43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The masterpiece of its generation.
One of the most original and unique records of its era, "Nothing's Shocking" is the album that turned into the bar for alternative music. In many ways the LA variant of grunge, Jane's Addiction successfully combines the sounds of '70s arena rock with a punk sensibility and a post-punk feel, adding Perry Farrell's esoteric and often dense lyrics on top of this. While...
Published on June 30, 2005 by Michael Stack
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Jane's Addiction, or Judas Priest. :)
Pros: Innovative, different sounds
Cons: Not what I was looking for :)
To be honest, I heard "The Mountain Song" on a local alternative rock radio station, and swore up and down it was Judas Priest. I had heard Jane's Addiction before, and owned "Ritual De Lo Habitual", but they never sounded like this to me. It was heavy, it was metal sounding. I liked...
Published 9 months ago by Matt
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The masterpiece of its generation.,
Admittedly, Jane's is probably not for everyone-- its hard to deny the instrumental prowess of this band: guitarist Dave Navarro can wail away with the best of them, and its through him that the influence of '70s and '80s arena sounds come through. Bassist Eric Avery has a very different sensibility, if there's one thing about Avery, its that he's really a master of sitting in a pocket, whether featured in a melodic context or even just marching to the guitar line-- he phrases slightly off to provide that sort of groove feeling. And drummer Stephen Perkins is probably the best of his generation, with a fine technique and an expressiveness that is really quite rare to find in modern drummers. But the band's calling card is really Perry Farrell, and he's the kind of thing you sort of like or dislike straight off-- his kind of punk-meets-Queen vocal approach, very much over the top the way Freddie Mercury was, but filtering out much of the technique in place of passion and a raw wail. It's not for everyone.
Getting past the band, the music on this album is intense-- their proclivity for rambling, musically, further accentuates the tighter material, and they manage to strike a fine balance between the two that they'd miss on future releases. Avery and Perkins lock together and provide propulsive foundations, laid back grooves, and ambiance to the pieces-- Navarro either explodes or focuses on color, and Farrell maintains a surrealist presence, drifting, seemingly randomly at times, in and out of the pieces, content to babble abstractly rather than provide coherent lyrics at times. It sounds like a mess, but it works well, from the explosive "Ocean Size"-- a driven modern rock anthem to the funky, laid back, atmospheric and deeply disturbing "Ted, Just Admit It" (about serial killer Ted Bundy) to the delicate, lilting ballad "Summertime Rolls". The band could rock ("Mountain Song"), swing ("Thank You Boys") and get plain funky ("Idiots Rule"), or move into a delicate mode with acoustic guitars and steel drums (single "Jane Says"). And for the album closer, they give in to Farrell's most self indulgent tendency with the totally bizarre "Pigs in Zen", an alternative masterpiece that needs to be heard to be explained.
The members of the band would manage one more album before literally getting into fist fights on-stage at Farrell brainchild Lollapalooza, and while they've all gone on to produce some great music outside of the band, none of them would quite reach this level. Essential listening.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ages exceptionally well,
From the opening bludgeon of "Up the Beach" to the staccato aggressiveness of "Pigs in Zen", this album never lets up. Even the cheeky "Thank You Boys" is delivered with impish delight that could only come from the mind of the half-mad, feral Farrell. Compare Dave Navarro's chops with anything on your local flaccid rock station and you'll see what I mean.
It's high time to treasure this gem all over again.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No talking, all action,
The music is incredible. Perry Farrell's manic howls provide some of the best lyrics that can be found in alternative rock. Dave Navarro plays guitar like a maniac, and Eric Avery's bass is what truly helps drive the band, simple yet utterly brilliant. Stephen Perkin's drumming is incredible. Every song on this album is good.
The opener, "Up The Beach" is a sort of swaying, gentle track that provides a perfect introduction. "Ocean Size" hits with the force of a tidal wave - play the song LOUD. "Had a Dad" is melodic and groovy, and truly excellent. "Ted, Just Admit It" is an epic, funky song. "Standing in the Shower . . . Thinking" is a quick, hard blast of funk. "Summertime Rolls" is a great song with a sort of dream-like quality.
"Mountain Song" is simply one of the greatest things ever recorded. The bassline is one of the best ever, and the song explodes with a force that dwarfs most others. Perry howling "coming down the mountain . . ." and "cash in now, honey" will send chills down your spine. "Idiots Rule" rocks. "Jane Says" is a classic, one of the all-time great songs. "Pigs in Zen" is a brilliant, clever, insightful song, listen closely.
Nothing's Shocking is simply an album you have to own.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LIfe Changer,
NOTHING'S SHOCKING came out when I was in high school and was listening to a lot of heavy metal. To me, what was "alternative" was just new wave crap or weird stuff with no intensity. Little did I know. I heard a guy talking about a song off this album, so I asked a guy I knew who I knew listened to "weird" music and he let me borrow a copy of it. From the first few seconds, I fell in love and asked my friend for more music. He steered me in new directions and I have never looked back. Everyone NEEDS to hear this album to believe it.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an Acid-Trip and a Metal-Funk Explosion in One,
By A Customer
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm gonna kick tomorrow...,
Nothing's Shocking is as much a piece of Art as a cutting edge Thinking Person's Metal album. This is even reflected in the utterly haunting cover photo of a Perry Farrell sculpture of a pair of naked Siamese Twins with their heads on fire, sitting on a wicker chair.
As many of you will know, the 'Twins' were made from a papier mache body cast of Perry's then girlfriend, the remarkable Casey Niccoli, which was then duplicated and fused. Whatever its origins, it is an unforgettable image and naturally caused major controversy on the album's release.
Musically, Nothing's Shocking includes some of Jane's best work, although apparently the band wrote most of the material for their first three albums when they first got together.
The stunningly beautiful 'Jane Says' went on to become one of the most played Rock ballads of all time, along with U2's 'One' and Led Zeppelin's 'Thank You' and 'Stairway To Heaven'.
Yet this album also contains such powerhouse numbers as Ocean Size, Mountain Song and Pigs In Zen (Pigs, not on the original vinyl - not my UK copy, anyway) which can just about blow the doors off any competition you could name.
If I recall correctly, Ted Just Admit It was recorded while serial killer Ted Bundy was still around, and was all the more chilling because of that fact.
Rather than babble further, I would just ask you to give this rare work of genius a listen, and savor the breathtaking combination of Perry Farrell's unique and hypnotic vocals, Dave N's brilliantly inventive guitar work and as classic a collection of songs as you will ever get on one album.
'Just Because' from the new album is a reminder of the awesome power that the band can still wield, but this album right here, is the one that put them on the map.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars thirteen years old and the album is still fresh and powerful,
"Jane Says" (track 9) was first recorded as a studio track on this album, but that song's enduring popularity has overshadowed the other, better songs that surround it.
"Ted, Just Admit It" (track 4) may be the most cataclysmic track here, a seven-minute epic that lends the album its title and a lot of its essential character.
"Summertime Rolls" (track 6) is a beautiful, hedonistic ode to summer bliss.
"Mountain Song" (track 7) is at the moment my favorite Jane's Addiction song -- thundering drums, cascading guitars, an unforgettable baseline, and Perry Farrell in peak wailing form.
this album, more than any other, illustrates to me how far popular music has fallen in recent years -- because nothing has come close to Nothing's Shocking.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Shocking about why so many people like this album,
"Nothing Shocking" is an interesting album in that it's hard to pigeonhole. People will probably use the all-generic term "alternative" to describe the album, but that label seems a little unsatisfactory. Maybe the album is arty and off-center, but it isn't like a Sonic Youth album in that it's really obscure or avant-garde. In fact, the album is loaded with infectious hooks and terrific solos, and the album rocks, and rocks hard. Therefore, a guitar aficionado who is a fan of Van Halen or Hendrix, or just of guitar rock in general, is going to dig "Nothing Shocking" as much as the Sonic Youth/Velvet Underground crowd.
Additionally, "Nothing Shocking" has attracted many fans and praise no doubt because of the album's unique flavor. "Nothing Shocking" can sometimes be very gentle and soothing, and then, just like that, it's aggressive and even ferocious. Elements of jazz, new-age and funk are interspersed throughout. It's a very unpredictable album and one never knows exactly what will come next. The sound of the album is spacey, yet full; it's abstract, yet at the same time it's an album that many listeners can connect with. The structures of the songs are also non-traditional in that many of them don't follow a verse-chorus-verse pattern and the listener often doesn't know where a song in going; yet everything works.
Charismatic singer Perry Ferrell has a wholly unique voice that's really hard to describe. It's higher than that of most singers, and not really "full," yet carries everything on the album just fine. Ferrell's lyrics are not easily comprehensible, yet they don't sound pretentious either. He's not speaking in gibberish, he has something to say, yet it takes some thought to try to figure it out.
Guitarist Dave Navaro's solos are awesome and the dude obviously is a terrific player--yet he shows restraint, making sure that the killer solos avoid grandiosity and are just one element in the band's sound. Drummer Stephen Perkins and bassist Eric Avery provide and exciting and unpredictable rhythm section.
"Up the Beach," a three minute instrumental sets the perfect tone for the album--spacey, eerie and psychedelic. It's peaceful yet with an undercurrent of disharmony. "Ocean Size" is one of the album's more straight-forward rockers. It is one long, hard-hitting song, with gentle acoustic strumming sprinkled here and there. "Had a Dad" starts out hitting hard, but then a colorful, lush chorus kicks in, throwing the listener for a loop. "Ted, Just Admit it" is one of the album's more off-beat songs. It starts out unhurried, with a jazzy bass-line leading the listener through over noodling guitars, and then, almost without knowing what has hit you, the song suddenly becomes chaotic and there is a feeling of entropy. The lyrics are rather abstract and low-key, until around the middle when Ferrell repeats "sex is violent" over and over again, like a mantra. The drum solo and hectic soloing add to the feeling of disorder. The funk-laden "Standing in the Shower thinking" has a touch of Red Hot Chili Peppers to it and moves the album along nicely. The subdued, sleepy hypnotic "Summertime Rolls," much like the opening "Up the Beach" is tranquil, yet with a feeling of unease. The hard-rocking "Mountain Song" has a Led Zeppelin-like riff and vibe but with psychedelic underpinnings. The album takes a 140 degree turn for the jazzy/funky "Idiots Rule." The saxophone, trumpet and trombone blend in perfectly and add a really quirky but cool touch to the album. Jane's Addiction's most well-known song, the acoustic melancholy "Jane Says," tells the story of a woman with a heroin addiction. While the song is a modern/alternative rock staple, it never seems to get old. The jazzy minute long off-beat "Thank you Boys" is kind of strange and comes out of nowhere, but its inclusion works. Another abstract song, the closing "Pigs in Zen" makes for a good conclusion.
Released in 1988, "Nothing Shocking" sounds as fresh today as it did nearly twenty years ago and is one of the least dated albums I can think of. And while it has sold two million copies, and received much praise, it still manages to hold the allure of cult status. No matter what kind of music you are into, "Nothing Shocking" is an essential purchase. Hopefully a new generation of fans that are currently being force-fed Nickeback will discover the album.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jane Says...,
Think of it this way..."You can't make it without it"
Rock girl chicago
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never To Be Outdone,
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