Jane's Addiction 'Great Escape Artist': What the Critics Are Saying
The Great Escape Artist, the first album from Jane's Addiction in eight years, was released Tuesday to mixed reviews.
Rolling Stone called the band's fourth full-length effort "a slog through murky waters, with a submerged sound far from the torrid near-metal of 2003's Strays." The music mag also said lead singer Perry Farrell "strives for a Radiohead vibe that leaves guitarist Dave Navarro confused."
Great Escapt Artist earned two out of four stars from the Los Angeles Times' Matt Diehl who wrote that it "represents both a return to form and an unsullied beginning." Referring to the band's 1998 debut disc, Nothing's Shocking, Diehl continued, "while the interplay remains incendiary, the textures freshly incandescent, there isn’t much in the way of memorable choruses or hooks. Still, for a group to sound this vital after a two-decade-plus run — well, that is shocking."
The Wall Steet Journal's Jim Fusilli points out the band members strengths and shortcomings, "Dave Navarro issues several searing guitar solos, but some of his best work is in his flat-picking, giving the sound its high, glittery tones. As always, Stephen Perkins proves to be one of rock's great drummers, and his interplay with Mr. Navarro, his high-school marching-band buddy, is one of the disc's savory treats. Provided by Mr. Sitek and old standby Chris Chaney, the bass is merely serviceable; it's long been a Jane's shortcoming that it can't find someone to fill the bottom who is as inventive as Messrs. Navarro and Perkins. Mr. Farrell shines, singing most often at the center of his range, rather than the shaky upper end."
Farrell, Navarro and original drummer Stephen Perkins are joined on the project by bassist Chris Chaney, TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek and producer Rich Costey.
Publications raving about the album include USA Today and Billboard.
USA Today's Kevin Mazur praised the work as "Bombastic, arty, sensual and richly textured, the 10 tracks test the boundaries of dance-rock while steering clear of indulgent extremes. Navarro's guitar work is full, fanciful and deft, not showy. Perkins drums with precision and sting. And Farrell, once a keening specter, sticks to his solid vocal middle range. The bottom line: The Great Escape Artist is great artistic escapism."
Billboard's Jill Menze wrote, "the album finds core members Farrell, Perkins and guitarist Dave Navarro sounding rejuvenated and confident. The Great Escape Artist is a dynamic collection that features some of the band's best work."