Jane’s Addiction “The Great Escape Artist’”

Written by on January 26, 2012 in January 26, 2012, Music Reviews - Comments Off on Jane’s Addiction “The Great Escape Artist’”

On Capitol/EMI Records

Jane's AddictionJane’s Addiction has released a magical, mythical and sonic release with “The Great Escape Artist’,” on Capitol/EMI records. Where previous records incorporated themes of edgy, crazed, slum-dwelling visionary junkies, this time they are relying on slick production and concept-like tunes. Perry Farrell stands out as one of music’s most forward-thinking and enigmatic frontman in the business with his vocals soaring with vibrancy, vulnerability, and vitality. Guitar god Dave Navarro conjures up psychedelic and epic riffs. Stephen Perkins’ tribal stomp remains hypnotic and transfixing. Jane’s Addiction the band has been around for nearly 30 years and proves that they are frontrunners in alternative music.

In 2010, Jane’s Addiction began writing songs for the new album. By 2011, recording began on what would become “The Great Escape Artist’” on Capitol/EMI records to be supported with a worldwide tour 2012. The band and producer Rich Costey, (Muse, Franz Ferdinand, Interpol) added TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek to the creative team.

The addition of Sitek writing music with Navarro and Perkins pointed the record in a decidedly alternative direction. Farrell’s melodies and lyrics completed the picture, the results of which created a more natural progression of Jane’s music for their inception as the creators of alternative rock as they now step into 2012 with a very modern-sounding record that somehow magically still harkens back to the original vibe of the group. Some fans may think the band has sold out but with this new paring with Sitek they really thrust themselves into the 21st century.

Taking a more musical approach, the members switched off on instruments and stretched out a bit, as Navarro played some bass, Sitek played some guitar, and Perkins experimented with several new percussion instruments. The group even brought in long time touring member and session player extraordinaire, Chris Chaney, to play additional bass.

To further the experimentation JA enlisted the help of Masters of Musicians of Joujouka, originally discovered by Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones in the late 60’s to create the lush but bizarre background to their first released track from the new set called, “End to the Lies.” The Master of Musicians of Joujouka recorded their parts in the wilds Morocco.

Acclaimed for their swirling sonic symphony and unique studio alchemy, Jane’s Addiction have sold over seven million records in the U.S. alone. They’ve also garnered Grammy nominations and spearheaded the movement of the modern American festival culture by launching and headlining Lollapalozza. Even during dormant periods, their classical songs pulsated through rock radio constantly and their influence resounded through countless acts.

Staring off this intriguing and conceptual album is the track, “Underground,” showing off the haunting guitar of Dave Navarro, driving rhythms, and inspiring lyrics classically putting forth their slum-dwelling past experiences. “End to Lies,” about a broken relationship, being down and out was leaked in April 2011 on Chilean radio when Jane’s Addiction headlined Lollapalooza Chili in Santiago at the first official Lollapalooza stages outside the U. S. A final mix of the initial song was released online a month later along with a striking video directed by Alex Bulkley from Robot Chicken fame.

The group’s first single, “Irresistible Force,” is a cosmic love story, ghost-like vibe, and spacey. “Curiosity Kills,” has an Edge-like inspired guitar groove and some soaring vocals courtesy of flamboyant Farrell. “I’ll Hit You Back,” a faulting relationship is one of the stronger songs on the disc with a majestic hooky chorus. The songs “Ultimate Reason,” with its message of love being the ultimate reason in life and the strong influence of STP glossing over in the background. “Splash A Little Water On It,” is a spacey movement, but overall an epic track. And rounding out the rest of the record is, “Words Right Out of My Mouth,” starting with a monologue from a therapist session where Farrell jumps right in but the song feels jumbled and chaotic probably better off closing the album with, “Broken People.”

Underlying the entire concept album is the idea of the underbelly of Los Angeles with its carnival of freaks, hustlers, and street corner visionaries of all kinds. Below the veneer of Hollywood’s lights lies a counter culture driven by escapism. Whether it’s via carnal, mental, physical, chemical, or aural pleasures the quirky court thrive on escape. Jane’s Addiction fourth album “The Great Escape Artist,” could only have been born within this realm. Spun through a kaleidoscope of tightly wound riffs, hypnotic harmonies, booming beats and an unmistakable howl, the record announces the beginning of the next chapter for the alternative rock torchbearers.

Jane’s Addiction is Perry Farrell (vocals), Dave Navarro (guitar), and Stephen Perkins (drums). The band began working in 2010 on what would become “The Great Escape Artist.”