Review by Jonny Garland
Jane’s Addiction – Live in NYC
I used to be a big fan of Jane’s Addiction back in the day. But I sort of forgot about them, weirdly. I do this sort of thing; I forgot about my car on a shopping trip once and got a bus home, but that doesn’t mean I love it any less. For me, Jane’s Addiction were initially almost an acquired taste, a bit like soya milk. They seemed too “psychedelic rock” for me at times, probably best enjoyed whilst dressed in robes and marginally off your face on strong coffee.
So I was looking forward to this latest offering from the Los Angeles guys. A live album, always a challenge, can they get the mix right? Will the atmosphere transfer from venue to my speakers and in turn to my ears? Some bands have failed badly in this respect. Not a lot beats “being there”, smelling the sweat, and being jostled from every side whilst simultaneously being eardrum assaulted. However, it is safe to say that Jane’s Addiction have done it and they have done it well. “Live In NYC” does not disappoint. It is Jane’s Addiction at their best; live, in your face, ABH’ing the ear in the best possible way. This album lived in my car for a week. In fact I almost forgot the reason it was there and this review I had to write.
The mix is good and the bass was pounding enough to shake my carammacchiatotto like a mild earthquake. Take Ain’t No Right for example. It’s the Addiction at their best with great bass, perfect guitar and clean vocals (for a live album), yet rough enough to remind you of the “live” vibe and the sweat, blood and tears. In contrast new tracks like Irresistible Force (from the Great Escape Artist album) make an appearance and slow the proceedings down in a unique Addiction way. It is a track that I can only describe as quite beautiful. I think my neighbours like Ted, Just Admit it… judging by the banging on the wall in appreciation last night. It must have been Dave Navarro’s crisp guitar. Perry Farrell’s vocals are a little soft at times and slightly drowned out on occasion but don’t let that put you off. I feel that he is unique among vocalists and always has been, which is what makes Jane’s Addiction stand apart from the mainstream.
For a Jane’s Addiction fan this album is a must. For newbies just try it, go on. You will be surprised and you will love it. Stick it on, close your eyes and you will feel like you are there. Unless you are driving, I would not suggest that if you are driving… just speed up.