Jane’s Addiction – The Great Escape Artists: a Track by Track Review

The new Jane’s Addiction album is out Tuesday, October 18th.  This is their 4th studio album.  That should be repeated:  FOURTH studio album.  Britney Spears has seven.  For Jane’s, less is more.

Random Notes:

-The album is 10 tracks and only 39 minutes.  Before you think you’re getting cheated at the till, hear this:  there isn’t a wasted track or a single underdeveloped idea on the record.  It’s complete and potent in it’s current state.

1.   Underground – After a 5 second drone…Perry’s sings one sentence before the band explodes behind him.  BOOM!  The cyclical and rhythmic guitar drives the 3 minute track that sets the table nicely for what’s to come.  Cool Lyric:  “I try and get some love from up high/there just ain’t enough to go around.”

2.     End to The lies – It starts by slinking into your ear, unassuming with a hint of sinister.  Then when it’s too late; uh-ho.  Structurally it’s progressive, challenging the listener to pay attention.  At the 1:11 mark Dave’s guitar thunders into the spotlight but doesn’t steal the show  – and it’s amost too bad – because it’s a brilliant Navarro lick that could drive the song.  Cool Lyric:  “You talk about me so much that I think that you’re in love with me/Yeah you do it’s true man you’re busted.”

3.   Curiosity Kills – The piano and drum parts on this track almost tango with each other.  The two different sounds have moments of complexity and simplicity that subtly steal the show.

4.   Irresistible Force – This song IS Jane’s Addiction.  The structure, sound, attitude and delivery are what “alternative music” built on.  They’ve found a way to develop and grow as a band after nearly 25 years.  This song is “Exhibit A” in my defence that Jane’s Addiction are still a relevant, powerful, alternative rock band.

5.   I’ll Hit You Back – It’s tough being the better man.  This song is about giving in to your dark desire to abandon the high-road for some old fashioned voilence.

6.   Twisted Tales – This could be the best song on the album.  The chorus is beautifully simple and sweet. It’s the “less is more” idea lived out musically.

7.   Ultimate Reason – Is one “D.Mckagan” gets a writing credit on this song.  The same Duff Mckagan of Guns n Roses and Velvet Revolver fame.  He was in the band for about six months before he and Jane’s Addiction parted ways based on musical differences.  While it doesn’t sound much different from the rest of the record, Ultimate Reason (and a the other Mckagan tunes) do have a different flavour.

8.   Splash a Little Water On It – This is as close to a ballad as the band gets.  Slower and more delicate than the rest, the lyrics tackle the rock and roll lifestyle that rock and rollers can handle, but their loved ones cannot.  Cool Lyric:  “I didn’t want to wake you up, you looked so peaceful, I left some water in the cup by the stand, I’ll call you later.”

9.   Broken People – Starting slow and building towards a sonic explosion that never happens, Broken People never quite realizes its potential.  Another of the Mckagan co-writes that, to me, lacks the same precision and purpose of the rest of the songs on the album.

10.  Words Right Out Of My Mouth – Instead of ending on a mediocre , mid-tempo jam, Jane’s caps the Great Escape Artist with a pounding ass-kicker.  The song’s intro features a dialogue between Perry Farrell and D. Joe Adams.  I’m not sure if Joe Adams is a “Dr. Pepper” kind of doctor or a real doctor, but the short recording could be part of a therapy session.  It’s a creepy and honest sounding exchange.

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3 responses to “Jane’s Addiction – The Great Escape Artists: a Track by Track Review

  1. as i was reading this BAM! irresistible force starts playing on the radio. man, i love this track. i’m looking forward to getting the album even more after reading your review.

    • There aren’t many bands that can say “We’ve made FOUR albums…and legions of alternative music fans and musicians still look up to us” This will be one of those cds you buy, and will listen to 2 years from now.

  2. 8 years of waiting for new material…and it’s definitly been worth every single second the wait!!

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