Alice in Chains
Alice in Chains


4.0
excellent

Review

by subliminalnirvanaist USER (1 Reviews)
May 12th, 2011 | 80 replies


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Deeply Introspective, Alice In Chains release their most mature work to date.


Released after a labored recording process, Alice In Chains eponymous album provides one of the best glimpses into the broken life of Lane Staley. Coming off a stint in rehab after 1993's “Jar of Flies”, Staley still managed to write some of Alice In Chains deepest lyrics prior to issues with his addiction causing the following tours to be cancelled. This would be the last Alice In Chains album to feature Staley as his addiction forced the band into a hiatus.

Sonically this is Alice In Chain’s most diverse album. Alternating their typical sludgy grinding riffs and some of the haunting acoustic elements from that had appeared on their EPs. Does that make this one of Alice In Chains most accessible works? No. Dirt or Facelift probably take that title. But it is their most mature work and while not for beginners, fans of the band and genre will enjoy this thoroughly. Lyrically, we are given a snapshot of the state of the band at the time. It ends up covering all the conventional AIC subjects - depression, anguish, agony, isolation - while at the same time taking on deeper more specific topics such as the existence of God, rumors surrounding the band, battling with addiction, loss of love and repeating mistakes.

One of the big positives about this album is getting to hear Jerry Cantrell sing on songs like “Grind”, “Heaven Beside You” and “Over Now”. Though often overshadowed by Staley, Cantrell shows here that he is more than capable as a lead singer. Especially memorable is “Heaven Beside You”, a 5 and a half-minute ballad in which we see Cantrell come to grips with the pain of parting with his longtime girlfriend. “God Am” is also one of the highlights. This is Staley’s battle with religion and it reads like a broken prayer - Staley is not ok and pleads with god to make it better but questions god because nothing changes. This is probably one of the more ballsy songs Layne wrote. Penning the lyrics “How proud are you being able to gather faith from fable” is one of the more gutsy and daring things that AIC has tackled. The album closes with two long epics “Frogs” and “Over Now”. “Frogs” is a song about drugs and how they have affected friendships. “Over Now” is extremely similar to “Heaven Beside You” lyrically and ominously contains part of “Taps”. Overall however, the album has holes. Songs like “Brush Away” and “So Close” qualify as filler where as Facelift and Dirt didn’t have the same level of filler that is seen here. This is a drop off from Dirt but is a haunting and pleasurable album through and through

P.S. This is my first review so any advice or suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!


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Comments:Add a Comment 
subliminalnirvanaist
May 12th 2011


82 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Any comments or help would be appreciated. Thanks!

subliminalnirvanaist
May 12th 2011


82 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Gonna delete this. Not one person has commented

WashboardSuds
May 12th 2011


5025 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol

Counterfeit
May 12th 2011


17819 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

lololol

it needs to be approved first

subliminalnirvanaist
May 12th 2011


82 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh wow. I didn't know that. :facepalm: How long will that take?

Counterfeit
May 12th 2011


17819 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

whenever WILLIE gets off his ass

Romulus
May 12th 2011


8447 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i haven't listened to shame in you in ages. gotta get on that

WashboardSuds
May 12th 2011


5025 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

shame in you is ace man

omnipanzer
May 12th 2011


21626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I remember buying this... just do yourselves a favor and get "Music Bank".

Digging: We Were Promised Jetpacks - Unravelling

DominionMM1
May 12th 2011


10124 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

There are some stellar tracks on this that aren't on 'Music Bank'.

omnipanzer
May 12th 2011


21626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Music bank is the discog minus the new one...

Maniac!
May 12th 2011


26250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

album rules

DominionMM1
May 12th 2011


10124 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Music bank is the discog minus the new one...

Are you sure about that? I looked at the track listing, and didn't see 'Brush Away' or 'Sludge Factory'.

omnipanzer
May 12th 2011


21626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well, fuck my ass... I sit corrected. You have my apologies. I have all the albums and Music Bank and I have them ripped so I forget what is where... My bad bro.

DominionMM1
May 12th 2011


10124 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No worries, dude.

omnipanzer
May 12th 2011


21626 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You don't get defensive fast enough and you don't hold useless grudges... you may not last here sir.

Maniac!
May 12th 2011


26250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Do not communicate with the sputbuds traitor.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
May 12th 2011


7110 Comments


Anytime you ask mate : ) However i do feel the need to remind you that there are those who are a lot better than me at this, but i look forward to it anyway.

First up, i'm going to start with the obvious.

'P.S. This is my first review so any advice or suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!'

you can most of the time put this in the first available comment section. It generally looks untidy, and doesn't look good (especially) if you have multiple reviews.

'Deeply Introspective, Alice In Chains'

Is 'deeply introspective' supposed to be capitalised?

Staley is not ok* and pleads with god to make it better but questions god because nothing changes.

*okay*

While not entirely a bad thing, your display of lyrical concepts/themes does preside over the main thesis of your review. There is not any/much talk about instruments or musicianship reinforcing your main thesis of 'mature'. You seem to focus mainly on the lyrics and the meanings (interpreted by you-which is fine-it's your review) behind the lyrical content.

Your first paragraph is fine, and there is not too much need for change (maybe someone else might be able to nit-pick).

' “God Am” is also one of the highlights. This is Staley’s battle with religion and it reads like a broken prayer - Staley is not ok and pleads with god to make it better but questions god because nothing changes. '

Really all you have done here is explain the lyrical content of the track and not 'why this is a highlight'

'Overall however, the album has holes. Songs like “Brush Away” and “So Close” qualify as filler where as Facelift and Dirt didn’t have the same level of filler that is seen here. This is a drop off from Dirt but is a haunting and pleasurable album through and through'

This could be seperated and used as a 'conclusion' paragraph, with some extension and combined with your main thesis (mature). Also you may have noticed the lack of a 'fullstop' at the end of your review.



NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
May 12th 2011


7110 Comments


------------------
I should do this more it might improve my own writing. For a first you have a strong basis and a better writing quality than a lot of first reviews i have seen (this includes my own). Your writing style i feel you are still developing it (everybody's got their own style). Your ideas for the most part are well presented and don't break off into random thoughts, however the lack of depth is a little concerning. For this i shall ask:

Have you heard of the 5 concepts of music?
(dynamics, texture, tempo, key, expressive techniques)

Music aural training may help bring out some of those musical ideas, already you have an understanding of lyrical content so i don't need to touch that. I look forward to reading more from you, so shoutbox me and i'll read again. You show some great promise and if you have any questions ask away (i'm no expert but i can help). Sorry about the over-long comment too lol. Happy to help.





subliminalnirvanaist
May 12th 2011


82 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yes I have heard of concepts like that. I'm a drummer. I just didn't want to get too technical and go and say something like "Them Bones is written in 7/8 time". I'd rather focus on what the songs mean. Should have commented on the sounds more. Especially the slow staccato like riff on God Am. Staccato probably isn't the best word. Disjointed is more like it. Very slow tempo on most of these songs though.



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