Vixen – Live & Learn (2007)

Vixen - Live & Learn

Vixen – Live & Learn (2007, Demolition)

  1. Anyway
  2. Live & Learn
  3. I Try
  4. Little Voice
  5. Pacifist
  6. Don’t Want It Anymore
  7. Love Song
  8. Angry
  9. I’m Sorry
  10. You Wish
  11. Suffagette City
  12. Give Me Away

Band Lineup:
Jan Kuehnemund – Guitars
Jenna Sanz-Agero – Vocals
Kathrin Kraft – Drums
Lynn Louise Lowrey – Bass

Total Time – 43:46

Vixen official website

I had no idea that Vixen was releasing a new album in 2007. The last time I saw anything on the band was VH-1’s Bands Reunited show and even that wasn’t that good. Back in the day, I bought into the Vixen hype and I bought VIXEN (1988) and REV IT UP (1990). Both were fairly good ’80s Hard Rock albums, more oriented for the mainstream charts and MTV than diehard Metal fans. I figured I’d give this new Vixen offering a try and see what Vixen 2007 has to offer.

This isn’t the Vixen people remember from the ’80s glory days, this is something completely different in disguise as Vixen. Vixen’s sound was built upon good production, soaring vocals, lush background harmonies, a strong rhythm section, and Jan Kuehnemund’s guitar heroics. Unfortunately, most of these elements are missing in action on LIVE & LEARN:

  1. The vocals are not on par with what we’ve come to expect. Jenna Sanz-Agero has a completely different style and texture than former lead singer Janet Gardner. It’s a monotone, laid back delivery from Sanz-Agero rather than the soaring vocals Gardner employed. Not one song stands out vocally, almost like bad karaoke. Forget the lush backgrounds, they’ve disappeared.
  2. Where is the guitar? Kuehnemund is totally restrained and barely lets loose come solo time. I can barely hear her anyway because she’s lost in the mix.
  3. The production sucks. It’s a muddy mix, nothing sounds clear except the vocals which are pushed out front. This is probably done on purpose to enhance the performance in order to make it sound good. The guitars are lost and the background vocals sound like they were recorded in a cardboard box.
  4. The lyrics and arrangements are boring. I’ve heard it all done before from other female acts during the late ’90s. Bad material is bad material. I couldn’t get into any song and not one sounded memorable. Nothing catchy and a Bowie cover thrown in for good measure to make it worse.

I can’t really fault Lowrey and Kraft as they seemed to gel despite these shortcomings, they were the only highlight.

Bottom Line:
This is Vixen only in name. There is nothing in common between the Vixen of old and this current incarnation. The material is sub-par and is a far cry from the ’80s heyday. I’ve listened to this over and over trying to find something to spark my interest but I came away bored and annoyed. A big disappointment.

8 comments on “Vixen – Live & Learn (2007)

  1. A band I have never been able to like! They always seemed so manufactured for MTV when they first came out – the sound, the look, everything. I remember seeing them on the bill at Milton Keynes Bowl in’89 below Bon Jovi & Europe and above Skid Row and they just looked lost on a huge stage. At that point I think I decided never to bother with Vixen again!

    Thanks for the heads up on this album then…..

  2. I am always wary of any release where it’s just one original member left. Even worse when it’s not the vocalist. I think I heard their first two albums maybe once a piece when they first came. I remember them being alright, but nothing stood out about them.

  3. Okay, now i know that i should not buy this album. Thanks steve. I still think its sad because i liked like you the first two albums and i even have some 7″singles and maxi picture discs of the band. TAke care and thankssssssss.

  4. Pingback: The 5 Worst Albums of 2007 « Heavy Metal Addiction

  5. You all must still be living in the 80s. This new album is a breath of fresh air for ROCKNROLL!!! Modern, cutting edge. Not the same old droning tuned down guitars allmost every band uses today to sell there angry whiny sound, This new Vixen is the best Vixen. They have been together longer than the vixen of the 80s which had the hits,and, that version of the band wasnt even the (originals). The music is complex, and the production is good. Dennis mccay, is the producer, remember judas priest. Bowie, the list of credits is enormous. If it sounds bad on your stereo, chances are its time for a new stereo. I can crank that album allmost to max with zero distortion, and the bass will blow you out of your seat. I wonder how much of the album you have actually listened to. No guitars??? have you heard pacifist? I try. or you wish just to name a few. You want soaring vocals put in love song. Not to bash janet gardner, but Jenna is a vocalist. Not a flash in the pan, i sound like i am going thru puberty screamer. Thank god. Dont take anyones word on this album listen for yourself and you will see. give it a fair shake. Vixen is one of the best live shows you will ever see!!

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