Jane’s Addiction, a band more known for the flamboyant behaviour of its individual members and the countless break ups than for its musical output. In the early nineties Perry Farrell and Co. were a force to be reckoned with. Especially “Nothing’s Shocking” and “Ritual De Lo Habitual” are landmark records in the alternative rock field. Fast forward to 2011, because the band is back with a new record, entitled “The Great Escape Artist”. Let’s see what it has to offer…
Truth be told I could care less about “Strays,” the previous Jane’s Addiction album. Besides a handful of decent tracks it didn’t hold much water in the long run. Luckily, the new album is more of a cohesive unit and its song material is way more memorable. Perry Farrell and Co. obviously had a ball creating “The Great Escape Artist,” because it has such a fresh and upbeat atmosphere. We’re not dealing with a bunch of tree-hugging hippies here, but with professional musicians who are fully aware of their creative potential and making the best use of it.
In a way time has caught up with Jane’s Addiction. “The Great Escape Artists” will never have the same impact as “Nothing’s Shocking” and “Ritual De Lo Habitual” had back in the day, but then again I don’t think that was ever the objective when this album was conceived. The nucleus is formed by well-written songs, like ‘Underground’, ‘Curiosity Kills’, ‘Twisted Tales’ and ‘Broken People’. They can hold their own against classics like ‘Mountain Song’, ‘Been Caught Steeling’ and ‘Jane Says’.
Perry Farrell’s vocals are still in fine form. Dave Navarro’s guitar playing is still functional and tasteful as ever and Stephen Perkins still provides the perfect backdrop on the drums. Newcomer Dave Sitek proves to the perfect fit on bass. ‘Irresistible Force (Met The Immovable Object)’ and ‘Splash A Little Water’ are little gems too.
“The Great Escape Artist” will not set the world on fire, like the first two Jane’s Addiction records did. Those days are simply over. However, it does stand as a monument to what can be achieved when a band is firing on all its creative cylinders. This album’s intrinsic artistic value far exceeds all the Coldplays, Kings Of Leons and Linkin Parks of this world. Jane’s Addiction is back with a vengeance and “The Great Escape Artist” is clear proof of that. Excellent album!