born2rock10, on may 10, 2008 4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Sound: Right from the wordless howl in the beginning of "Them Bones" to the end of "Would?" you will be hooked to this record. This album featues fast and heavy tracks (Them Bones, Dam That River, Sickman, God Smack), very melodic (Rain When I Die, Down In A Hole, Rooster, Would? ) and sick and twisted grungy motherf--kers (Junkhead, Dirt, Hate To Feel, Angry Chair). Be warned though, this album is not for the feint of heart. The music isn't as sick and twisted as maybe a Slayer album but it is depressing so you have been warned. Jerry Cantrell's solos seem to be rooted in blues with a little bit of his own twist. Along with Sean Kinney's unique, textured drumming and Mike Starr's smooth bass line this make for a very unique album and it's no wonder so many artists of today (including myself) is influenced by this album and band. Every note is played to perfection. // 10
Lyrics: This is right in my alley seeing how I'm a singer and lyricist so this part will be probably the best part of my review.
01. Them Bones - great opening, one of the fastest and heaviest songs and a definent highlight to the album. Jerry Cantrell's lyrics tell the perfect story of one who does not know where he will end up once he is dead. Death is scary, do not lie. Layne Staley makes this song so haunting with his very unique and tortured vocals. Plus the solo is f--kin bonerific.
02. Dam That River - also written by Cantrell, is about a fight he had with Sean Kinney. Not one of Jerry's best job in the lyrical department but he makes up for it with the in-your-face music and Layne's high-pitched vocals. I love the live version even better.
03. Rain When I Die - written by both Layne and Jerry, it is a truly beautiful song. The intro is like foreplay, the chorus is sex and the ending is like the climax. Layne's vocals are so beautiful in this track especially during the chorus. It can bring a tear to your eyes seeing how Layne Staley has passed.
04. Down In A Hole - the softest track on the album. The wordless croon at the beginning will send chills down your spine, no joke. Great poetic lyrics by Jerry and one of the best jobs of harmonizing (if that's a word) by Layne and Jerry.
05. Sickman - borderline trash. Layne lets you get a peak into his sick world ruled by heroine. The pre-chorus howls are so beautifuly terrifying. More great lyrics by Laayne and more tortured vocals. A little over the top but it suits the lyrics mesh well. Layne even asked Jerry to write the most deranged music he can. Job well done.
06. Rooster - power ballad written by Jerry in tribute to his father. Perfect war imagery and great vocals by Layne. One of the few bright spots on a depressing album.
07. Junkhead - heavy Sabbath-like riffs and a great chorus. One of the few albums where Layne seems to talk about the joys of drugs. The solo is the highlight of the song. It seems as though the character in the story is starting to realize he has a problem then with a blink of an eyes says "f--k it" and keeps on doing it. One of a kind.
08. Dirt - the title track is one of the most diverse songs not only on the album but in the entire Alice In Chains library. Sick riffs made complete with deranged bad ass lyrics and soulful singing. One of AIC's most underrated tracks. The guitar solo is so powerful and emotional and I'm actually trying to learn it but yea whatever, back to the song. The lyrics can be attributed to drugs or a relationship. Both themes suit the lyrics well. If you havn't heard this song, listen to it because it very well may be the best track on the album. Blood, Sweet and Tears went into recording this album maybe mostly on this track. don't wanna be cliche but.
09. God Smack - let me start off this review by saying who gives a shit if the band Godsmack got their name from this song. Plenty of bands have done that and Godsmack is a awesome band my second favorite after AIC. The music is just derranged and out of control. Layne's vocals and lyrics on this track are some of the most unique ever on this track. It's a love it or hate it track and I love it. The chorus is very melodic and catchy. You'll find yourself singing along to he chorus whether you like it or not. The solo is just insane.
10. Iron Gland - this instrumental featuring Tom Araya from Slayer is a precursor to the last 3 tracks, probably the most raw and emotional songs one the whole album. This little riff thingy at the end makes me cringe every time I hear it. I love it.
11. Hate To Feel - completely written by Layne Staley. Sounds like A Led Zeppelin track just more evil. Layne lyrics descrbe his dysfunctional relationship with his junkie father (if you can call this a relationship). Layne says that he doesn't want to be a junkie like his father but "like father, like son". Very sad. Pain and anger are the emotions that fuel the power and intensity. The ountro will leave you breathless. Then onto the next, even more abrasive track, Angry Chair.
12. Angry Chair - possibly the heaviest track on the whole album. The drums are unique and textured, the bass is almost goth-like, the guitar is insane and the vocals are sick and twisted. This is my second favorite AIC track behind only Nutshell from Jar Of Flies. The lyrics are some of the most intense that Layne has ever written. Not one bad lyric. The solo seems so out of place but you can't help but love it. The song is also one of the more (am I really gonna say it) progressive songs on the album. It ranges from dark to heavy to meldoic in a blink of an eye. Definently a masterpiece.
13. Would? - perfect ending to the album with the question "If I would, could you?" The lyrics were written by Jerry about Andrew Wood who died from a speedball I believe could be wrong though. Jerry handles the verses, then Layne comes in and completely blows you away in the chorus. Then after a third chorus, the song completely changes pace to an up-tempo rocker and ends abruptly will the question from above. Perfect ending and leaves you wondering, "What's Next?" // 10
Overall Impression: This album is prefect in any way. I bought this album (no I didn't download it) 2 years ago and it didn't leave my CD player for 2 months. This is one of the few albums, along with Faceless by Godsmack, Dysfunction by Staind, Alpha by Sevendust and Believe by Disturbed, that I know all the words to. This album is one of the biggest reasons why I decided to pick up the guitar and to become a singer. My favorites are Them Bones, Down In A Hole, Dirt, Angry Chair and Wouold? but every song is perfect. The raw emotion on this record can not be compared to any other album ever. I can say honestly that this is my favorite album ever and nothing will change that because it inspired me to become a musician. I don't let anyone borrow this album and if I lost it I would beat myself blind and look frantically for that motherf--ker. If it was stolen I probably wouldn't beat ass (mostly because I live in the country and noone really listens to this kind of music let alone know who Alice In chains is) but I'd buy a new one just because I would love to have an actual copy of it. So if you like Godsamck, Staind, Puddle Of Mudd, Drowning Pool or pretty much any other alternative metal/ post-grunge band out today, you'll like this album. // 10
DownInAHole., on august 14, 2006 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Probably one of the best albums I've ever purchased. This album pretty much launched the "big paychecks" for Alice In Chains. I've listened to this album a lot and now I have my opinions together. First off, Jerry Cantrell did some ammazing guitar work on this album. He is about as grunge as it gets. Songs like "Them Bones" and "Down In A Hole" show you how powerful his guitar work is. They used some pretty cool techniques in their song construction. The songs that were really slow had some haunting and powerful verses, then just bursted into a heavy chorus, and the songs that were really powerful and punchy at first had some mellow parts to it. I think this album is very edgy and I love the sound. // 9
Lyrics: As usual, Jerry did the majority of the song writing. Layne is a phenonenal vocalist and he really literally sang his ass off. Some songs on this album were about the Vietnam War (Rooster), drug addiction (Junkhead), and there's even a crazy spoof on Black Sabbath's Iron Man (Iron Gland). I really was impressed with the singing and songwriting on Dirt. // 9
Overall Impression: Love this album. If your really into the Seattle grunge movement and you listen to: Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, etc. I really think you oughta look into Alice In Chains' Dirt. If I lost it I would more than likely buy it again. To me it defines grunge music and I think it will always go down as one of the best grunge albums ever recorded. // 10
janecoffin27, on november 04, 2003 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Just excellent. Cantrell, Starr, and Kinney are just fuckin' awesome players. The songs are distinct-each one of them is different. A lot of people like to shove these guys into the grunge category, but this is just because of the time they rose up. They have a lot more to do with metal than grunge like Pearl Jam and Nirvana. // 10
Lyrics: Now, for the record, I don't like "whiner" bands. You know, those fuckers who won't shut up about how they're so depressed or their girlfriend dumped them? Well, the main reason I hate them is because they're all bullshit. This is real. Nothing about "Aw, my girlfriend dumped me, I'm so sad" or anything like that. This thing mostly does with drug addiction. I can't tell you how many people have sworn never to use drugs after hearing this stuff. Add to that that Layne Staley was a damn good singer and you've got some nice stuff going on in the vocal department. // 10
Overall Impression: Wow, the first review I've done where I had nothing but good to say. Huh, well, this is the album that got me into music in the first place. Last one with Starr too, and it's unfortunate that no other AIC album really does it like this one. That's not to say the other's aren't good-just that this one's the best. I'd buy this again if it got stolen, definitely. My favorite songs are "Them Bones" and "Sickman" and "Dam That River". Go buy this. You have to. // 10
Guitarguy_710, on november 14, 2005 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: The sound is so unique and fantasic. Dirt is one of those few albums that comes along and amazes you. Jerry Cantrell is an amazing guitarist mixing excellent solos with sweet, catchy riffs. Layne Staley is truly amazing. The other two band members, Michael Starr and Sean Kinney, are also perfect. // 10
Lyrics: These are probably some of the most emotional lyrics I've heard, from any band. Due to Staley's beginning heroin addiction before the recording of Dirt, most of the songs are about drugs. These lyrics are real, not like all of these poser bands we have today. // 10
Overall Impression: I highly recommend this album to anyone. There is nothing to hate about this album, ALL of the songs are great. Its a shame that we can no longer hear AIC's music, especially Layne Staley (RIP). Think of it this way, Layne Staley sacrificed himself to give us a fanastic album like Dirt. If you don't have this album, get up right now and go buy it, your really missing out on some truly fantastic music. // 10
Nemesis 2, on june 08, 2007 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: A true milestone for Alice in chains career and for grunge/metal movement in general.
