Jane's Addiction "The Great Escape Artist" Album Review — 5 out of 5 stars
Mon, 09 Jan 2012 16:16:23
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Jane's Addiction's 2011 album, The Great Escape Artist, absolutely demands re-visitation.
Within the press and online, there have been many recent claims that rock is dead. Electronic music currently rules the entire pop cultural landscape—whether it's Deadmau5 headlining Lollapalooza, Skrillex cutting a record with The Doors, or Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross winning an Oscar. On the other end of the spectrum, rappers and pop stars continue to churn out easily digestible singles. So, the question is where does an expansive and all-encompassing rock album fit in?
The answer is simple. It doesn't need to fit in.
Do you think Jimmy Page and Keith Richards sat around worry if they were "cool" or if the media would accept them? Rock music was never about being a sycophant; it's about living on the fringe and pushing the envelope. Jane's Addiction do both tenfold on The Great Escape Artist. The group challenges themselves and the genre. No two Jane's Addiction albums are alike. The Los Angeles alternative godfathers never repeated themselves. Listen to the evolution from Nothing's Shocking to Ritual de lo Habitual. In addition, Strays exists in its own sphere.
Every element that made Jane's Addiction so goddamn revolutionary is coursing through The Great Escape Artist's veins. After a gothic hum, Perry Farrell's one-of-a-kind wail pierces through Dave Navarro's robust riffing. Entwining together, Farrell and Navarro are the ultimate duo in line with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, and Ozzy Osbourne and Tony Iommi, yet completely in their own realm. Navarro's psychedelic leads complement Farrell's mystical crooning, and it's nothing short of magical under the production of Rich Costey [Muse] and instrumental contributions from TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek.
Strengthening the sonic wizardry that abounds, percussive maestro Stephen Perkins fuels the whirlwind with fiery tribal beats on the magnificent "End to the Lies" as Navarro seamlessly oscillates from a distorted crunch into spacey harmonies. "Curiosity Kills" gives Farrell the spotlight with one of his best hooks ever as well as "I'll Hit You Back". Same goes for "Irresistible Force (Met The Immovable Object)", which is pure Farrell—a love song in space.
"Twisted Tales" remains classic Jane's Addiction diving right into the Los Angeles underbelly and telling a story of darkness that's as theatrical as it is haunting. "Splash A Little Water On It" is like Jane's Addiction's answer to "Stairway to Heaven". It's an elegant epic about the morning after one hell of a party punctuated by Navarro's lilting strum and Farrell's cinematic storytelling. Everything spirals out into a soaring lead and drum combo at the end. Then, everything culminates on the 21st century cyber thrash of "Words Right Out Of My Mouth" gliding on Navarro's last magnificently malevolent riff.
In the end, rock 'n' roll isn't dead, nor will it ever be.If anything, The Great Escape Artist is living and breathing proof that Jane's Addiction is not only alive and kicking, but rock 'n' roll is also as alive as ever.
Do you dig The Great Escape Artist? How alive is rock 'n' roll?
Watch the video for "End to the Lies" here!
See our feature on The Great Escape Artist here!