Customer Review

0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the same impact as it used to have, July 6, 2001
This review is from: Dirt (Audio CD)
This album has been in my CD collection since 1993 and, although it used to get lots of play back then, I barely even touch it anymore.
The first time I heard Alice in Chains was when they released "Man in the Box" back in 1991. I wasn't that into the "metal" sound at the time (outside of maybe Guns 'N Roses - can't believe I'm admitting that) but "Man in the Box" was just so dark and addictive that I just had to purchase the album, "Facelift." The album as a whole was a very disappointing experience; outside of "Man in the Box," it consisted of bland, uninspired metal. (But it came with a free video tape, which included the "Man in the Box" video, so I wasn't too upset.)
When AiC released "Dirt" in 1993, a lot had changed since their 1991 debut. The Seattle scene was huge, Lollapalooza was THE summer concert event, and AiC were one of the featured bands that year. So, although I hesitated at first, I was too caught up in grunge fever to resist giving the band another shot. "Dirt" was uniformly dark and addictive, creative and varied, pontificating and unique - everything that "Facelift" wasn't. It became a part of my regular playlist for the next few months and it was great experiencing the songs played live that summer at Lollapalooza.
But, of course, things continued to change: the music scene, my personal taste in music, etc. Eventually the album dropped out my regular playlist and was gradually forgotten. Now when I choose to listen to it (which is hardly ever) I never find myself as impressed as I used to be. The first half of the album really bores me. There's really no "catch" to any of the songs. The second half of the album definitely picks up. "Dirt" and "Angry Chair" are good songs. The lyrical theme of drug addiction, life spiraling out of control, ensuing fallout and mental/physical anguish caused by overuse and withdrawal makes for compelling subject matter and disturbing lyrics. But, although the lyrics are well-written, I can't get past Stanley's delivery - there's a whiny, tiresome quality to it that tends to wear thin. As well, the "grungey" guitar playing just doesn't appeal to me anymore.
Even though I'm not that into this album anymore, I'd definitely recommend it to those of you that like the type of hard rock that you hear on modern rock radio nowadays. AiC were a significant influence on today's hard rock bands and they did it a heck of a lot better. But if you can't stand what you hear on the radio and don't care for grunge or metal, stay away.
This will always be in my music collection because it was a keynote album at a memorable period in my life. However, if it hadn't been, I'd sell it to a used CD store in a second.
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