Jane's Addiction | The Great Escape Artist

Capitol (2011)
By MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER  |  October 25, 2011
2.0 2.0 Stars


Since the origins of The Great Escape Artist nearly two years ago, the outfit has had five different people on bass duties. It was all so promising when original bassist Eric Avery was back in the fold, before recording commenced; interesting when Duff McKagan popped in for a few months; desperate when Dave Sitek of TV on the Radio jumped on board; and it all came full circle back to Strays when Chris Chaney returned. Like that 2003 comeback effort, this is a mixed bag. Surprisingly, it's McKagan's three songwriting contributions that sound the most fresh, if incomplete. "Ultimate Reason" is Seattle-sludge, while "Broken People" is the start of something gorgeous, but ultimately unfinished. The dark and ominous "Underground" and first single "End to the Lies" are auspicious. But the promise of these first two tracks falls flat. It's obvious that Perry Farrell has taken a shine to Radiohead, making his already skewed — and usually compelling — approach that much more out there, but also leaving him unfocused. It's like he's trying to conjure a full epic of mysticism but can't fit it all into a four-minute song. That leaves Dave Navarro's rock-god guitar solos stranded. Granted, it's not easy living up to past brilliance like "Three Days" and "Mountain Song." Nor is growing old gracefully.
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