So I did this review for the "Suggest an Album" thread in the Alt/Indie forum about a month ago, and I thought I might as well post it here...
Jane's Addiction - Nothing's Shocking
First off, Jane's Addiction are a Alternative Metal band. Well, I call them metal, they're not very heavy though, kind of airy even. Their singer, Perry Farrell, has a high pitched (some say chipmunky, but that's unfair I think) voice, which annoys some people. Personally I like it because it's different, and fairly powerful, like a buzzsaw or something. Their guitarist is Dave Navarro, and he is very talented. He throws little solo's in all the time, and it sounds like part of the song, rather than showing off. Their bassist (who is no longer in the band) is Eric Avery, and he comes up with some very cool bass lines, and he's missed on their new album. And their drummer is Steve Perkins, I'm no drumming expert, but I think he adds alot of power to their songs.
They had a hit with "Been Caught Stealing" which is on their most critically acclaimed album "Ritual De Lo Habitual". That album is probably better, but I find Nothing's Shocking to be almost as good, and it's probably a better introduction to the band for a newcomer. So here's the track by track...
1) Up The Beach:
This is an intro to the album, but it's still a great song. Very airy with some nice guitar work from Dave Navarro, some great bass from Avery, and Perry's vocals kinda just floating over the top. 4/5
2) Ocean Size:
This is possibly my favourite Jane's song (Along with Three Days). It s a hard rocker, but still kind of airy. Perry's vocal's annoy some people, but in this song he really shows how powerful his voice can be. And Dave Navarro just throws little solos in all over the place, which sound great. 5/5
3) Had A Dad:
This song is just OK. I don t mind it, and there s nothing really wrong with it, but for whatever reason it doesn t really hold my attention. Since this is a short description, I'll also add that to me it sounds like it would fit in on the first half of "Ritual De Lo Habitual". 2/5
4) Ted, Just Admit It:
This is about Ted Bundy, the serial killer. It starts off with a really cool, slow, bass riff. The first few minutes of the song are kinda trippy, laid back, and a bit creepy. It starts to build up a bit, with a few solos from Dave and then all of a sudden they do a 180 turn, and the song turns from trippy into a crazy frantic rocker, with Perry repeatedly yelling out "Sex is violent!". An amazing song, which for some reason I hated at first. 5/5
5) Standing in the Shower Thinking:
A fun song. It's upbeat and bouncy. I don't have much to say about it but it s good, trust me. 3/5
6) Summertime Rolls:
The bass at the start of this song is kind of revisiting the first track, Up The Beach . It's a really relaxing, laid back song, and like the title implies it feels very summery. It's also fairly psychedelic too, and it builds up wonderfully. Another amazing song. 5/5
7) Mountain Song:
A rocker, probably the hardest rocking song they ve done. It has a huge sound, very powerful. I don't usually pay much attention to drums, but they sound amazing in this song. And here's a fun fact, apparently for one part of the solo, Dave played his guitar with a vibrator. Just thought I'd throw that in there. 4/5
8) Idiots Rule:
Another fun, upbeat song, along the same lines as "Standing in the Shower". It has very cool horns, played by Flea, from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. 3/5
9) Jane Says:
One of their most popular songs. It's a really nice, simple, acoustic song, about the junkie who was the band's namesake. It has wonderful lyrics, and Perry pours a whole lot of emotion into his vocals. Also, Perkins moves away from regular drums to play steel drums (Jamaican style), which add a lot to the song. 4.5/5
10) Thank You Boys:
A cool little jazzy interlude. I m not really sure what the deal is with this song, and it being here, but it's OK. 2/5
11) Pigs In Zen:
To finish off the album, another rocker. This one reminds me of Rage Against The Machine, and has a funky riff from Dave. I like the breakdown where Perry starts spouting out some weird stuff, talking about how "Some people should die, that s just common knowledge". A good, if a bit weird, end to an awesome album. 3.5/5
Sorry if the review isn't great, it's the first thing like this I've written, and I'm not great at explaining songs. And I ramble a bit. The song ratings I kinda just chucked on there as an afterthought, but I think they're right. As far as the album rating...
I really love this album, and I'd like to give it 5 out of 5 but I can't quite put it on the same level as their followup, "Ritual De Lo Habitual". But like I said, this is probably a better intro to the band, as it's more eclectic, and it's probably more "fun". You can probably get it for cheap, so if you maybe like their new album (I personally find their new album overproduced, the rawer sound of this album works better for them), you should check out this one.