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Love This Life - A Song For All Occasions 
By David Demarest

David Culiner of Love This Life is an artist, a musician, a part time philosopher, and most recently, a clothier to the stars.  All of this must go a long ways towards explaining why the production of his band’s debut album, “A song for all occasions,” has been an eight year process.  For sure he’s been busy, but he’s also been careful: Careful to put together the right mix of songs produced with the right group of musicians and packaged along with pages of uplifting and life affirming slogans.  

Specifically, that’s what he’s done with Love This Life’s new album “A song for all occasions.”  While creator David Culiner may insist that “Love this Life is whoever happens to be around when the music’s written, recorded, broadcast, or performed,” the album’s actual pedigree is far more impressive (though everyone should at least appreciate the feel good sentiment intended.).  Solidly grounded by drummer Pete Maloney (Dishwalla, Josh Clayton Felt) and bassist David Sutton (Tears for Fears, Tracy Chapman, Liz Phair), the searching melodies of David Culiner and lead guitarist David Duncan bring a slightly haunting vibe to most of the tracks, and the album is masterfully mixed and engineered by Jeff Sheehan (Nirvana, Black Crows, Tom Petty). 

Certainly, this is an album put together with a good deal of style, and given the time and talent of everyone involved, that’s exactly what you’d expect.  What you might not expect are some of the more human touches involved in this project.  Independently made, you can buy this album off of Love This Life’s diverse website (maybe pick up some yoga togs while you’re there) for about $10, which in my opinion ought to be the industry standard but isn’t.  What you get for your money is a CD that was made without cutting any corners.  The cover and inside art are beautiful, the notes extensive, and the lyrics are included in the liner.  The art on the CD itself is full color and the musical content comes through clear and well balanced.  In short, there’s a lot of good to be said about this album all around.

Unfortunately, there are drawbacks to “A song for all occasions,” as well.  Some of them serious.  For starters, as much as its creator may want to believe that it is, this is not a rock album.  The exhaustive balancing and harmonizing work have smoothed out whatever rock edge might have once existed on the album.  Secondly, and perhaps more seriously, Love This Life does not seem to be born out of any traditional rock background (rebellion, angst, or musical exploration, for instance), but is a rather more reflective album focused both on what life has been to this point and what it could be for the future.  Which is all fine, but it isn’t rock and roll. 

This album comes by it’s faults honestly enough: after all, this is hardly a make or break effort for Culiner- if it sells, if it finds an audience, great.  If not… well, don’t feel bad for David Culiner, I have a feeling he’s doing just fine.  Additionally, this album has come together over the space of several years, which is reflected not only in its lack of mistakes, but the years of rehashing also result in a  feeling that’s been pared down past the point of expressing much of the original (probably) emotional intent. 

All in all, I liked this album just okay.  The listening experience improves quite a bit after a few drinks, when you’ve got the mindset and the inclination to believe that everything is going to turn out fine after all- or that it already has.  Perhaps that’s the best occasion of all for Love This Life’s “A song for all occasions.”

CD Info 

Love This Life - A Song For All Occasions
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