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.