^ Live really only had one good album ... Throwing Copper.
Oh, I disagree. I actually don't even like that album very much at all. Secret Samedi and The Distance to Here are much better albums IMO. I think the actual songwriting on that album is quite childish compared to their other albums. Their next two albums are straight down the road melodic rock but demonstrating extremely strong melodic and lyrical skills and showcasing extremely tight musicianship. Nothing that's going to set the world on fire, and nothing particularly original, but also musically unpretentious (extremely pretentious lyrically however) and clearly a band loving what they do. Things rapidy disintegrated after that however, their last 3 albums were nowhere near as good.
Anyway, time for a rant.
I do think (this isn't directed at anyone here) that a lot of people have their heads stuffed firmly up their asses when it comes to music. Too many fashion victims. The Emo kids who listen to the music simply because it's depressing, or simply because they like the singer's hair are no better or worse than those who dismiss the entire genre of music they listen to because
Emo kids with shitty hairstyles and stupid makeup listen to it.
A lot of people dismiss music because it is unoriginal in it's style. Unoriginal is a fair criticism to level at music, but originality or breaking stylistic ground is not the be all and end all of everything. Plenty of mainstream artists produce fascinating composition within very restrictive boundaries. In some ways I find this skill itself to be very impressive. Dismissal of the mainstream is another big problem with pretentious music listeners as well, the idea that soemthing can't be good because it has widespread appeal is as lamentably stupid as thinking that something must be good because it does have widespread appeal.
It's when you hit rock bottom with bands like Nickelback that you have a problem, a band that utterly fails to forge ahead stylistically, but also writes completely uninspired compositions that simply borrow riffs and structures from other bands (or even from previous songs of their own, which in turn were stolen from somewhere else!) and add nothing at all of their own.