Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Review: Jane's Addiction - The Great Escape Artist

 On listening to The Great Escape Artist the fourth album and first collection of new material since their 2008 reunion from alternative rock heroes Jane's Addiction, it is very easy to identify uniqueness that first made them a breath of fresh air when they released Nothing's Shocking back in 1988, bringing a sense of dynamism and respectability to the sweaty hair-metal dominated L.A. rock scene.

 In the twenty three years that followed, the group has mellowed down and matured, but with this they have given themselves a greater sense of sophistication and grace. With greater work with synthesizers and the emotive vocals of Perry Farrell, this album manages to dwell a greater emotional impact than their wilder releases.
 With rousing choruses and hard-hitting-with-a-maintained-sense-of-control riffs from Dave Navarro, The Great Escape Artist often carries an uplifting feel about it, Irresistible Force and End to the Lies being excellent examples of this.
 At other points, the band manage to create a dramatic and chilling atmosphere to their music, with synthesized backdrops and experimental vocal effects. Ultimate Reason features the kind of melancholic and brooding backdrop one may expect to find in a Deftones song, mixed with classic hard rock rather than nu metal. Maybe that's a weird way to look at it. Either way, it's a very beautiful and engaging sound.
 And of course, closer Words Right Out of My Mouth diverts from this style for a bit to present us with some traditional hard rock which really captures their earlier spirit, and still manages to display their wilder streak.
 The overall impression that The Great Escape Artist gives is that Jane's Addiction has clearly matured but still manage to create a sound that is just so gripping and... cool. Basically, it shows that Jane's Addiction are a band that are still going strong.

Jane's Addiction's The Great Escape Artist is out now via Capitol Records.

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