Key To Music Grades

A - You will never be whole without it
B - Highly recommended
C - Flawed, but still pretty good
D - It's your money, not mine
F - Why couldn't this have been burned in Fahrenheit 451?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Alice In Chains - Black Gives Way To Blue (2009)

Quite a bit can happen in fourteen years. I graduated high school, went to college, joined the army, went to war, got a good job with more pay and I'm okay. For the surviving members of Alice In Chains, they had to endure the deterioration of their good friend and lead singer Layne Staley to heroin addiction. Any music they may have made was effectively squashed with his death in 2002. So with the release of their new album, Black Gives Way To Blue, their last since 1995, people from all across the interwebs have been prattling about how dare they do such a thing, or how the album is or isn't solid, or how they are trying to replace Staley, or how they no longer sound like themselves anymore and blah blah blah. I could give a fupenny tuck what your rationale is, but he wasn't my friend and I didn't have to cope with his loss, so if they want to make music, so be it. That said:

It's a good album. It does sound like AIC. It has their typical assemblage of minor keys, crunching guitars, interspersed melodies and vocal harmonizing between new vocalist William DuVall and resident guitar hero Jerry Cantrell. It does not seek to replace Staley; it only eulogizes him lyrically. The title track features Elton John on piano and is a beautiful farewell. There's just tons of tastiness otherwise: "A Looking In View," "All Secrets Known," "Check My Brain" -- all heavy, all good. "Your Decision" and "When The Sun Rose Again" is reminiscent of the softer, more melodic stuff from their heyday as well. So you fucking naysayers can STFU already, go play Guitar Hero and listen to Godsmack. B

1 comment:

Starrlight said...

Yup it is a good album. It DOES sound like AIC. It was a hair on the back of the neck kind of moment when I first heard it. Sometimes it works (think AC/DC) and sometimes it don't...think pretty much everyone else :P