Rasputina A Radical Recital

This 19-track album was recorded live at Mr. Smalls’ Funhouse in Pittsburgh, PA and comes complete with a full concert’s worth of songs and all the related between song banter (about everything from Hitler’s testicles to ID cards made of grains of rice and planted beneath the skin). The sound quality is crisp for a live recording and the show has been well mixed — the vocals are way out in front, which works well since Rasputina’s quirky and unusual lyrics deserve to be highlighted, with everything else falling in a dense layer behind (so much so in a few instances that some of Rasputina’s more traditional instrumentation, including cello, gets lost behind the drums and electric guitar riffs). The songs on this live effort vary between those louder electric numbers and more stripped-down intimate affairs consisting only of vocals and strings, which are ultimately the ones that tend to come off best here. For the most part the 19 songs are strong selections, though a couple do stumble and falter and could probably have been excluded from the set/disc. Fans of Rasputina and their studio recordings will want to check out A Radical Recital for the looser "jam” feel and the general candid atmosphere of the live show, as well as for that unique energy that only seems to be infused in music when performed in front of a audience. A solid live offering. (Classy Criminal)