Review: “The Great Escape Artist,” Jane’s Addiction

When a band that’s been off the scene for a while comes back together there’s always a slew of questions that come to mind. Will they try to emulate their earlier recorded successes? Can they evolve their sound in a way that makes it relevant in today’s musical zeitgeist? Are the singer and guitarist still as edgy after doing so many VH1 countdowns of the greatest blah blah of the blah-blahs?

With Jane’s Addiction I feel like those questions are especially pertinent because they help define the

Record Rating: 6.9 of 10

sound of the late 1980s and early 1990s, when music was changing fast. It wasn’t their first album since those glory days. However, I still had some uneasiness the first time I put on the group’s newest album, “The Great Escape Artist.”

What I heard right off the bat was everything I’d missed about the band.

The first few tracks are explosive. Dave Navarro lays out a powerful, screeching guitar track to back up Perry Farrell’s distinctive high voice.

“You never really change like they say, you only become more like yourself,” he sings on “End to the Lies,” almost inviting the kind of critique I now seek to author. “Irresistible Force (Met the Immovable Object)” grows on me a bit each time I listen to it. I don’t mean to gush, of course. There were tracks like “I’ll Hit You Back,” that felt too polished and poppy. And there a moments toward the middle of the record that were boring.

I feel like the next time someone tells me to put on a Jane’s Addiction record, I’ll likely dust off “Ritual De lo Habitual” or “Nothing’s Shocking.” But for fans of the band, the new one is definitely worth picking up.

— David A. Mann

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About hoosierhits
The music blog of the News and Tribune, Jeffersonville & New Albany, Ind.

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