Jane's Addiction "The Great Escape Artist" — A Preview Peek Behind the Curtain
Fri, 09 Sep 2011 11:33:22
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"This was a real Jane's Addiction record," said producer Rich Costey [Muse, Interpol] while summing up the legendary quartet's fourth studio album, The Great Escape Artist.
No one would know better than Costey either. The producer was there for every moment of The Great Escape Artist's creation, and his signature style certainly shines through.
Standing in the center of El Dorado Studios, Costey introduced the album for an intimate listening session. Before pressing "play", he revealed an interesting fact that The Great Escape Artist was actually recorded on the same console the band cut Nothing's Shocking and Ritual de lo Habitual on. As soon as the music begin to unravel during "Underground", that same magic from those two seminal works of art also intoxicated the tightly packed room.
Guitar god Dave Navarro's thunderous fretwork raises the curtain for The Great Escape Artist. As a wall of warm distortion builds, galactic bells pierce through as Perry Farrell begins a vocal love letter to the "Underground" that figures so prominently in his lyrics. Navarro's lead cuts through the haze with a controlled chaos as Farrell delivers one of his most potent choruses to date exclaiming, "I try and get some love from up high. There just ain't enough to go around".
Just as the drama reaches a climax, everything subsides into a psychedelic tribal drum break from Stephen Perkins. It's intense, infectious, and immortally incredible. It's Jane's Addiction at their finest.
The energy mounts on "End to the Lies" as a slow bass thump falls into Navarro's six-string hum. Farrell calls out liars of all kinds with an angelic intonation that sees him reaching mind-bending heights as a vocalist while Perkins lays down an intricate percussive palette.
TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek collaborated with the group on the entire album, and his otherworldly influence accentuates the songs with just the right dose of daring. As a result, songs such as "Curiosity Kills" sound like Led Zeppelin in outer space. After a watery echo, Navarro's guitar emanates a siren squeal as Farrell once again transfixes. A stellar solo sails off following the bridge of Farrell sensitively cooing, "Look away, look away, but you couldn't look away".
It's impossible to look away from "Irresistible Force (Met the Immovable Object)" either. It's starkly soulful and sexual all at once. That seductive side comes out full force, and it sees the band examine one of their favorite topics—sex. "I'll Hit You Back" captures the punky spirit of Jane's Addiction at their most raw via Costey's unparalleled modern production style.
Another standout, "Twisted Tales", floods the senses with more sonic ambrosia. The guitar part could be the theme to the next James Bond film or it could fit over Last Tango in Paris. It's sleek and soaring, once again illuminating that Navarro fits alongside Jimmy Page, Pete Townshend, and Tony Iommi as one of the greatest to ever pick up an axe.
During the elegant thrashing of "Ultimate Reason", the band dives headfirst into a vibrant violence only they can comprehend. However, "Splash A Little Water On It" paints a voyeuristic visual of either recovering from an insane party or preparing for one. Take your pick. Farrell's elegant wordplay is so mystical that it could be one or the other. He doesn't have to tell either. It'd ruin one of the most incredible songs the band has written.
"Broken People" conjures the spirit of "Jane Says", but the acoustic guitar is piped through a funnel of effects. Still, it's got another classic chorus. Everything closes out on "Words Right Out Of My Mouth". It's the album's heaviest track, and all kinds of demons flurry out of the instrumental assault. Still, a calm persists during the bridge's acoustic break and the yin and yang of Jane's Addiction's sound hits harder than ever.
Jane's Addiction have architected another timeless record by simply doing what they do best—being "real". Behind every verse and riff, there's a surprise. The Great Escape Artist will live with listeners forever because of that honesty.
Watch our premiere of the "End to the Lies" music video here!
Are you excited for The Great Escape Artist when it drops on October 18, 2011?