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neurological dryer lint

dirty deeds... and the dunderchief


things i've done and where i've been

#1: alice in chains - jar of flies

this is as close as it gets to a perfect album, IMHO. probably because it's only seven songs and 30 minutes long - any more and they would have screwed it up.

it's difficult to describe. each song is its own universe, wholly encompassing a completely different feel. like they wrote seven amazing albums, grabbed the best track from each one, and stuck them in an EP. i remember being discouraged from getting it by another AIC fan, claiming it was boring. they reached a level of depth with this disc that they didn't ever seem to hit again... with the exception of a few songs on sap and heaven beside you from the self titled.

rotten apple is mellow, but in a bluesy, hendrix-ish, soulful way. layne demonstrates the uniqueness of his vocal styling here, crooning for seven minutes in a way few other rock musicians can duplicate.

nutshell is my favorite song of all time, and i could devote pages to the impact of it on my life. its words resonate with a part of me as if they were a caption under a picture of my soul. i think i remember singing a part of it to myself, likely also to God, the night i started to follow Christ. also mellow, but with its own sorrowful-yet-hopeful tone, a perfect blend of the simple acoustic rhythm and jerry's beautiful accompanying electric. like a lonely soul choking on tears, desperate to reach another.

i stay away starts out with a quick little acoustic riff that's an upbeat turn from the previous two songs, joined by a barely noticeable violin (or some other string instrument) that becomes more prominent, ending up as the track's backbone. the video is one of the more creative ones i've seen.

no excuses. jerry and layne are so perfectly complementary here. only a few chords drive this track, amazingly enough, and it sounds so complex. very difficult not to get overwhelmed by the drums, a mesmerizing beat. one of the more positive songs they've ever done.

whale and wasp seems experimental... soft and gentle, soothing and mournful, i could listen to a whole album of this type of stuff. a lot of the mood seemed to carry over to jerry's solo album - settling down from boggy depot especially reminds me of it.

don't follow is a somber blues tune, very peaceful. another great vocal duet. you don't quite expect the harmonica, either, but again it melds perfectly with the acoustic. you almost expect some of sap's gospel singers to make an appearance at the end.

swing on this is the least favorite of mine on the disc. still a clever, almost funny way to finish up.

i'm not sure how another album will ever top this one. it's become my standard in judgement... i keep hoping, as i unwrap the packaging on a CD, that i'll enjoy it completely enough to rate it up there with this disc.

the lyrics to nutshell, short and sweet:

we chase misprinted lies
we face the path of time
and yet I fight, and yet I fight this battle all alone
no one to cry to, no place to call home

my gift of self is raped
my privacy is raked
and yet I find, and yet I find repeating in my head
if i can't be my own, i'd feel better dead


for this post

Blogger B-Call Says:

Listened to it yesterday!
Good call.
Although I would have given the #1 to "Alapalooza". Come on, how is Harvey the Wonder Hampster not one of the best singles ever?

Blogger ryanham Says:

I would like to invite you all to swing on this,

Blogger B-Call Says:

trust me, i've "swung on" that and it ain't that great.
it clearly ain't better than DEEZ NUTS!


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