Album Reviews of the 80s

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Jane's Addiction, "Nothing's Shocking" / 1988 Review by: ?
In 1988 the first massive stirrings of grunge were beginning to be felt accross the country. Soundgarden's "Louder Than Love" was released by a major label and it was garnering lots of atttention. The previous year Guns 'n' Roses exploded into the scene with a mix of hard rock, metal and some "alternative" and caused a sensation. Across the Atlantic the other Roses, the Stone Roses, were spearheading what in the next decade became a popular musical style, rave . None of these bands had the same effect as Jane's Addiction did in the music industry. The release and success of "Nothing's Shocking", in a much more meaningful way than U2's "Joshua Tree" did, proved that underground music was commercial. "Alternative" became mainstream. We kids in black and torn jeans and quite guarded of our favorite "never heard of" bands were in for a nasty shock.

The album itself is a mixture of heavy guitars, an incredibly distinctive drum sound, a tight, funky bass and tinny vocals by the front man. While riffing heavy guitars became palatable again with the work of Let's Active a few years earlier, and 60's funky drumming was evident in both The Charlatans and the S. Roses, Stephen Perkins hard snare funk style and Dave Navarro's sonic attack became the band's signature sound. This mixture simply wouldn't have worked in mainstream America five years earlier. But the groundwork was laid as both "Jane Says" and "Mountain Song" became MTV staples. These two songs are about as dissimilar as can be, but within the integration of so many musical styles in this album, they work beautifully. Speaking of beautiiful songs, "Summertime Rolls" stands out, as does the drums "n" brass heavy "Had a Dad" for being playful. The best song, of course, is the epic "Ted, Just Admit It". Inspired by the media's infatuation with literate mass murderers, sex and violence, it contains 1988's wittiest lyric "and just like the show before now the new is just another show, with sex and violence, sex is violent".

Not just because it is good music, but because its impact, this album rates 5 out of 5.

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