Jane’s Addiction’s “The Great Escape Artist”- Album Review
LA-based quintet Jane’s Addiction have certainly had their ups and downs since they formed in 1985. They’ve gone through a number of band members and years of non-existence, as well as some very successful years and coinciding albums. Their newest album, The Great Escape Artist, is the first since 2003’s Strays, and with another big time lapse between records, it’s inevitable to wonder if this band will last much longer.
Dig out your old bell bottoms, vests, tye-dye shirts and peace signs and watch a lava lamp or other groovy, useless amusement item while listening to this 10-track album. It immediately struck me with a trippy, hippy, dark vibe and sound, even though I wasn’t around in those days. As soon as the first song “Underground” starts playing, I’m taken to a time and place that I’ve never been to- underground, you could actually say- a “Great Escape” world full of black rainbows and smoke and where everyone is united through music. It’s like my own Woodstock in my mind, which is quite a place to be.
However, my “Great Escape” and the grooviness of the album are shortlived, as after the first song, it basically repeats over 10 times. Each song has very similar sounds, tones, tempos and voice. They all have instrumentals and high-pitched choruses, and it’s hard to tell where one song ends and the next begins, as they all sort of mesh together to form one big glob of matter that floats around slowly- much like in a lava lamp. There is some relief with the closing track “Words Right Out of my Mouth,” sort of a prize for getting through the entire album. The beginning and end of the record are solid, but the stuff in between just gets lost in translation, much like the career of Jane’s Addiction has gone.
I give this album two and a half guitars!