Alice in Chains
Dirt


5.0
classic

Review

by Liam USER (6 Reviews)
July 10th, 2007 | 13 replies | 13,342 views


Release Date: 1992 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Simply put, this is one of the best albums ever made

3 of 4 thought this review was well written

Alice In Chains were originally lumped in with the grunge crowd probably because they came from Seattle but their music is far closer to metal than grunge. 'Dirt' was recorded in 1992 and many fans, including myself, hold the opinion that this album is the best record they produced and one of the best records of all time.

Now, for a record to be a classic it has to have many things. It needs both brilliant musicianship and a brilliant vocalist. Dirt has both of these qualities and more. Jerry Cantrell has some mind-blowing riffs and solos on this album along with one of the best guitar tones ever committed to record. He sings also and has a great voice as well. Mike Starr plays bass on the album and he compliments the guitars brilliantly and has some great bass riffs too (Check out Would?) Sean Kinney plays the drums on the album and does so spectacularly. And finally, last but definitely not least, Layne Staley is the main vocalist and lyricist on the cd.

Lyrically, this album deals with drugs and depression and does so wonderfully. Imagine yourself as a drug addict curled up in the foetal position in a corner of a cold room waiting for his next fix of heroin and you get some idea of what the atmosphere of this record is like. That's right, it's dark, bleak, unnerving, depressing but most of all, brilliant. Some of the lyrics here are poetic such as the lyrics to 'Down In A Hole':

"Bury Me Softly In This Womb
I Give This Part Of Me For You
Sand Rains Down And Here I Sit
Holding Rare Flowers
In A Tomb.....In Bloom"

However the album also contains songs written about different topics. The song 'Rooster' was about Jerry Cantrell's father's experiences in the Vietnam War. Cantrell's father was a member of the 101st Airborne, who wore patches on their arms featuring a bald eagle. There are no bald eagles in Vietnam, so the Vietnamese referred to them as roosters.

The album is heavy for the most part but it also contains some acoustic tracks. This is where the emotion and atmosphere of the record are turned up to 11. Tracks such as 'Down In A Hole' and 'Would?' are far more emotional and depressing than the tracks, which precede them. These are the tracks where Staley's autobiographical lyrics come to life. If you not feeling somewhat unnerved listening to these tracks you obviously have no feelings or are dead. These songs just drip of despair and isolation but definitely not on an 'emo' way, They are delivered flawlessly by both Cantrell and Staley who both have amazing voices. Some of the vocal harmonies are very complex such as 'Them Bones' and 'Would?' The lyrics as I mentioned before are very poetic but some of them also sound almost biblical such as the lyrics to 'Would?’ that are:

"Know Me Broken By My Master
Teach Thee On Child Of Love Hereafter

Into The Flood Again
Same Old Trip It Was Back Then
So I Made A Big Mistake
Try To See It Once My Way

Drifting Body Its Sole Desertion
Flying Not Yet Quite The Notion

Am I Wrong?
Have I Run Too Far To Get Home?
Am I Gone?
And Left You Here Alone
If I Would Could You?"

The album is a masterpiece from start to finish. It is one of the masterpieces of the so-called 'grunge' movement along with albums such as 'Badmotorfinger' by Soundgarden. It was received phenomenally well at it's time of release. It was released in the Autumn of 1992 and went platinum by the end of the year. It has remained the band's most successful album to date and is a testimony to the ability of this incredible band and the tragically short lived lyrical and vocal prowess of Layne Staley.

Reasons To Buy?
Incredible Atmosphere
Brilliant musicianship
Great lyrics
Contains both heavy and ballad tracks

Reasons Not To Buy?
None, unless your deaf and/or insane



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user ratings (2981)
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4.4
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Putrefaction
July 10th 2007



59 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

First review. What do you think of it?

mx
Moderator
July 10th 2007



733 Comments


More detail would be nice, but overall not a bad start.

Merkaba33
July 10th 2007



702 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

pretty good for a first. you didn't really mention the other tracks though. they're sort of less than stellar. ya know like dirt and junkhead. but this album does have some incredible songs. i think as a full album they're self titled album or jof is their best. this is the most accesible though.

Sound
July 10th 2007



3889 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

not bad for a first. but a little more detail on some of the tracks would be nice.

this is one grunge tour de force! like you say, not one bad song on here. my faves would be 'Them Bones', 'Rooster', 'Junkhead' and 'Would?'.
This Message Edited On 07.10.07

Tarantino's Tarantulas
July 11th 2007



819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A bit fanboyish and you didn't need to quote such large portions of lyrics but otherwise a good start, keep it up.

Putrefaction
July 11th 2007



59 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks, I'll try to keep what you guys said in mind in the future

tribestros
July 11th 2007



918 Comments


A little bit vague, a little bit fanboyish but still a nice review especially for your first.

By the way, AIC does kick ass.

Putrefaction
July 14th 2007



59 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@Merkaba33
Personally I think that 'Junkhead' is one of the albums highlights and I agree with you somewhat on 'Dirt', it's a bit below par for the rest of the album

Neverclear
September 26th 2007



12 Comments


Awesome album; indeed, one of my favorites. Mediocre review at best, but then again this is your first. =p

Thrasher86
June 17th 2009



181 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I love this album. I love this band.

KILL
July 22nd 2009



71482 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Rooster and Would? own so bad

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

Leviathan8937
February 15th 2011



264 Comments


Whoa ,I love this band , Their melodies rules and their lyrics were extremly good ,It's a shame that Layne has passed away

37er00
February 15th 2011



1253 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Fuck yeah!Best thing ever



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