heritage, a stand out ballad from Unleashed Memories. It is hypnotic, and the slower pace of this track ends the album on a sombre note that will tempt the avid listener to start the album all over again.

For the longest time, this album sounded like an enigma, the (very pretty) black sheep of the Lacuna Coil album catalogue. That was until 2012, when Lacuna Coil released the superb Dark Adrenaline. That album brought together various elements from all of Lacuna's albums, bringing back the darkness whilst continuing with the sharper songwriting techniques perfected on this release. Dark Adrenaline also helped to make Shallow Life comfortably settle alongside older works, and looking back on this release, I am surprised to note certain moments that hark back to older albums. Survive has a similar feel to many of the Karmacode tracks, The Maze is reminscent of certain songs from Comalies, and Shallow Life, The Last Goodbye and Oblivion (two of the b-sides) could have been leftover tracks from the Unleashed Memories recording sessions.

Not Enough, I Won't Tell You and The Pain point towards the future Dark Adrenaline album, whilst Wide Awake and Leaving Alone contribute something totally unique in the Lacuna Coil discography. Wide Awake is a widescreen ballad that could almost pass for being a Disney princess tune (it is beautiful), and Leaving Alone is one of my all time favourite songs. A simple melody, but it is fantastic. Something about it though doesn't sound quite like vintage Lacuna, but that isn't a bad thing at all, in fact it adds to the charm.

So there we go! An extra lengthy review of a sublime pop-rock album. Don't listen to the naysayers. If you want metal, look elsewhere. Lacuna Coil were never even pure metal in the first place. However, if you want a great alternative rock album with stylings of both pop and metal, try either this or Dark Adrenaline.

ORIGINAL REVIEW:

let me just start by saying its taken me a couple of weeks to come to this conclusion: Shallow Life is a great album, it just takes a while for it to all settle in!

firstly, no, this isn't a repeat of Comalies and Karmacode. but it is an easy evolution!

some of these songs are weak, i'm not fond of i won't tell you, or the pain. but aside from that, this is to me a pretty much perfect album!

songs like i'm not afraid, i like it, the maze, spellbound, unchained... pretty much every single song, bring joy to my day.

for a band who were previously gothic, they have evolved into a pop rock gun machine, firing out anthems as if they were hamster babies!! i really love this record. i say its their second, or third best album. comalies and karmacode are the ones fighting for the top spot along with this one!!
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rice Pudding Rock, 31 May 2009
By 
The Wolf (uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Shallow Life (Limited Edition) (Audio CD)
I has not been a great many years since Italy
(as with France) began to look beyond the confines
of its geographical and musical borders.

Lacuna Coil are one of those little bands who
have managed to synthesise the universal rule
book of rock in an attempt to make it their own.

'Shallow Life' is in many ways no better or worse
than their previous four albums. A little more economical
(most of the thirteen numbers coming in at around the
four minute mark); a little more mainstream-friendly but
essentially closer to the middle of the road than
many of their more cold-blooded peers.

I have a passing fondness for Ms Scabbia's voice.
It has some power, the ability to carry a tune and a
pleasing vibrato. Mr Ferro, however, is something of
an embarrassment - something to do with those long open
vowels perhaps ("I'll survaaaaaaaaave" [sic] - 'Survive';
"It's not enaaaaaaaaaarf" [sic] - 'Not Enough').
He sounds pretty much like any other bad male rock singer
you will have heard at any time over the past thirty years.
They should dump him and capitalise on their solitary vocal asset.

The rest of the band play never less than competently,
which is not to say that they ever really catch fire.
The arrangements are all pretty lame truth-be-told.

'I Like It' is about the best of a bad bunch - it's a
sort of Kylie-goes-mad-on-Clacton-pier kind of song ....
( sorry, that's about as close as I can get
by way of a subjective description !)

'Underdog' takes itself so seriously with its heavy-handed
riff and turgid vocal harmonies (Mr Ferro really excels with
a fine display of strutting macho braggadocio on this one !)
it made me laugh out loud.

'The Maze' begins with an almost interesting semi-yodel-like
ululation from Ms Scabbia but once again her partner-in-crime
pulls the rug out from beneath her feet and beats a potentially
decent song into dumb submission.

Well - you're probably getting my drift by now and I am
(as so often) at risk of droning on and on - but how to
summarise (?); how to conclude (?).

If you like your rock music tame, tepid and
formulaically bland then look no further.

At Your Own Risk.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not As Heavy But Still Amazing, 20 April 2009
By 
Julia Noller "Julia" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Shallow Life (Limited Edition) (Audio CD)
As Soon As I Put The Cd On I Was Hit With A Mix Of Cristina's Vocals And An Upbeat Dance Style Mix. I Was Amazed.

Alot Of People Don't Like This New Album Because It's So Different To What Lacuna Coil Are Known For But In My Opinion It Just Makes This Album Better Showing How They Can Incorporate More Than One Genre Of Music Into Their Songs.

For Me, The Best Songs On The Album Are 'I Won't Tell You', 'I'm Not Afraid', 'Wide Awake'(Really Beautiful Song) And 'Spellbound'.

Unfortunately, Andrea's Voice Still Annoys Me And If It Wasn't For Him This Album Would Be 5Star Worthy In My Opinion. His Vocals Especially Annoy Me On 'The Maze'.

If You Like OLD Lacuna Coil And Don't Like Change Then This Album Isn't Really For You! But Overall I Personally Think This Is A Really Upbeat Album And I Can't Wait To Go And See Them At Download Festival This Year!!!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shallow Life, 5 Aug 2009
This review is from: Shallow Life (Limited Edition) (Audio CD)
The music on this album is definatly 100% better than what lacuna coil have been producing in the last few years its gone back to the much more exciting sound of Comalies which in my opinion is their best album which will probably never be beaten by any other album they make in the future but this is definatly very very close, there isn't 1 song on this album which is likely to be skipped so overall 4/5 stars
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Shallow Life (Limited Edition)
Shallow Life (Limited Edition) by Lacuna Coil (Audio CD - 2009)
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