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4.7 out of 5 stars
Dirt
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, Pearl Jam's Eddie Veder, and Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong are all sitting in an old West-style salloon. Each is clutching an album that has been claimed "Best of the '90's": Billie Joe has Dookie, Cobain has Nevermind, and Veder has Ten. Then Layne Staley busts in, clutching a copy of Dirt. He sits down, orders a drink, and challenges everyone in the bar to a fight. Bllie Joe of course doesn't have a chance, because Green Day's the worst band ever and he knows it, so of course Staley chases him out of town. Cobain puts up a bit more of a fight, but eventually realizes it's futile, and surrenders. So now it's down to Staley and Veder - in the end, Staley wins out.

What I'm trying to say is Dirt is the best album of the '90's - not only that, one of my favorites ever. It's a dark, creepy, sludgy concept album about the horrors of heroin addiction. It probably scares small children. And it's got the best song of the '90's: Rooster. If you can imagine the heaviness of Black Sabbath merged with the melodic instincts of the Beatles, you've got Dirt.

1. Dem Bones: 10/10

2. Dam That River: 10/10

3. Rain When I Die: 10/10

4. Down in a Hole: 10/10

5. Sickman: 10/10 (some fans don't like it, but I love the pummeling chorus/slow verse contrast)

6. Rooster: 100/10

7. Junkhead: 8/10

8. Dirt: 7/10

9. God Smack: 10/10

10. Iron Gland: N/A. Worst song on the album, but because it's only forty seconds long that can be forgiven.

11. Hate to Feel: 10/10

12. Angry Chair: 10/10

13. Would?: 10/10

Needless to say, this is a complete masterpiece that's almost impossible to review objectively. I'll stop trying now. Just buy it. You won't be disappointed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I feel that this album is one of those that was perfectly made . There aren t many recordings that have been made that have that type of quality , as does Dirt .

Facelift was a very good starting point to this band . I was able to see them open for the Clash of the titans tour in '91 .

There are songs here that have the category of ' fantastic ' or timeless . We are very lucky to have groups as was Alice to give us such high quality music .

Because that s what we humans should do when we hear music . Is listen to very good ( music ) . Nothing else . And not all music is ' good ' music

I tend to go back to my 18 years of age and my friends back in 1993 listening to this awesome album , that also accompanied the 1993 ish smorgasboard of music we alternative teens listened to in that special point in musical ' time ' ( A lot of Grateful Dead , Smashing P , Porno for Pyros and anything like i said that was good )

I try to remember how i d neve heard atune like Rooster ( Its words and music ) . Especially the music , or the difficult to describe ' blend ' of music / lyrics . 5.000.000 stars for that song . ( I m very generous )

On a good stereo system the whole album sounds good , but when you get to Rooster turn it way up , and you ll see what I mean about this ' good music ' bizness im talking to you about .

Comparing it to Facelift , it s a growing point .

After 1996 I really lost touch with their music . And I ve been living in Chile ( my country of birth ) since 99 so when I heard about our brother Layne Staley s death , I thought ' No way ' . Rest in peace dear brother .

I hope the rest of this group continues in good things . Especially Jerry . One of the records I have to obtain soon is Boggy Depot , since it has such good reviews . I wish Mike Starr , Sean Kinney and Mike Inez s lives are and always will be accompanied by god s good will . You guys ( if you read this ) made some of the best music that existed on planet earth . You are among the few groups that could do that . Layne is with us , just not phisically .

Peace
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is an essentail album for anyone who loves grunge. the lyrics are amazing. its all very good and who doesnt love songs about drugs and death?

Songs:

Them Bones: 9.5/10 Great and the solo is my favorite from jerry. the song is short but is great and is nothing short of fantastic. i would think it is the most heavy song on the album

Dam That River: 9/10 Another great song i think its about beating up someone up and is heavy just like them bones as listed above this song has a solo as well but not as short and the solo is a lot worse.

Rain When I Die: 7/10 Not the best but its listenable at least it has a very nice bass thump to start.

Down In a Hole: 9.7 Epic im serious to me it is a lot like love hate love and is well... emotional and mello

Sickman: 8/10 Decent it is but its sorta filler sounding just the way it starts makes you instantly think filler but after a few times it gets ok

Rooster: 10/10 Great. the best song on the album. howerver it doesnt fit in with the rest of the songs. the song is about war and surviving while others are diyng and the rest is about the opposite. it has cool lyrics like alice in chains has a knack for "aint found away to kill me yet eyes burn with stinging sweat seems every path leads me to nowhere; wife and kids house hold pet army green was no safe bet the bullet screams to me from somewhere yeah the come snuff the rooster oh yeah; here comes the rooster yeah you know he aint gonna die" ya these are good.

