Those of you who have been reading the Figurehead for awhile know how I came to appreciate Mr. Leo’s band. For those who don’t know here’s a brief synopsis: went to ATL to see Death Cab for Cutie, hung out too long before the show and missed the opener comletely – Ted Leo + R/X, got home from the show and bought Shake the Sheets to find out what I missed, issued an open letter to Ted in apology on the Figurehead. Since then I’ve worn Shake The Sheets out. I love it. It’s pure Irish sounding punky pop. My wife says it sounds like 80’s soundtrack rock – that’s a good thing. So it was with much anticipation that I awaited Living With the Living.
I expected it to be one of my favorites of 2007. Sometimes in life though, there are disappointments – some minor some huge. Living With the Living qualifies as a minor disappointment. It’s good. I expected great. It has it’s moments as Ted is highly politically charged on this album. Son’s of Cain is Shake The Sheets material along with a few other tracks. The real difference between this and the previous release is that LWTL has a few real duds on it: Bomb.Repeat.Bomb is horrible. Memo to Ted: You guys aren’t Rage Against the Machine.
The final verdict:Living With the Living is better than the garbage you’ll hear on the radio. Hampton, get this album today and throw that Fall Out Boy rubbish out with the trash. Ted Leo is musical genius (of sorts). Don’t go into this album expected to be blown away though (unless you’ve been listening to Fall Out Boy). Remember this: GOOD NOT GREAT and in spots BAD (compared to previous work).