by Live

Album: Songs From Black Mountain (2006)
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  • For Live singer Ed Kowalczyk, this track is representative of his songwriting style, which is, well, mysterious. He told Wortraub: "If you try to get a linear meaning from a song like 'Mystery' it is going to leave you kind of blank, because from phrase to phrase I am just intimating a kind of feeling depth which has to be experienced as an emotional event, or as a feeling event. There isn't much linear meaning that I put in it. That's true for a lot of these songs. For Live in general, from my point of as a lyricist. To a song like Lightning Crashes' I have never attached much actual linear meaning. It is more important to drop that and just feel it. Another tenet of Buddhism, which I resonate with profoundly, is that you must experience the depths of life, love, mind and heart directly yourself. You cannot take anybody's word for it. So to be effective, art doesn't need an inherent meaning."
  • Kowalczyk explains how the concept of mystery influenced the album: "As a father, I'm always thinking about ways to tell my daughters about God or love or these big things. And I just think it's the mystery, you know, I really love that word. The whole record Songs From Black Mountain is really just an ongoing expression of that mystery and how I feel in it."
  • This was the album's second single, following "The River."
  • This was Live's final album with Kowalczyk, who left the band in 2009 (he came back in 2016). But at the time, it was guitarist Chad Taylor who considered leaving because he was so frustrated by his diminishing role in the group. He explained: "By the time Black Mountain came around, I could care less. Jim Wirt, the producer was writing all of the guitar parts. I took it as a challenge to find a way to further give of myself but I never stayed in the studio for more than a few hours at a time. This wasn't my music any longer; this wasn't the band I envisioned. I knew it was time to walk away but had no idea how to do it."
  • Chris Daughtry performed this with Live on the season 5 finale of American Idol. Daughtry, who finished in fourth place, caused a stir earlier in the season when he sang Johnny Cash's "I Walk The Line" based on Live's 2001 cover and appeared to take credit for the interpretation. (He later claimed he did give Live credit in a pre-performance segment that was cut out.) To show there were no hard feelings, Live showed up to perform "Mystery" with the singer on the finale.


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