Satellite Party
Ultra Payloaded


4.0
excellent

Review

by John Cruz USER (88 Reviews)
May 30th, 2007 | 7 replies | 7,907 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist


Perry Farrell is a man of many faces. From Jane's Addiction through Porno For Pyros, the groundbreaking live music event Lollapalooza, and various solo and artistic projects, Farrell has not always been an easy one to pin down. At times unfocused creatively and struggling throughout the years to cut an identity of his own, Farrell's latest incarnation as urban rock hipster might be just the ticket to stabilize and focus his image once again, while putting the memories of bands gone past away for good. And at nearly 50 years old (how did that happen?) this smooth, melodic, and ultimately mainstream collection entitled Ultra Payloaded comes not a moment too soon.

Coming with his new project Satellite Party and enlisting the likes of old friend Flea and new friends Peter Hook (of Joy Division / New Order fame) and Fergie for some tracks, Farrell has crafted a fun and funky album that is both unexpected and well suited to his talents. Lead off single Wish Upon A Dog Star featuring Hook's unmistakable bass work is infectious from the first note out, and the New Order like bridge is sure to make more then a few think "I remember.....that". Only you don't, however familiar. Because this is all new, yet Farrell and company sound as if they have been playing together for twenty years rather then the actual two or three since this groups inception.

Which makes sense given the easy groove and flow found throughout the album. Seemingly calling on every phase of his music making career, Farrell front loads the album with catchy dance rock hooks that follow in the same vein as Wish Upon A Dog Star, but eventually eases into the kind of eclectic pop that that was the specialty of Porno and the furious, sometimes dreamy kind of hard rock that made up some of Janes's best work. "Mmm, you were my secret lover / So I took you undercover" Farrell croons to begin the funk driven rocker Hard Life Easy, and if that sounds a bit cheeky, well it is. And like much of this album it sounds like it came straight from some late '80's "Now That's What I Call Music, Alternative Edition" compilation. But this is what Perry does best and recalling this place in his musical history suits him just right.

Lyrically Farrell is where he has always been, and after the dance club like start of the album his vision comes through on the beautiful acoustic number Awesome that sees Perry professing his love behind full strings and with soaring vocals. "They say the world is always turning / In suspended animation I keep yearning for you" go the heartfelt lyrics, followed by the equally engaging Mr Sunshine that sees our guy proclaiming "We fell in love overnight / Good morning Mr. Sunshine / You brighten up my day". Not exactly I Been Caught Stealing. But Farrell isn't exactly 25 anymore, either.

For Jane's fans their is the punked up fervor of Insanity Rains with its spat out lyrics and heavy, grinding riffs, and cool funk of The Solutionists that finds Perry and crew floating along on a wave of synths and floaty bass and guitar. So nothing is real different here, except that Farrell has managed to craft an album sure to please all his fans (and non fans, for that matter) from every phase of his sometimes frustrating career of making music and art. And on Ultra Payloaded the music and art come together in perfect unison. Which is a nice sound coming from this artist. Perhaps especially from this artist.

Ultra Payloaded has a very retro sound to it. Not like the hip and obvious retro sounds coming from some bands today, but rather if you told someone who didn't know any better this album came from 1987 and was considered one of the better albums of the decade they would readily believe you. Its a richly textured, layered, and almost earnest stab at everything this artist ever attempted to do before, all rolled up nice on one album. And for the most part Farrell pulls it off without a hitch. Been caught stealin'? Sure, mostly from himself. Good thing for the rest of us.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
The Jungler
May 30th 2007



4827 Comments


I was thinking I might want to check these guys out before Lollapalooza, but the first single was bad enough to stop me. Maybe I still will, though I doubt I'll see them there anyways.
Nice review as usual.

JohnXDoesn't
May 30th 2007



1267 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yes it was a bit rushed and i'm running out again now. tried to get this up this morning but put it in the wrong place. and yeah that line is very awkward will change it before i leave right now. i did my best with the time i have. heard the album, really liked it, wanted to get the review done and in. and the playground thing was just a last second brain blip, i guess. thanks for reading guys This Message Edited On 05.30.07

JohnXDoesn't
May 30th 2007



1267 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

just did some tinkering should read better now and thanks for the heads up.....gonna listen to this in my car++This Message Edited On 05.30.07

La Revolucion
May 31st 2007



1060 Comments


More like a 3 than a 4, but good review so whatever.

McKagan
June 25th 2007



7 Comments


Good Review. Maybe if you'd have noted that Nuno Bettencourt is in this band the feeling that it sounds vaguely late 80's may have clicked more. Nuno adds as much to this album as Perry does but other than that omission good review.

xeneize
July 24th 2007



1 Comments


I agree with McKagan... This review lacks of credibility if you just skip the fact that Mr. Bettencourt is actually the heart of this record... (considering that Ferrel is the soul)

JohnXDoesn't
July 24th 2007



1267 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well I don't know who is the heart and soul of the record. I just know Perry Ferrel leads the band and this is a review of the music / songs on this album. Ferrel deserves much credit, Bettencourt is a solid contributor but not anything unique, imo.

i try to avoid getting into too much detail about the players, etc when i review some albums, preferring to focus on the contents of the album and the the main artist who makes it work. but mostly i just focus on the album of music and songs and the experience it provides

This is a good album. You'll like it a lot :smoke:


/review
This Message Edited On 07.24.07



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