Record Bulletin

Sleater-Kinney – “Live in Paris” Review

SK_coverSLEATER-KINNEY – Live in Paris (Sub Pop): Four from No Cities to Love (2015), four from The Woods (2005), one from One Beat (2002), one from The Hot Rock (1999), two from Dig Me Out (1997), and one from Call the Doctor (1996), and not exactly what I’d call a roster of their greatest hits. But live albums are only useful insofar as they illuminate a quality about the artist the studio can’t quite capture even if the studio versions are superior—It’s Too Late to Stop Now salvages Hard Nose the Highway, The Name of This Band is Talking Heads proved Byrne could work himself into a frenzy, London Sessions revealed LCD Soundsystem were human. Live in Paris demonstrates just how fucking raw the trio are, apparent in all their studio albums but far more unhinged. While none of the performances are sloppy, it makes several studio takes—particularly the poppy “Oh!”—sound relatively tame in comparison. How good is it at a live album? It made me dig out No Cities to Love after I’d hardly listened to since I finished writing about it in 2015, and it’s made me completely reconsider The Woods, which I’ve always been ambivalent about. So I don’t mind that it’s heavily loaded with their later work. It’s just what I needed. B PLUS (***)

Related:

Sleater-Kinney – No Cities to Love (Sub Pop ’15): A MINUS
Corin Tucker Band – Kill My Blues (Kill Rock Stars ’12): B PLUS (**)

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