Review Summary: What becomes of 'The Great Escape Artist' is a absence of the noticeable hooks and joyous erratic moments Farrell once provided into a middling and sometimes dry experience that never quite reaches its potential.
At the forefront of Jane’s Addiction’s newest concoction, titled ‘The Great Escape Artist’, it becomes incessantly pushed in the back of everyone’s mind that Farrell & co. are shrouding their sound with electronic cloud amidst the traditional hooks of early 90s prominence. Much can be said the legacy of Jane’s Addiction, but the Farrell’s curios innuendos and Navarro’s guitar work are staples of their sound. Nonetheless, even with a far more straight-forward ‘Strays’, which still carried some semblance of those glory days within the band, it becomes painfully obvious Jane’s Addiction’s ‘The Great Escape Artist’ seems to have a lapse of judgment on what exactly it is striving for.
It’s regrettable that most of the work put into the album can be splendidly brought back to classics, but the veil that is over Navarro’s guitar work and Farrell’s panache is all but dubbed down to a middling affair of an album. We can’t be surprised though, after all Farrell is the man behind the band and his recent taste for newer, modern musical endeavors is evident throughout a tight 40-minutes of heavy electronic that becoming cyclic in nature and tiring in many aspects. Most of this album is consequently trapped under the very audible force. Seeking to crawl out of his hole, Navarro suffers the most, while the bass is considerably a highlight on here, much of the album lacks any type of energetic fervor ‘Strays’ incurred or even the memorable moments of their early 90s work. Navarro does get his moment upon the closer “Words Right Out of My Mouth,” but it is overdue and eventually unbecoming of the entire atmosphere of the rest of the album.
The band looks to be in a too comfortable position throughout, as if they’ve thought of this conventional modern sound and decided to sit back despite some surely to view it in pure contemns. ‘The Great Escape Artist’ is very much within that realm of inoffensive, un-sporadic moments. “Twisted Tales,” may be what the group was striving for and it’s lyrical past confessions of Parrell and his screams are a must within not only the song, but are needed to create a thorough Jane’s experience, yet it is nowhere to be found. Farrell sounds all too satisfied and Navarro seems practically missing with the sheath that covers over every track. Some will cringe, others will embrace the new direction, but it still aches for those subtle moments that are a dime a dozen. Muddled and in need of dire peculiarity of Farrell’s within the first half and some type aperture for Navarro to break out for most of the album, sadly it never quite happens, and ‘The Great Escape Artist’ turns into a “what-if” in the Jane’s Addiction discography.