Junkhead: 8/10 Very good but the the live version is a lot better

Godsmack: 9/10 Good song but the part i dont like is a band stole it from AIC that goes to falloutboy lover who says that they stole it when godsmack stole it from alice in chains. alice in chains DID NOT steal it from godsmack

Dirt: 9.2/10 Good but could be better. live version is also better. the start is awesome

Iron Gland: 7/10 Filler-ific but is making fun of the song Iron Man it just laughs its pretty much the heaviest 45 second song ever

Hate to Feel: 6/10 Not very good just is not good music not suiting to the great lyrics

Angry Chair: 9.3/10 The grungiest song ever but i like it, it might sound like a prequel to head creeps because it sounds un rehearsed if you want un rehearsed just listen to green day live or my chemical romance live the both suck and are way off because they are worthless emo pop.

Would: 10/10 Another epic song and a great way to end an epic album
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Alice In Chains - Dirt (1992)

These ruminations on drug addiction are so depressing, chances are you won't listen to them lightly if you're paying attention to them. Layne Staley's pain was all too real and it's palpable on DIRT. Now he's dead and gone with him one of the greatest rock voices ever. Full of confusion, frustration and hate, these songs are a testament to Layne's agonizing life as a junkie.

Only "Junkhead" offers a cynical endorsement of a druggie's lifestyle. Death is a much more common subject, but not fear of death - rather, longing for it such as on "Sickman" in which a fly is deemed lucky for living only a day.

Death also figures prominently on "Down in a Hole," the softest track but probably the best song. It's beautifully orchestrated. "Would?" and "Angry Chair" are the other strong contenders for best song and they're VERY heavy.

Jerry Cantrell wrote most of the album and, apparently, a great deal of the lyrics which is probably a good indication as to what degree he's "been there" himself as the lyrics are so compelling. More than anything, though, Cantrell is a master axeman who's solos are nothing short of mind-blowing.

This is scorching if typically downbeat rock (metal? - certainly a template for grunge). They do take more than a cue from Black Sabbeth at times. Accusations of being derivative are not entirely unfounded, although their sheer talent outways their "influences" to a large extent. As is often the case, some songs are better than others, "Dam That River" being the weakest in my view. I don't think "Rooster" is the strongest song either although it gets plenty of radio play, even today. It's a song about Jerry's dad who apparently was a Vietnam soldier. The song fits in quite well with the "hell on earth" theme of the album.

An aside: Layne's love, Demri, is the image on the cover. She died of an overdose and I read that Layne never recovered from her death. How sad that with legions around the world who cared about him, Layne, who lived his last days in solitude, picked up a needle and died alone.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This is the definitive AIC album. The best grunge band, nearly in a tie with the mindblowing Pearl Jam, but certainly better than the great Nirvana.
"Facelift", AIC's debut album, was raw, tortured, and heartfelt. "Alice In Chains", AIC's final and best album was dark, grinding, creepy, had more refined guitarwork, and was just as suicidal as every other AIC album, only heavier.
"Dirt" was the turning point. Cleans up the sound of "Facelift", but doesn't quite employ as many muffling voice effects as "Alice In Chains". Jerry Cantrell's tortured, demonic lyrics fit perfectly with Layne Staley's also tortured vocals. Staley's sound is moody, depressed, hostile, heartfelt, demonic...quite simply one of the best voices to ever come out of a human being.
"Dirt" is full of metal riffs, but also softer riffs, much in the style of say...Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, and many other greats.
But, most importantly, "Dirt" is a dark passage through the depressed catacombs of both Cantrell's and Staley's inner mental workings. It contains many suicidal lyrics such as "I want to taste dirty stinging pistol in my mouth, on my tongue, I want you to scrape me off the walls," many deprived, challenged, and all around amazing lyrics. The music eases these into utter perfection.
This is an album to listen to if you're feeling depressed. When I am depressed, "Dirt" often gives me something to believe in, something to live for.
I love Alice In Chains.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2006
Format: Audio CD
okay, granted, I haven't heard the whole album. I've heard a couple songs but I'm mainly posting this to correct the "I love fall out boy!!!" chick. You claimed that Alice in chains ripped off godsmack. Do your research. Alice in chains came first. They're also a hell of a lot more talented. Sorry, had to correct you
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Alice In Chains' seminal 1993 work Dirt is one of those engrossing albums that like all truly great works of literature, music, or film lets the listener enter and see a world that they would otherwise not have known about. Most of the album's dark lyrics chronicle frontman Layne Staley's ongoing heroin addiction and the downfalls of it. Staley's amazing voice and haunting vocal melodies along with Jerry Cantrell's awesome guitar work make this album worth buying alone, but the songwriting is excellent with the thunderous rhythm section of Mike Starr and Sean Kinney backing Staley and Cantrell, who both sing and play guitar here. Cantrell wrote most of the music, and his tunes build a huge, multi-faceted atmosphere with flourishes and touches of classic rock influences and some truly great guitar work. The songs are all excellent, with Cantrell writing lyrics to a few songs, like the Vietnam War ballad "Rooster" and the great tracks "Would?" and "Down In A Hole," with its expansive lanscape, but it is Staley's strong "Angry Chair" which is perhaps the album's most powerful song. If you don't check out this album, you'll only have yourself to blame.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2006
Format: Audio CD
The best album recorded in the 1990s. Period.

