Review Summary: Irrelevant in this day and age, the casual listener could probably listen to the whole album and not realise.
The last time I listenend to to this album before yesterday was in an airport. I was trying to avoid a group of people on whom I wasn't on great terms with, and decided I'd switch off from the world at the time. It was only yesterday, on listening to the album again, that I realised that choosing this album might not have been accidental, because if any album existed in a different time and world, this is it.
This world is one where Perry Farrells voice is acceptable, where the riffs to songs such as Superhero are not throwbacks to a bygone age. A world were this album is contemporary. But this is the albums relevance being called into question. What of the album itself?
The first thing that struck me on hearing True Nature properly was not the fact that the intro riff is pretty damn good, but how badly Navarro has been let down on the production front. The guitar sound, and sound in general, is so empty and watered down. It feels very tinny. Now, for a punk band this might work, but for a band like Janes Addiction who in a way need to sound refined it is a real problem.
Of course, Perry's voice isn't exactly refined. An aquired taste to say the least, it can grate in the wrong moments (Hypersonic in particular sticks in the mind on this count.) However, as a frontman he does have character, and his singing does lend a swagger to an album somewhat lacking in attitude. Dave Navarro also is a talented guitarist, and besides being one of the luckiest men alive (in relation to his marital status) he has some interesting ideas on his instrument. In fact, some of his playing is the only thing really looking forward from this album.
That said, a few sound riffs aside, there isn't actually a huge amount on here that surpasses average. Just Because contains some very interesting harmonies in the chorus, and is one of the overall highlights of the album. The Riches has an interesting chorus also (but tramples it into the dust by being too damn long).
Otherwise, what we're hearing here is a pretty self indulgent album. The lyrics don't do the songs any favours, with Price I Pay, Super Hero and Suffer Some in particular coming across as sub adolescent ramblings. But the problems most apparent on the CD are summed up concisely in the title track, which exhibits the same qualities af almost all surrounding it.
At four minutes thirty one seconds, it is too long, and while the vocals remain just annoying and the bass and guitar are extremely repetetive. The production hinders it's progress hugely, and there isn't actually a moment in the song which really grips the listener. To tell you the truth, the soung could quite easily play all the way through and leave the audience none the wiser.
And here it is, the real dissapointment. This was meant to be an event album at the time: Janes Addiction are back together! What it became was something that you wouldn't really notice being on in the background, as all it did was hark back to days long gone. It's not really that surprising that they split again, really. When reliant on past glories which have long since dissapated, there isn't anything to provide fresh inspiration and create a relevant album worth listening to.