Jane's Addiction - Strays - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Jane's Addiction - Strays

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:2003-07-21

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 line up, replaced by Chris Chaney--hasn't come to party like its 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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