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Alice In Chains Ranked: Terrible Lizard Edition

I'm too busy enjoying to The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here to write a review, so here's the next best rthing.
1Alice in Chains
Jar of Flies

Let's start this off with a controversial choice. While most people would probably pick
Dirt as the best AiC album, it's basically a tie and my vote goes to JoF because: 1).
Even given the fact that it's an EP, there are basically zero skippable songs on JoF;
2). The band experiments wildly (by their standards) with Jazz and String sections
and harmonicas and instrumentals, and all of their experiments are pretty damn
successful. 3). Compositionally speaking, the band is at the height of their powers.
This entire album was written and recorded in a week. Most bands can't put out
material this strong over the course of their careers.
2Alice in Chains

Bleak, yet beautiful. Stifling, yet cathartic. Brutally fatalistic, yet somehow hopeful.
The album is thematically and musically coherent and consistent without ever
straying in the direction of monotony. A rightful and righteous classic.
3Alice in Chains

his was the album that was supposed to put grunge on the map because it's not
REALLY a grunge album you see. The first half of the album is grungy of course, but
the latter half shows traces of a band still semi-attached to its hair/funk-metal roots.
This album probably defines the pre-Nirvana early '90s and the shifting musical
landscape better than anything else you can think of. Also, most of it is catchy as
4Alice in Chains
Black Gives Way to Blue

This is for all intents and purposes the average Alice in Chains album. Or maybe it's
the median AiC album. I'm not sure, my statistics is rusty. But either way, it's
incredibly consistent, hooky, heavy and harmony-y. It's everything you'd expect and
want an AiC album to be. The fact that so many supposed fans of the band can't look
past the fact that the lead singer isn't a dead white-guy makes me sad. All the racist
necrophiliacs in the world are missing out.
5Alice in Chains
The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here

This is the sound of a band that's comfortable in its own skin. There's crushing
heaviness and there's ethereal beauty. Alice in Chains shows that it is capable of
aging gracefully and even learning a few new tricks. What's that you say? Cantrell
can't write an upbeat song in a major key? Witness the countrified beauty that is
"Voices" and the almost AOR optimism of "Breath on a Window". Not as consistent as
BGWTB, but not as inconsistent as Tripod/Self-Titled either.
6Alice in Chains
Alice in Chains

Look, it's not a terrible album,'s sub-standard by AiC's standards. The
constituent parts don't gell as well as they once did. Staley is audibly a shadow of his
former self. A lot of the songs have good ideas but then kind of meander aimlessly,
which is not the sort of thing that Alice in Chains' songs are supposed to do. Sure,
there are plenty of great songs here, but the album as a whole lacks the energy of
Facelift, the inspiration of Dirt and JoF, or the pinpoint focus of Black Gives Way to
7Alice in Chains

There are only 4 songs to choose from here ("Love Song" doesn't count), but this EP
is basically a cool breeze on a sweltering day; it's surprising, refreshing, and gone
too soon. The ideas that AiC begins experimenting with here would be improved upon
later by the band, particularly on JoF and Tripod.
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