Unsolicited Notes On That New Alice In Chains Album

AIC_FINAL_COVERsmallAlice in Chains
Black Gives Way To Blue
Virgin/EMI
2009

The mainstream rock press is heaping Louie Anderson-sized amounts of praise upon Black Gives Way To Blue (a.k.a. OMG Tha Chains R Back With A Noo Singur LOL!!), calling it another stellar entry in the AiC catalog and in no way a disgrace to late founding singer Layne Staley’s dark legacy. Intrigued, I decided to check this bastard out. Too lazy to whip up a real review, I shall now share with you the notes I took as I sat back in my favorite easy chair a few days ago and let Black Gives Way To Blue wash over me like a bucket of thick paint for the second or third time:

“In case you weren’t aware this [album] is a new beginning, a time to start living; Alice in Chains literally announces that less than a minute into the first song. Guh.”

“Interesting arpeggio on ‘All Secrets Known.’ Kinda hypnotic.”

“The dizzying riff to ‘Check My Brain’ is probably the hottest I’ve heard since Obama took office. But those goddamn lyrics! Oy gevalt. No, Jerry Cantrell, I will not check your brain because you have entered the great state of California.”

“People love to debate whether or not Alice in Chains was grunge or metal. Without Layne’s gutteral vocals, they are most assuredly metal, bordering on the hair variety. ‘Last Of My Kind’ could be a damn Warrant song. It has shades of ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin.'”

“Layne’s presence is definitely missed. There are lots of tasty textures, though.”

“Most of these tunes are pretty generic.”

There you have it. If you had to chop all that down into one tasty and utterly misleading pull quote, you could do it like this:

JG2 of the JG2Land blog says, “[Black Gives Way To Blue] is a new beginning [that’s]…hypnotic…dizzying…most assuredly metal…[with] lots of tasty textures!”

So, yeah, bottom line – there are some hot riffs on this bitch, but overall, thang’s generic.

FINAL SCORE: One and a half guys with goatees arguing about what musical category Alice in Chains falls into (out of four).

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