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Jane’s Addiction helped put the word ”alternative” on the middle-American map with a scarlet A, but their straight-up rock was always front and center. On Strays, the first Jane’s Addiction studio album in 13 years, there’s no mistaking Perry Farrell’s trademark vocal sound (a nasal goose? a banshee in flight?) and Dave Navarro’s ever-adaptable guitar style. But the band–only bassist Eric Avery is absent from their classic lineup, replaced by Chris Chaney–hasn’t come to party like it’s 1991. Sure, the balance of hedonism and earnestness, environmentalism and decadence, remains, but the quartet’s approach is that of a unit ready to flex a few new muscles. Listeners will notice roof-raisers like ”True Nature” and ”Hypersonic” first, but some of the quieter tracks (”Price I Pay,” with the classic Farrell rationalization ”I always do the wrong thing, but I got a good reason,” ”To Match the Sun”) are among the most effective Jane’s mood pieces ever. Strays is certainly a much more apt return than 1997’s odds-and-sods compilation Kettle Whistle. –Rickey Wright

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  • I don’t care for this album. I bought this with Ritual DE Lo Habitual. So I still like Jane’s Addiction. I haven’t given much of a listen after 1 year. It sounds differant from Ritual, it sounds like newer metal that doesn’t suck. I would serioulsy prefer if you are allready a Jane’s Addiction fan.

    Posted on February 21, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • The problem with bands who attempt comebacks is that if they sound like they used to, they get hammered because they didn’t progress. If they’ve progressed, you’ll get the old school fans that want it all to sound the same. I believe Perry and the band have made the CD that fits who they are today. Like most great CDs, this one hits you in the teeth with no apologies with the first 5 songs, settles into a groove with the next 5 songs, then closes with a highlight. My personal favorites are “Just Because,” “The Riches,” “Everybody’s Friend,” and “To Match the Sun.” With all of the negative, CBA (could be anyone) bands out there with videos with guitar players hunched over while playing, it’s refreshing for a CD like this to come along with more of a feel-good/uptempo (without sounding angry) vibe to the songs. I agree with other reviewers who recommend not comparing this release to previous releases by J.A. because the band is just in a different space now (after all, are you the same person you were 13 years ago?). Judging it on it’s own, I give it the best rating- it’s one of my favorite CDs of the last 10 years.

    Posted on February 21, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Just a message to all those 1 star ratings for this album who think it’s not alternative enough. Well i don’t see whats wrong with that. Is it 2 hard to be into alternative music and not like hard hitting rock songs as well? Is the problem that this album has some great tracks on it with a rather cathcy riffs which u got into too quickly so thought “wow a lot of ppl are going to like this i can’t associate myself with the masses even if i do like it.. i’m a music guru i like things that aren’t so obvious” I think this is a very good album and i like all of jane’s releases. I’ll admit this was the easiest one to get into though not necessarily the best, but it doesn’t mean its crap either! I suggest that these alternative hipsters take a look at their cd collections, scrap half of it for not being alternative enough and then they can sleep easy knowing they are into stuff that most people don’t like! Its not a problem to like stuff that sounds good… Go stand in the shower and have a think

    Posted on February 20, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • “Strays” is Jane’s Addiction’s first serious effort since breaking-up after the brilliant “Ritual de lo Habitual” in 1991. It will determine if the band continues into the future with any credibility, especially after missing 10 years that could have produced their best music.

    So, how does “Strays” hold up?

    I have been compelled to rewrite my previous review of this album after listening to it for another week or so. I had originally given it 4 stars, but now “Strays” has grown on me – so much so, that it is now undoubtedly a 5 star album. Make no mistake, from the first listen I enjoyed “Strays”, but I probably didn’t give it a chance because I didn’t believe that Jane’s Addiction could recapture their former brilliance.

    “Strays” is of a different style than anything previously created by JA. There is no funk/punk/metal mix, but a unique hard rock style (attributed to the new rhythm section – Chris Chaney (& Martyn LeNoble!) on bass are very faithful to the JA style that Eric Avery founded). They still miss Eric Avery though. Undoubtedly, Perry Farrell’s influence is immense, with those unique vocals. Thankfully, he has left behind that annoying flowerchild persona that dominated his ##### For Pyros years. Perry Farrell IS Jane’s Addiction and he easily reverts back to type. Dave Navarro’s guitars are typically awesome and “Strays” is his best work since ‘Deconstruction’ (note the last minute of “To Match the Sun”).

    “Strays” flows easily from one rock number to the next. I will not list all my favourite songs because I don’t have one or two. The whole album is so solid. I haven’t found a weak track on “Strays” – it just doesn’t relent. I keep finding there is so much depth to this album – a rare find these days.

    Jane’s Addiction is back. “Strays” may not have the impact of “Nothing’s Shocking” or the legendary status of “Ritual de lo Habitial”, but it will signify the return of this great band, and hopefully mark the beginning of a new era.

    I recommend that if you are a former Jane’s Addiction fan then “Strays” should sit with pride alongside their best work on your CD shelf. For those intrigued by Jane’s Addiction, this could be the best place to start your collection.

    Posted on February 20, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Like all good Jane’s albums, you need to listen to them at least 10 times start to finish before determing whether they blow or not. I am beginning to love this album. I was really bummed out that Perry’s artwork was not on the cover or involved with the CD at all. I have a feeling they rushed this album out so it would sell while they toured. “True Nature” and “The Riches” stood out as classic Jane’s adrenaline tunes with great lyrics. I feel like the more the CD spins, the more I get into the songs I initially thought were horrible. The only song that is truly idiotic is “Superhero”. What were they thinking?The album is not as insightful or groundbreaking as previous works, but it keeps us late 80’s/early 90’s “Jane’s freaks” from travelling to Madagascar to find rare and unreleased material. I truly think that, although drugs seem to have broken up the band, they WERE the band. I was always so interested in what happened to Perry on the streets or on some sort of wacked out heroin vision. It added a mystical quality to the music. I hate to see these old farts on MTV. I used to think they were so cool. It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth to see the father of alternative rock try so hard to fit in to the MTV idiot crowd. Navarro thinks he is some sort of fashion model. Perkins is the only one who is cool enough to know that they are JANE’S ADDICTION. They don’t need to try so hard. They are already the coolest band ever.Anyhoo, buy the album. Listen to it without reading the lyrics in the CD sleeve. Listen to it again and again. There are layers that begin to reveal themselves. It’s like a magic eye picture. You can see some cool stuff in there if you look long enough.

    Posted on February 20, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now