Living Colour CollideØscope

It's been ten years since the actually quite cool Living Colour released their third album, the too-smart-for-you Stain, which kind of flopped. Looks like they figured the time was nigh for a reunion, and why the hell not? The hard music scene can always use a band with a bit of brains, and with CollideØscope, Living Colour don't disappoint. As always, variety is the order of the day with these talented musicians, with the band jumping from traditional hard rock, to groovy near-funk (bleh) to a reggae-tinged number, experimental soundscapes, etc. But it wouldn't pack half the punch it does if we didn't have singer Corey Glover with his soulful crooning (which, granted, can be a bit much sometimes) and socio-political lyrics that address everything from consumer culture to the never-ending American raids on foreign countries. Surprisingly vital return to form here, not that these guys ever lost it; more like they just got a whole lot brainier than we did way back when, and we needed the ten years to figure it all out. (Sanctuary)