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Jonesing for Jane's Addiction?

Jane's Addiction new album review

By Simon Umlauf
CNN Headline News

Jane's Addiction
Jane's Addiction is Stephen Perkins, Perry Farrell, Dave Navarro and Chris Chaney.

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(CNN) -- What better way to make a comeback, than with a sonic boom. The first track on Jane's Addiction new album titled "Strays," takes off like a stolen car on a Friday night. Perry Farrell lets loose with a classic Jane's "Here We Go!" and then Dave Navarro floors his guitar like a dragster down a race track.

Soon after the green light, Farrell's screaming notes meet Navarro's riffs and stuttering chops, sending the song, "True Nature," into a controlled spin.

Fortunately, this album doesn't sound like a "new" Jane's Addiction; it sounds like the old Jane's Addiction. After more than a decade, Perry Farrell, Dave Navarro and drummer Stephen Perkins are reunited with a new bassist Chris Chaney, formerly of Andrew W.K. and Rob Zombie.

The four maintain the artful-intensity and integrity of the Jane's Addiction sound: a fusion of punk, metal and indie rock. "The biggest influence (on this album) was each other," says Farrell. "We had all played in all these different bands; Red Hot Chili Peppers, Porn For Pyros, and it wasn't the same kind of ignition as we played as Jane's Addiction," Farrell recently told CNN Headline News.

FACT BOX
From urbandictionary.com:
"Jonesing" -- definition: to have a strong need, desire, or craving for something.

see also: jones

Each of the eleven tracks on "Strays" has its own unique texture: soft, hard, rough, and on several tracks a combination of them all. "Wrong Girl" is curvy and dangerous with Farrell taunting, "You messed with the wrong girl / She's small but she's fierce." The track begins tough and bluesy, transitioning into a soothing break, accompanied by Farrell's drifting croon -- then with a piecing howl you're thrown into an intense, sonic brawl of drums, bass and guitar.

When you're not struck by the instrumental volleys of each song, you're caught by Farrell's exceptional songwriting ability. Farrell can turn sex, garbage and pain into poetry.

Jane's songs of the past like "Jane Says" and "Been Caught Stealing" were beautiful stories of desperation and crime. "Strays" is full of such stories, some lonely, others violent and others about loving life.

Jane's Addiction
Perry Farrell at a 1997 Jane's Addiction concert.

"'The Riches' is about all the true things in life, that are true riches," he says. "It has nothing to do with money, but it has a lot to do with the environment, laughing and all the things in life that are truly most beautiful and enriching."

Lyrics from "The Riches":

I love standing by the water and just knowing what it's for / it's all right for swimming and sippin'- let me have a little more / like my woman, like my shower, get them hot until they're steaming / enough to find a little spot, nice and shady that's for...dreaming of the riches.

"Strays" comes out July 22, with Jane's Addiction headlining the Lollapalooza starting July 5.

"Hitplay" review: On a scale of one to five flaming guitars -- this album gets a four.


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