Alice In Chains' "Dirt" was so far apart from the rest of the Seattle sound, thus being head and shoulders above all the others. I know Nirvana's "Nevermind" was what started the sonic revolution known as Grunge, but it does not hold half the substance and quality DIRT contains. DIRT is a masterpiece that can withstand the test of time because the themes of DIRT(death, drugs, sickness, and sadness) will be obstacles prevelant in humanity until the end of time.

The music is so heavy; dwelling in the dark, murky areas of human emotions. The only song that doesn't fit in is "Rooster", and the reason I say that is because Rooster is a song about survival. When all hope seems lost and everyone else around you is dying, you find the strength to persevere through adversity. The themes on DIRT coincide with the order in which the songs are played. The first four tracks-Them Bones, Rain When I Die, Dam That River, and Down in a Hole are all about misery, and hopelessness. They set up the next theme-drugs and the intense hell they bring about-from Sickman, Junkhead, Dirt, God Smack, Iron Gland, Hate to Feel, Angry Chair, and finally "Would?", a song with a glimmer of hope that promises redemption-"If I could, would you?". The songs and themes set up a hidden storyline: sadness and depression leads you to drugs, which only leads you to rock bottom, after you have acheived the absolute lowest is when you can begin your ascension back to the top.

My personal favorite on this album is "Would?". With its thundering bass line, and intoxicating sound, it alone will put you in an altered-state.

Layne Staley's lyrics may be a psychiatrist's dream job, but his vocals are phenomenal. His tortured screams and haunting chants are what sets this album apart from anything else I have ever heard. You can feel the emotion in his voice, you feel the torment in his soul. Listen carefully to the eerie prophecies that are the lyrics in "Them Bones", "Rain When I Die", and "Down In A Hole". Prophecies that Layne ultimately fulfills when he is found a decomposed corpse on his couch, an apparent Heroin overdose from being surrounded by intraveinous drug paraphenalia. What is so remarkable is that everything from DIRT is fulfilled--he died all alone, rotting in his own exile and decay.

Also, this was the last album recorded with original bassist Mike Starr, which in my opinion is what led to A.I.C.'s demise. When Starr left, the energy he brought with him left also. Although Mike Inez was a very skilled musician, he was a business decision and never really seemed to fit with the band.

If you had only $15 bucks in your pocket, was stranded in the desert, dying of starvation and someone offered you the choice of buying a meal or Alice In Chains' "Dirt", you should buy "Dirt".

Its that damn good.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2002
Format: Audio CD
With the death of Layne Staley, another of the "grunge" bands that dominated the early 1990's has officially bitten the dust, leaving "Dirt" as their grandest statement. With their sweeping, grinding guitars, downcast lyrics, and Staley's haunting vocals, Alice in Chains provided a soundtrack for many the angst-ridden high schooler, myself included. With the dark lyrical perspective and heavy, disortion-laden guitar work of classic metal infused with ample doses of melody, "Dirt" possessed a very rare mix of metal edge and pop appeal. That combination was evident right from the beginning with the hit "Them Bones," which placed sweeping melodic vocals over a fast, grinding guitar riff, with some very downcast lyrics thrown in to boot. Other songs, including "Rain When I Die," "Down in a Hole," and "Dirt" brought a slow, dirgelike quality into the mix, with more tortured vocals and lyrics. The hit "Rooster" was of course another noteworthy song, with Staley's distorted vocals telling a grim tale of the horrors experienced by those who fought in Vietnam; the track also features a fine guitar solo from Jerry Cantrell. "Angry Chair" boasts a rhythmically driven melody that is almost irresistible, making it a great prelude to "Would," which of course remains Alice in Chains's signature song. From the caustic guitars of the opening, to Staley's haunting vocals, to the cathartic shouting of the chorus, "Would" perfectly captured the dark atmosphere and technical proficiency that made Alice in Chains's music so potent. It's too bad that the door has now been slammed on any chance of their making any more music, especially with the rock scene as stale and repetitive as it is now. There's no more Alice in Chains or Soungarden, but Creed are still selling millions of records? It just doesn't seem fair.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Ok I might have nothing new to say that wasn't said before. You heard it all, the best album from one of the best bands of all time, perfection, masterpiece, briliance, ..., ..., what do you need more. Still not convinced? here's what are you going to do: open your kazaa (imesh, winmx, dc++, whatever) and download Down In A Hole, and listen to it. Now if you don't feel the need to listen to it again and again and again,..., and you don't think that thats one of the best songs ever, then theres no hope for you. But that's not going to happen. You'r gonna buy this CD immediatley, and once you do that, you'r gonna find out why does this album have 5 star average review here.

I'm not gonna say anything abut any song in particular, or any other detail, because it's been done before by other reviewers, and I don't think I can do it better.

And if you are still not convinced, there's still one thing to do - read the one star reviews. You'r gonna "find out" that Alice In Chains are nothing more than godsmack rip offs, puddle of mudd wannabies, and that limp bizkit is the best band in the hisory of mankind. Just another reason to buy this CD asap
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