Jane's Addiction
Nothing's Shocking


4.5
superb

Review

by Edmund Blackadder USER (32 Reviews)
May 24th, 2009 | 28 replies | 15,075 views


Release Date: 1988 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Jane's Addiction manages to create an excellent album with amazing instrumentation and a very dark theme.

1 of 2 thought this review was well written

Jane's Addiction
Nothing's Shocking
Warner Bros, 1988

Jane's Addiction is...
Perry Farrell: Vocals, piano
Dave Navarro: Guitar
Eric Avery: Bass
Stephen Perkins: Drums, percussion

The 80s are well known as the era when music turned stale. Hair Metal was at large, and singer songwriters such as George Michael and -shivers- Billy Ray Cyrus peaked the charts with stale, doctored ballads. Music at this time could be described as 'reaching an all time low'. As the story goes, these waves of terrible rock anthems and emotionless love songs were quickly pushed back by the dawn of grunge... otherwise known as Nevermind, Ten, and Dirt. Grunge artists were often much more talented than their 80s metal counterparts, and many such as Nirvana, Alice In Chains, and Pearl Jam, were rewarded well for their talents and general sense of taste. However, before this new wave of bands hit, there were several, more underground bands that also mastered grunge music. These included the infamous Mother Love Bone, and the foundling Soundgarden. Amongst these smaller, less popular bands was Jane's Addiction...

Before the release of Nothing's Shocking, Jane's Addiction had released a self titled album that, although it could have been considered fresh and groundbreaking at the time, sold very few copies and was generally unsuccessful. Still confident that he and his band could reach the charts, vocalist Perry Farrell and his bandmates took to the studio once more in 1988. Dave Jerden, producer of various David Byrne and Brian Eno albums was hired to produce this second release. Although it was said that many of the band members were not content with the album itself, Farrell decided to release it anyhow, and it hit the shelves on August 23, 1988.

I did not discover this album, nor the genius behind it until my graduation year in 1998. At this time I was still listening to more classic rock, as well as some of the more popular grunge bands. Upon purchasing and playing this album, I was shocked (no pun intended) at how excellent the instrumentation was.

Indeed, 'Nothing's Shocking' manages to showcase each musician's talent very well on every song. Dave Navarro is a very talented guitarist, creating some massive riffs and solos, as well as providing softer guitar passages, like those displayed on 'Summertime Rolls'. Literally every song aside from the acoustic 'Jane Says' contains a very powerful solo or riff. There is a great variety of guitar styles here as well, from the funky 'Standing In The Shower...Thinking' to the hard rock assaults of 'Ocean Size', 'Mountain Song', and 'Pigs In Zen'. Dave uses many guitar effects here, each one fitting towards the theme of each song.

The dual rhythm section of Eric Avery and Stephen Perkins also add towards the powerful songs. 'Summertime Rolls', 'Mountain Song', and 'Pigs In Zen' all feature very catchy, potent bass lines that can sometimes sound dark and eerie, or just plain funky. The drumming is nothing short of phenomenal, using a good blend of live drums and percussion. Stephen manages to create very interesting, unique drum grooves and fills that really take the music to new places. He even exercises some very jazzy drumming on the brief instrumental 'Thank You Boys'.

Perry Farrell is a very talented vocalist who can hit very high pitched notes and create some very interesting yelps and squeals. Although this may seem annoying or offputting at first, it is very easy to learn to enjoy his voice. It is easy to compare his vocal style to an insane children's choir, or a berserk wildcat. As the chief lyricist here, he manages to create some very deep, meaningful lyrics, many dealing with drug abuse, sex, or violence. The acoustic 'Jane Says' contains very biting, depressing lyrics dealing with the life of a junkie. As the frontman of this band, Perry manages to create some rather interesting imagery concerning 'Nothing's Shocking'. He somehow weaves a world of sex, violence, and drugs, but delivers it all through some grungy, funky music, as well as some vocals that sounds like they could be sung by demented children. The final product is a dark, demented masterpiece that borders on pornography with its sickly approach and sinister lyrics.

If I were to choose one song that showcases the overall talent of the band and sums up the album as a whole, I would definitely choose 'Ted...Just Admit It'. With lyrics concerning mass murderer Ted Bundy, this seven minute epic is the longest song on the album. The drums and percussion are outstanding, the guitar is distorted and crunchy, the bass is deep and powerful, and Perry's voice is nearly psychotic. The song gradually builds up from a complex drum intro into musical insanity.

In conclusion, 'Nothing's Shocking' is a phenominal album. All of Jane's Addiction display their full abilities, and, despite some seldom annoying vocals, the record manages to pull through as a near masterpiece.

<+>Pros<+>
-Excellent musicianship
-Dark, creepy lyrics
-Contains a great variety of musical styles

<->Cons<->
-Vocals may be annoying to some
-Recording is not spectacular

Recommended Tracks (Download Or Die)
-Ted...Just Admit It
-Jane Says
-Mountain Song
-Summertime Rolls
-Pigs In Zen

Now go buy this.



Recent reviews by this author
The Rolling Stones Beggars BanquetLou Reed Transformer
Testament Practice What You PreachNine Inch Nails The Slip
Nine Inch Nails Year ZeroNine Inch Nails With Teeth
user ratings (480)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Tomahawk (4)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
shindip
May 24th 2009



3536 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i liked it

MassiveAttack
May 24th 2009



2684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Jane's Addiction are always a fun listen =) relaxing and therapeutic!

ThusSpokeZarathustra
May 24th 2009



293 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I prefer Ritual de lo Habitual personally.

Chewie
May 24th 2009



4531 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I was writing one of these! -_-

Chewie
May 24th 2009



4531 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

but meh, this review is spectacular, and thank you for realizing how great Ted... Just Admit It is.

shindip
May 24th 2009



3536 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I was really surprised when Ted...Just Admit It showed up on their greatest hits album.

Chewie
May 24th 2009



4531 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

well that was the most pointless release in the history of music. They had 2 good and 1 mediocre albums to choose from, and they just decided to cram on some arbitrary songs that were never even singles.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
May 25th 2009



3752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ritual is better, but this is still one of the best alt rock albums of all time

Digging: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Days Of Abandon

shindip
May 26th 2009



3536 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I still havent given ritual a really good listen, but once i do ill review that one too

ConorMichaelJoseph
June 10th 2009



1870 Comments


Actually its better than Ritual but they are both kickass albums

shindip
November 11th 2009



3536 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I was just watching Natural Born Killers and when Ted...Just Admit It started playing I made chemistry in my pants.

jagride
December 22nd 2009



2256 Comments


Bump for this awesome album and pretty good review

Relinquished
December 22nd 2009



22318 Comments


Haven't heard this in the longest... Oh god what a great album.

jagride
February 18th 2010



2256 Comments


Album rules hard

Edwin
April 21st 2010



1399 Comments


Wowsers, this band is pretty under appreciated on this site.

Cavs
June 29th 2010



373 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I can't stand the singers voice

porch
June 29th 2010



8390 Comments


hutyds my ears

Counterfeit
June 29th 2010



17819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love his voice.

MUNGOLOID
March 10th 2011



4266 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

album is such a trip.

Ikarus14
February 15th 2012



519 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just gave this album a proper chance and I'm glad I did.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy