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Jar of Flies EP

392 customer reviews

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Jar Of Flies
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Audio CD, EP, January 25, 1994
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

While not their most definitive album (that honor belongs to 1992's Dirt), Jar of Flies represents an important step in Alice in Chains' recording career. Witness "I Stay Away," which is made up of equal portions of hummable guitar riffs and the spookier, scarier, more grinding elements that most fans associate with Alice in Chains. This song most clearly delineates the dichotomy that was a highlight of the band's sound--Jerry Cantrell's listenable tunes and often gorgeous arrangements (just listen to what he does with "Whale & Wasp"!) and Layne Staley's growling vocals, which are just the teeniest bit flat. The collection as a whole, brief as it is, has an elegance that's unusual for metal. --Genevieve Williams
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 25, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: EP
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0000029F8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (392 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,249 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

96 of 97 people found the following review helpful By V. Messner on May 10, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I've always liked this album. Other reviewers went into great detail describing the content, so I won't go into specifics. All I'll say is that this is one of the most beautifully haunting collections of music that I've ever heard. Since the death of Layne Staley, I've been listening to this cd even more often than I used to. It feels even more special now; it is truly AIC's greatest gift to music, in my opinion. I can listen to these seven songs over and over and over, and they always lead to a more reflective state of mind and a trance-like feeling that's unique to this album. It's really difficult to put into words, but if you appreciate the uniqueness of this album even half as much as I do, you'll never part with it.
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72 of 72 people found the following review helpful By The Wickerman on January 29, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Despite being AIC's shortest and softest album, and despite my opinion that "Dirt" is perhaps the most exemplary display of the band's sound, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that "Jar of Flies" is the most perfect album they have ever done. Not only that, but I'll also say, without a moment's hesitation, that this is one of the most perfect albums ever made, by anyone. It was here that the band's warm, emotional side really shone through like never before. The music is largely acoustic (with some electric here and there), and Layne really just sang his heart out.

The album begins with "Rotten Apple", one of the band's most epic and beautiful pieces, with a mesmerizing guitar/bass melody, and those haunting AIC style vocal harmonies we all love. "Nutshell" and "Don't Follow" are acoustic ballads of incomparable emotional power; "I Stay Away" is super-creepy, with perfectly executed string arrangements. "No Excuses" is the catchiest song, with a great chorus. "Whale and Wasp" is a short instrumental, which is very tranquil and somewhat elegiac, and again we have some nice strings. The album ends with a curve, with "Swing On This". This song is sort of bizarre and jazzy, and makes for a fun ending to an otherwise dark and dreary listening experience. Despite the surprise it presents, it still fits in very well.

You know something? This review is crap. I could sit here and talk about this album all day, and still not possibly give you an idea of how amazing it really is. You really just have to hear it for yourself. "Jar of Flies" is 30 minutes of pure brilliance, and no one should be without it. Just having it has greatly enriched my life, and I hope it can do the same for you.
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52 of 58 people found the following review helpful By J. Sutherland on May 19, 2001
Format: Audio CD
For me Alice in Chains was a great band to come out of the Seattle Grunge period, but they were not at the same level as Pearl Jam and Nirvana. This album has proved me wrong. I will probably go on to buy more of their albums now that I have heard this. This album has seven songs on it but all of them are great and I think anyone would enjoy just about every one of them. The songs here have alot of emotional content in them as one can tell just from hearing Layne Staley's voice on "Nutshell." This song is very powerful and just thick and deep. Then there's "I Stay Away", which is also very powerful. The addition of an orchestra on this one is an excellent touch. I was surprised when I first heard this album because there is nary a weak song on it. In fact, all of the songs are top quality in every aspect. I really liked the instrumental song "Whale and Whasp." This song basically reminds me of something that Jimmy Page would do like "The Rain Song." I can't say enough about how good this album is. I am very thankful that I bought it. O yeah, if you listen carefully there is a story that is unfolded throughout the course of the album. It has something to do with an identity crisis and trying to find peace and redemption.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Seo-Yeon on May 9, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Layne's gone now....and Alice in Chains either. I don't wanna believe it until now. But how about their music?
In the mid-90's, I had been long addicted to bonecrushing sound of some thrash bands until i heard this album. At that time, the whole world was in love with grunge sound and fashion and I liked Nirvana. But I hated listen to "weak" musics and my favorite was all thrash bands yet. And one rainy afternoon of September, I was passing by a record shop. I was a little blue and wanted to buy a brandnew album. Then I picked up this album(I'd heard of their name only until then). As I got in my room, I played it on my stereo and.... heard a bass riff coming out from it. It was like ten ton "sponge" hammer beating. I've played whole album again and again all day. Bass riff on Rotten Apple is so good for intro to this whole blue album. And Jerry Cantrell's guitar licks are all killers. Nutshell is a very sad song. I love to sing this along. String orchestrations on Stay Away are no oversense but very good choice in my opinion. Whale & Wasp showcases Jerry's amazing songwriting ability well. And Don't Follow is one of my favorite songs. It is so relaxing but sad song. Harmonica on it is great. All Songs are classic. Layne's soul-taking voice and Jerry's blue tone made this album far from forgetting. This is not just an leftover EP and is surely a page of history. These unbelievable genius' had made a immortal creature. On rainy days, I can't help picking this up like that one mid-90's day.
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