This article is about the N-Dubz album. For the Zelda album and song, see Zelda (band).
Love.Live.Life is the third studio album to be released by British hip-hop group N-Dubz, released on 29 November 2010, as a collaboration by All Around the World and Island Records. Following the release of the album the group announced an indefinite hiatus to focus on all three individual solo projects.
The group began recording the album following the success of Against All Odds. Following the success of the group's MOBO Award-winning single "Playing with Fire", the group announced that they would be embarking on a trip to the United States in an attempt to secure a record deal for themselves there. The group, however, were banned from travelling to the country because of visa issues which were later resolved in early February.Def Jam Recordings boss L.A. Reid, a big N-Dubz fan, then arranged a meeting with the group with the intention of signing the trio to his label. In May 2010, it was announced that the group had secured a five-album recording deal with Def Jam, and that they would be flying to Los Angeles to record their third studio album with American producers Dr. Luke and Jim Jonsin. The group recorded the album with American producers Salaam Remi, Jean Baptiste Kouame and Jim Jonsin on the album who are well known for their work with the likes of Amy Winehouse, The Black Eyed Peas and Beyoncé Knowles. The producers recording with the album issues with the group's British slang on the tracks and as a result the group improved their vocabulary but put their creative foot down and in the end lost none of their roots on the album. Words like "Blood" and "You get me?" were removed from the final edit of the album, but the group's trademark phrase "Na, na, niii" remained as the group did not want to lose the respect they had earned from their British fans. The making of the album was released on DVD.
"We Dance On" was released on 20 May 2010 as the album's lead single. It peaked at #5 on the UK Singles Chart. The song was also included on the soundtrack to the film Streetdance 3D. "Best Behaviour" was released on 17 October 2010 as the second single from the album. It peaked at 10 in both the UK and Scotland, and became a top 40 hit in Ireland. The song also appears on Skepta's album Doin' It Again. "Girls" was released as the album's third single on 12 December 2010. It peaked at 19 on the UK Singles Chart. A fourth track from the album, "So Alive" was released as single on 6 February 2011. The album's fifth and final single, "Morning Star" was released on 14 March.
Music videos for "Took It All Away" and "Cold Shoulder" were recorded and released in promotion of the album. "Took It All Away" features clips from the video game LittleBigPlanet. "Cold Shoulder" features footage of the Love.Live.Life tour.
The album has received mixed reviews from contemporary music critics. Gavin Martin of the Daily Mirror gave the album a three star rating, deeming it upbeat and boisterous. Martin felt that "[the album's] quality wavers but Transatlantic studio muscle and tracks like 'Toot It and Boot It' may see an advance on [N-Dubz's] U.S. ambitions." While David Smyth from the Evening Standard said that with the release of the album, "[N-Dubz are] in too much of a hurry to develop their frantic, hip-pop sound, though the finger-clicking R&B of 'Toot It and Boot It' and name-check for Lil' Wayne in 'Girls' show a definite Americanisation in their music." Smyth complimented how when the group keep things simple, like on "Love Sick", they show a great ear for a good tune. He, however, criticised how tracks on the album sound like three songs playing at once, "suitable [only] for a teenager's minimal attention span." Andy Gill of The Independent deemed the album as "a fairly predictable fare", highlighting "So Alive" as its best track: "The best piece on here is 'So Alive,' blessed with bullient bonhomie which despite the lingering attitude, proves engagingly infectious." Fraser McAlpine from NME said of the album: "What N-Dubz try to express as anthemic wisdom always seems to come out braggier and shoutier than they mean to." Killian Fox of The Observer felt that for all the album's dynamism, it feels like a formula-driven move, and its insistence on having fun wears thin. While Fiona Sheperd of The Scotsman said that Love.Live.Life oscillates between processed mulch such as "Love Sick" and more successful grime crossover tracks like "So Alive". Sheperd further deemed the album as "still just kids' stuff."
The Love.Live.Life. Tour commenced on 11 April 2011 in the Isle of Wight. A DVD of the tour was released on 22 August 2011. The DVD was recorded during the concert at the O2 Arena on 30 April 2011.