Alice In Chains ~ Black Gives Way To Blue
Release Date: September 29, 2009
Genre: Heavy Metal, Alternative Metal, Rock (whatever)
Hope, A new beginning. Time, Time to start living -like just before we died. There's no going back to the place -We've started from.
That is the opening line from the first track off AIC new album without Layne Staley. The song All Secrets Known should speak to every AIC fan out there. The band knows where they came from, and knows now where they are going. Forward, and quite creatively. I had mixed feelings of anticipation for this new album. I wanted very badly to like it, in fact I wanted to love it. I’m a huge Jerry Cantrell fan, and hoped that he wouldn’t release an album he wasn’t proud of. After hearing the singles, I was feeling pretty confident that the album would be good. I pre-ordered the album, but also received a copy online when it leaked early. This is definitely an album to sit down and listen, and enjoy all the way through. I gained new appreciation for the singles I had heard, after listening to how all of the songs flowed together on this album.
Cantrell and Kinney invested their own money for this album, and I think that speaks volumes to the kind of people they are. This album is not a product. It is meaningful to them, and in my opinion will be to anyone who truly listens to it. I've lost track of how many times I've listened to this album in the past few weeks, but it's been played a lot.
All Secrets Known: Is a perfect opening track for this album both lyrically, and musically. Written by Cantrell, and sang by DuVall, with Cantrell harmonizing.
Check My Brain: You’re taken to a slightly different AIC place with the sound of this song. I like the guitar riff, and a hooky chorus. This song was written by Cantrell, and is apparently about moving from Seattle to California. Since he’s currently living in L.A. I get the whole “check my brain” perfectly.
Last of My Kind: This song was co-written by Cantrell and DuVall. This song shows how Duvall can standout as a individual vocalist. You can clearly hear his own singing style on this song. I read a description somewhere of DuVall style being a combination of Layne Staley and Sebastian Bach’s singing styles. It's interesting to have that in your head when you listen to this track.
Your Decision: This song builds around a very nice acoustic guitar intro, and it’s Cantrell singing lead vocals on this one. Excellent.
A Looking in View: This is the one song on the album where song writing credit is given to all band members. Pretty heavy song…heavy-slow. And, it has a cool fade out at the end. When do you hear that now a days?
When the Sun Rose Again: An acoustically driven song, and the dual vocals of DuVall/Cantrell takes a steady roll through a different sounding tempo and chorus. Loved this one for how different it sounded to me.
Acid Bubble: This song flows back and forth between a melody that is sweet and slow, and has some pretty chunky guitar riffs. \m/
Lesson Learned: The tempo of this song feels like classic AIC to me, and the part of the chorus (refrain) that goes “Just another lesson learned” repeats over and over in my head long after the song finishes.
Take Her Out: A satisfying song, and good placement on the album.
Private Hell: This song’s darker theme, and feeling work well against the haunting style of the vocal melody.
Black Gives Way to Blue: A simply beautiful ballad. As unlikely a collaboration between AIC and Elton John would seem to most people, here we have it. The piano portion is played by John. Cantrell has said that he has been influenced by John’s songwriting (who knew?) This song was written by Cantrell, and is a emotionally moving tribute to Layne Staley. The song is a sang as a solo by Duvall, with Cantrell joining him on the last part of the song. The last line goes: Tomorrow is haunted by your ghost, laydown, black gives way to blue. Laydown, I’ll remember you.