The good news: Jane's Addiction is back. The bad news: This isn't the Jane's Addiction of "Nothing's Shocking" (1988).
The good news: Jane's Addiction is back. The bad news: This isn't the Jane's Addiction of "Nothing's Shocking" (1988). Most of the ingredients are in place—including Dave Navarro's red-meat guitar playing—but the material isn't as distinctive as the band's earlier work. The opener, "True Nature," is a killer power cut and a life force unto itself, and the title track finds the guys tapping their Zeppelin/Who roots to full effect. But numbers like the staccato-boogie of "Suffersome" and even the well-received first single "Just Because" fail to make the indelible impression of such bygone songs as "Ocean Size," "Jane Says" and "Pigs in Zen." The lyrics range from adrenaline-shot to ho-hum, while Perry Farrell's vocals seem more restrained on "Strays" than in earlier days. Jane's Addiction did not hit the afterburners with this disc, but it's still so far ahead of the competition that you have to sit up and take notice.—AZ