With Birds of Pray, Live attempts to mine a territory very close to its nearly 10-year-old career-maker, Throwing Copper.

With Birds of Pray, Live attempts to mine a territory very close to its nearly 10-year-old career-maker, Throwing Copper. But the group does not strike the same sort of gut-wrenching gold attained on past songs like "Lightning Crashes." Lead single "Heaven" and the punchy guitars in "Like I Do" come mighty close though, offering the same sweeping power-rock motifs that fueled Live's 1994 release. Unfortunately, it becomes very apparent that too many tracks, while technically fine, sound too similar. Also a letdown is the album's overriding theme—love as spiritual awakening—which is more preachy than it needs to be. To pump up the proceedings, Birds producer Jim Wirt, who has molded Incubus' intriguing work, should have put a heavier stamp on this project.—SA