Alice in Chains: Black Gives Way to Blue.

Damn. This one is hitting me just the right way.

I was always a fare weather fan of AiC. I thought they had their hits and misses, but when they hit, they hit hard. And as inconsistent as they were, at least they had a great sound.

They’re back after 14 years, and I was really hoping to be surprised. I was, but not in the way I thought I was. I guess I was expecting a reinvention of sorts. But this is classic AiC. The sound is all there, they picked up where they left off, and overall, I think it’s their most consistent album since Dirt. I don’t mind that they found a new singer that sounds close to Layne. They did what they had to do to maintain their sound. And I think he’s good.

The first time through, I was kind of disappointed, but I think that was just due to my preconceived expectations. The grunge is back, unabashedly. Good for them.

The only track that’s not sticking for me is Acid Bubble, but I’ll spin that a few more times. Solid album otherwise, IMO.

Any other thoughts on the new album, or the return of Chains?

Obviously I meant “fair weather”. :smack:

Just an old-time AiC fan checking in – I definitely plan on checking this album out, thanks for the review!

:eek: I didn’t even realize that was out - thanks for the heads-up!

I think it is OK, but not great. I like “Check My Brain”, but most of the rest is just OK.

I was hoping for better, actually.

That’s how I felt at first, and kinda used Check My Brain as the lynch pin for the rest of the album. But, the more I spun it, the more the music really started to sink in. I’d say it took about 4 - 5 spins until most of the tracks really grew on me.

Time will tell if it’ll be a lifelong album to turn every so often, or if it’ll burn out fast, but this is just what thr doctor ordered for right now.

I love AIC, but I was never impressed with how their records turn out. They always seems to be a mix of great songs and mediocre ones. The new vocalist didn’t really stand out in the mix, I thought they should have turned up his mic. It seemed like Jerry was the main vocalist with the new guy relegated to singing backup.

I thought the best songs on here were the softer ones: Your Decision, When The Sun Rose Again and Black Gives Way To Blue.

That pretty much sums up how I fell/felt about AiC in general, and I agree with your choices for the better tunes on the album. I’d also like to nominate Lesson Learned, Take Her Out, and even Last of my Kind (which has a sort of Dragula rhythm to it, oddly enough). Even the album opener, while not all that great song on its own, is a perfect album opener and great lead in to Check My Brain.

To put it another way, this album doesn’t have any "Again"s, "Man in the Box"s, or "Would?"s, which are all A+. It’s more like an album full of their overlooked gems that never made radio play, coming in at As and Bs. (And ok, maybe a C or two).

I’ve never been a big fan of AiC, mostly because I think they share the same problem as a bunch of other talented bands that cropped up during the same period (early '90s), namely, they let their best songs go on for far too long (Black Crowes was the worst about this, Spin Doctors, Blues Traveler, Wisespread Panic, etc.). While I think its amazing that the band manages to sound almost exactly like they did 15 years ago, I think the problem is still there. Them Bones was a great song because it was only 2:30; Rooster was a drag because it was over 6 minutes long, mostly just repeating over and over and over…

A couple of songs on this album are overly long, making me not want to hear them again after half a dozen listens, where if they were shorter, I’d just want to play them over and over and over… By repeating the hooks within one song, it takes away from the need or desire to play it again, IMO.

Still, as I said, I think the band did a great job at having the same signature sound as they did 15 years ago.

The guitar in “Check My Brain” sounds like someone vacuuming back and forth in a thin walled apartment.

But in a good way.

I like it a lot, I haven’t enjoyed listening to a new album as much in a while. Maybe because my music tastes are stuck in the 90’s.

It’s much better than I was expecting. I like it just as much as any of their others albums.

HA! I love that description. Perfect. I might steal it.

Well, I’ve listened to it 20 times or so and most tracks have grown on me.

I love:

Check my Brain(2)
A Looking in View(5)
Private Hell(10)

I like:

All Secrets Known(1)
Your decision(4)
When the Sun Rose again(6)
Lesson learned(8)
Black gives way to blue(11)

I don’t care either way about:

Take her out(9)

I dislike:

Last of my kind(3)
Acid Bubble(7)

Track numbers are in parentheses.

I’ve listened to it about the same amount.

Check My Brain
When the Sun Rose Again
Lesson Learned
Take Her Out
Black Gives Way to Blue

like a lot:
All Secrets Known
Your Decision
A Looking in View
Private Hell

Last of My Kind
Acid Bubble

None that I really dislike.

Damn. I’m way late to this thread. Almost started a new one.

So I recently got this album and was WAY surprised by it. I expected it to be a snoozer with 1 or 2 good tracks. It has really impressed me. I really like A Looking in View. Check my Brain is a great tune. There are alot of good tunes on here. I would say that my FAVORITE AIC tunes won’t be found on this album, but the tunes on here are consistent and enjoyable unlike most of the previous AIC efforts. They have always been a love-the-song or hate-the-song type band. I haven’t heard an album by them that I liked from beginning to end. Jar of Flies almost got there though.

I also agree that they should have let the new singer strut his stuff. Instead its Jerry singing every song, which isn’t bad per se, but I want to hear the new guy. I’ve heard he’s actually really good. I also think that him playing guitar allows Jerry to go off on guitar tangents which is nice.

Expected a 6/10 but got an 8.354/10.