martes, 1 de diciembre de 2009

The A-Z of 2009: A is for Alice in Chains


Pues los dos años anteriores que he bloggeado, siempre me he puesto al fin de año a catalogar mis discos favoritos, como es costumbre, nunca termino haciendolo completamente, asi que este año hare eso en una sola entrada a final del mes y pues por ahora tomare otro rumbo, creando un resumen alfabetico del año. Aqui empiezo con la primera letra del abecedario, la A:

Hace algunos meses que exprese mi contento con el disco que saco Alice in Chains este año despues de 14 años y el primero tras la muerte del vocalista Layne Staley. Ahora ya he escrito una mejor reseña, y lo he escuchado mejor, y pues les cuento que estara en los primeros lugares de este año. Pues decidi darles esta letra, pq a mi parecer es muy dificil lograr hacer un regreso de calidad (Portishead lo logro el año pasado), pero Alice in Chains lo logro y sin su vocalista, que es la esencia del sonido de una banda. El espiritu de Layne ronda por entre las letras y la importancia de Jerry Cantrell en la banda es notable. Pues para no hablar cosas que leeran otra vez en la reseña, paro aca y los dejo con la reseña que hice para la pagina rateyourmusic.com y tmb comparto la cancion que le da nobmre al disco

"I was not so sure about an Alice in Chains reunion on these times when so many reunions go so awfully wrong, sometimes even with their original line-up. Even more scary to thinkk about lacking your vocalist and even more if that was Layne Staley. Fortunately, Black Gives Way to Blue manages to prove the big influence and the gear and driving engine that was and is Jerry Cantrell on Alice in Chains. Lyrically, musically and with his backing vocals, which if not had been added to Layne's lead, wouldn't have worked out as well.

But the main question here was not if Jerry and the others were still in good shape, but if a nobody by the name of William Duvall was up to them. Contrary to my initial belief, he does. My doubts were cleared when listening months ago to "A Looking in View", with a voice that catches Layne's ambient and mood, without sounding as though he wants to be the late singer, or at least, accomplishing it really well. This might prove to be the most accurate vocal replacement since Brian Johnson filled the spot of the late Bon Scott (BTW, fuck you Paul Rodgers!).

What Alice in Chains achieves here, is to deliver a high quality product, which can and should be placed with the band's best, "Dirt" & "Jar of Flies". And in fact, the sound hasn't changed much from the sludgy sounds heard on their previous works. This will probably had been even bigger, had it come out a few years after their self-titled. We can't complain though, because this is done well, plus it is comprehensible they didn't stray so far from the sound on their fans minds for the comeback record, than they would have set themselves on a high risk of rejection, which would be blamed on the new singer dishonouring Staley's memory. Now with their feet on solid ground, they can venture farther into pretentiousness on albums to come.

Lyrically, many of the songs can't but maje a connection in your mind with the band's post-1995 period. Just take the opening line which goes "Hope, a new beggining", or is there another way of understanding "Last of my Kind", than the band boasting on being the survivors of the grunge era? with an omission to Pearl Jam, which could be found on "Lesson Learned", on the line "Most of us hiding, others are shining"? This kind of writings are unavoidably connected to Layne, and are foundout troughout the whole album, but are never more clearer than on the closing track. "Haunted by your ghost. Lay down, black gives way to blue, lay down, I'll remember you". And surely fans will remember him too, but if Layne is Black, and William is Blue, I'll say I'm fond of both colors.
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Alice in Chains - Black GIves Way to Blue

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