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Taken from Soulshine.com.au (Oct 03, 2007)

Vodafone Live at the Chapel Series 2

Vodafone's intimate chapel shows make their way onto the second instalment of the album releases.

by Max Easton

Michael FrantiLive compilation CD’s have a funny little dynamic…particularly when the songs making up the album span from a variety of shows. They tend to lose that sense of continuity that a good album possesses, it feels jerky and rough and it’s often an uncomfortable listen. Unfortunately, despite some fantastic performances, Vodafone’s Live at the Chapel follows the same fate. What it lacks in a steady ebb and flow though, it more than makes up with excellent live performances and impeccable sound quality, delivered straight from a 150 year old bluestone chapel in Victoria’s South Yarra.

Ranging from a variety of local favourites to a few international heavyweights, Live at the Chapel puts together a much loved line-up of artists spanning rock, blues and pop to deliver a 17-track collection that captures the intimacy of the venue and, for the most, the talent of the performers.

The album begins with a sombre rendition of Eskimo Joe’s ‘Black Fingernails, Red Wine’ before immediately hitting the peak of the album in a stunning live performance by Michael Franti and Spearhead. A soft, breezy version of ‘Sometimes’ is followed by ‘Everybody Deserves Music’ reaching a crescendo which isn’t matched for the rest of the album. While Franti lifts the album to another level, The Veronicas do the polar opposite…delivering a poor performance of a poor song that actually makes you wish they were miming this time.

Other highlights include Noel Gallagher’s crooning ‘Slide Away,’ a high energy performance of ‘Come On Come On’ by Little Birdy and a couple of great tracks by John Mayer that make this album an enjoyable listen for the most.

Live at the Chapel is a good album. You can listen to it start to finish and aside from a few jabs at the skip button, you’ll probably like it. It’s just marred by the fact that we’ve heard it all before…Something For Kate is on the radio every day, Evermore are inescapable and Wolfmother is aurally plastered across every ad, movie and TV show you stumble upon. The album covers a broad range of musical genres, with a focus on the commercial, so it’s very much a cut and paste of the tracks that have been on high rotation on commercial radio the last few years. While there are some golden moments, the solid gold is tarnished by far too many average versions of average songs and thus makes it an average album. It’s hard to criticise the album since I find myself going back to it to listen to Franti and Gallagher, but 6 or 7 songs don’t make an album and since the album spans so many genres, it’s likely there will only be 6 or 7 that you’ll like.

Live at the Chapel is an excellent purchase for anybody with a sonic range that covers the entire artist line-up, but for those that are a little pickier, you’ll struggle to listen to the album from start to finish without wearing out the skip button on your stereo.


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