This Album was released after Jane’s Addiction had reformed in 1998 following their break-up in 1991 after an onstage fight between Dave Navarro and Perry Pharrel. Dave Navarro resubmitted himself in the line up after losing interest with working with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. With the band back together they went touring with Flea from RHCP on bass and some new material to release.
Thou Personnel: Perry Pharrel- Lead Vocals
Dave Navarro- Guitar/Piano
Chris Chaney- Bass/Piano
Steven Perkins- Drums
True Nature: This is a powerful funk metal track driven by Steve and with heavy riffing from Chris and Dave. Perry sounds as good as ever with his vocals lifting the track from the deep and into the fantastic chorus. The track loses pace halfway through but for it to pick back up with a neat guitar solo from Dave. 4.5/5
Strays: With this song being the title track I expected a solid rhythmic feel but I was surprised with its soft opening only to be impressed with the results that followed which were a classic JA track with the aggression blasting through and the guitar work that could easily have come off Ritual de lo Habitual. There is more solid drumming from Steve and good vocals from Perry. 5/5
Just Because: Definitely the best track on the album! It’s heavy, ferocious and muscular this is probably the best song they’ve ever done with maybe the exception of Three Days. It starts with a simple guitar riff from Dave which detonates a drum roll into the body of the song. The verse moves expertly along with the instruments providing a brilliant atmosphere with Perry’s vocals soaring above. When we reach the chorus the intro riff is played whilst Perry yelps in a way never before. It is truly excellent stuff. There’s a false ending chucked in at some point which makes you realise you didn’t want it to end until it does end, then you have a supreme urge to listen to it again. 5/5!
Price I Pay: Once more there is a soft delicate opening with Perry actually singing- well slightly. And yet again we are led into a chain reaction starting with the bass riff with the drums and guitar keeping the track rolling until the chorus is introduced with thrashing guitar work. The chorus itself is dramatic and heavy which very much works for this track. This track, like True Nature does surrender its power halfway through leading to the bass riff being played again seeming unenthusiastic until the drums are added and it’s full steam ahead with more shouting and screaming from Perry. 5/5
The Riches: Starts with some guitar being muted slightly and with the bass and vocals introducing themselves perfectly. It all appears plain and dull until we are tempted by the guitar into another powerful JA chorus and with guitar solos similar to those on Three Days. Steve rides the track until the ending when all is mellowed. 4.5/5
Superhero: More of a dance track with the grooving bass and drums through the verses but tighten up at the chorus complete with female backing singers- how posh! There is a nice bit in the middle with some piano in the background and a good melody. Dave fails to shine on this track with his solo being drowned with effects and the backing track. Not quite what I had expected but still a good track. 4/5
Wrong Girl: The opening is something the Chili Peppers would be proud of, it’s a funky guitar riff superbly executed by Dave which follows in and out of the track. I couldn’t say much about the chorus bit because it’s not as impressive as the ones before but Dave more than makes up for the guitar on the last track with his guitar the highlight of this song. I have to say that Perry’s vocals are quite irritating with him yapping and yelping throughout. 3.5/5
Everybody’s Friend: The only acoustic song on the album with strings in the background that enforce the vocal and guitar slightly. Every now and then an electric guitar chips in and produces a lovely solo. The chorus is simple but effective with Perry providing impressive vocals, well for him anyway. 4/5
Suffer Some: Funk Metal is in mind when I hear this, with more groovy drumming from Steve and a heavy riff from both Chris and Dave which is the power source of the track similar to True Nature but better. The chorus is great letting up on the heavy guitar and replacing it with a rhythmic jangling sound and a great melody. We eventually come to a point where more female singers drop as the tempo is slowed down with a psychedelic atmosphere until we set off again at the fast tempo we started with. Brilliant stuff! 5/5
Hypersonic: My least favourite track on this album there is some good drumming but little else. Dave’s guitar is embedded by the drums and vocals. For me there are too many effects and the chorus fails to impress me. The instruments don’t blend in well like on the previous tracks and nobody gives a brilliant display. This is a let down for the rest of the album and is disappointing. 3/5
To Match the Sun: Much better than Hypersonic but I still prefer the earlier tracks on the album, for me this track loses its momentum too often but at least there are positive performances form each band member. The last 90 seconds are probably the most impressive in which Dave achieves some decent guitar solos complementing Perry as a vocalist. 4/5
This album is a must buy for any JA fan and I’d recommend it to any fan of RHCP despite Dave “ruining” One Hot Minute. This is probably not quite as good as Ritual de lo Habitual but better than Nothing’s Shocking. It’s obvious they’ve worked more on impressive choruses than before which wins the album for me as well as their ability performing together.