Record Street Music
Pop Rock, 2020
When other actors of Hollywood are busy starting OnlyFans or selling their houses during a time when their gigs dry up, Jeremy Renner is busy living his dream as a rock star. Live for Now offers another seven songs as a follow-up to The Medicine, which was released earlier this year, and in some ways it is a more confident, competent effort.
Mr Renner seems pretty serious about this gig, as he slips increasingly more comfortably into his rock star leather pants and rock out like… well, I wish I can say that the songs here are distinct and bears some kind of trademark vibe that is uniquely his, but to be honest, many of the songs here feel like generic callbacks to more established rock and alternative acts out there. That’s not to say that this album is dull—far from it, in fact.
Sippy Cup is an upbeat kind of fun with a sexy kind of swagger, while song with the grammatically-dubious title She’s a Fire sees him shaking out some dramatic vocal chops alongside Eric Zayne. Both men’s voices complement one another very well in the latter, serving up some Bee Gees-gone-heavy goodness and making it one of the standout moments in this album. The title track is one of the more contemporary rock tunes in this album, and it has this irresistible “we’re waving our lighters and singing along with the band on stage” atmosphere to the rousing chorus. Likewise, The One is one of those “sing along with the band” songs with a feel-good… everything… really, like that one good song that got away from Train.
Even on the slower burn tracks, such as the ballad Stereo Love, projects positive feelings and even uplifting moments. The songs in this album are pretty much in keeping with the name of the album: it’s all about cautious optimism. Hope for the best, look ahead with our chins high, but all the same, let’s take one day at a time and Live for Now.
Earlier this year, I will never imagine I would be saying this, but here it is: I think I’m actually warming up to the idea of Jeremy Renner as a pop-rock singer. No, really, the songs on this album are all pretty good, even if they all fall into the rather generic mold as rock songs go, and yeah, I have a great time. Maybe by the next time he comes around singing again, I may stop feeling this vague sense of embarrassment for feeling this way.