The guitar work is clever and precise; the rhythmic are simple but yet powerful, getting close sometimes to those in hard rock and metal works (I.e. Dam that river, Them bones, Junkhead); solos aren't complex, often just a few tasteful notes over a distorted guitar rhythmic theme; Jerry Cantrell really does a good work in building up AIC's sound, intervening not only in the pure guitar playing but also in the music composition and songwriting. Bass lines by Mike Starr are simple and tasteful at the same time, as in "Rooster" intro. The drum work points out that Mike Kinney is a talented player; his plain but yet enjoyable drum works are stylish and never boring. And last but not least the mind, the soul and the voice of the band: Layne Staley. His vocal lines are totally flawless, powerful and deeply emotional: just listen to Rooster or Down in a hole, and you'll hear one of the most talented voices Seattle had, stirring as well as brilliant and technical. The music style of the album is again grunge/metal, as in their debut, but with more soft moments (i.e. Rooster, Down in a Hole). But to tell you the truth I would just say the music style is Alice in Chains, at their best; there are no styles and boundaries for the complex beauty of this record and for the emotions it gives to the listener (just listen to the final part of Would? Isn't it amazing). // 8
Lyrics: The lyrics, composed mainly by Jerry and Layne, are overall sad and blue; there are many references to death and depression (Them bones, Down in a hole ), drug addiction (Junkhead, Sickman), difficult relationship with God (Godsmack, a recurring theme later also in God Am). A particular contribute by Jerry Cantrell is given in the masterpiece Rooster, song which talks about Jerry's father personal experience in Vietnam War. Here again the theme of death (my buddy's breathing/his dying breath), sadness and the feeling of getting lost (I haven't find a way to kill me yet) and far away from beloved ones (Gloria [Jerry's mother] sent me pictures of my boy). The themes touched by the lyrics are not far from AIC's personal experiences: in that period started in fact Layne's serious addiction to drugs. // 9
Overall Impression: This album is a true masterpiece, an expression of Seattle Scene at his best. It's a real must-have for any rock fan. I've bought my first copy 5 or 6 years ago, and now I'm gonna buy it again because it doesn't work anymore due to use. Dirt is the second act of AIC's productions, and it is one of the most powerful and emotional pages written in the book of rock music. // 10
unregistered, on november 19, 2007 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: When I first heard it, I thought it was, except for a few songs, very odd sounding. It took a while to completely grow on me, now I believe it to be one of the best albums to ever exist. This album basically has two sides to it; The morbid side, written mostly by Cantrell, and the painful side, by Staley. The album has a bigger focus on the painful side, but I'll save that more for the lyrics section. The album starts perfectly, with an intimidating yell, with a powerful, chromatically ascending guitar riff in a strange timing, and continues throughout the first two tracks. The third and fourth track are a bit more on the mellow side. Sickman, listening to it is hard to really grasp it, and it is uncomfortable to listen to; this is one of the songs that takes time to really appreciate. Rooster is another softer one, and considered by some to be the "greatest grunge song ever written" it arguably is. The rest of the album is dissonant, odd chords, strange vocal techniques, but overall, it is amazing. This is definately the most grunge sounding album. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics of this album can be divided into two; Staley's painful side, and Cantrell's morbid side. I'm not a lyricist, so it won't be perfect. Staley's side deals mainly with drugs, and how it affects you negative, through the words of someone who is trapped by them. In the album, throughout, he explains how painful it is, how people look down on him, plus a small family history in some songs. As singers, Cantrell, being the "secondary singer" he has a great voice, he can back up Staley's voice very well, as well as having a good voice on his own. Layne Staley is definate one of the best and most unique singers I have ever heard. His voice is a haunting howl of emotion, and impact. Many times, his voice is even intimidating, as he wails about his pain he goes through. // 10
Overall Impression: One amazing album, do not ignore it. It has impacted many people, and even made many quit drugs, and go clean. All songs are great, all are considerably different, so it's hard to compare, that's more oppinionated. The only bad bout this album; if you listen to it once, you may not like it, so force yourself to listen to it a few times, it will grow on you, like you can't believe. I am completely attached to this album, and highly recomend it. // 10
Swayver, on june 09, 2010 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Alice In Chains, awesome band with a great sound. This band has been through a lot and they still keep kicking and making music. This is in my opinion their finest work to date. Layne Staley was a great singer and his voice shines and penetrates deeply in this album. Jerry Cantrell ties everything together with his great riffs and lead work, also his backup vocals harmonize with Layne's voice so amazingly for a sound that on Alice In Chains can pulloff spectacularly.
This album was heavily influeced by heavy drugs and alcohol by the entire band during the recording period of this album. Much of its vibe and feel can be attributed to this "down" feeling the band had in general. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics really hit home at times and at other times they really scare you. You can hear listening to this album the heavy drug use influences, and really makes you never wanna be an addict. The lyrics also have just such a meaning and depth that it really makes you feel just like the song. The whole band melts together perfectly to strike up emotion in the listener in every song, no matter the listener everone gets a little something from these lyrics.
Layne Staley R.I.P. Is one of my favorite singers of all time. I really feel his presence and torture in this album, he lets it all shine through. He makes all his emotions just pour out of his mouth very soulfully. He is greatly missed in these times. // 9
Overall Impression: This album is a great masterpiece that can never be made again by this band. Every aspect of it screams at your soul and hits deep. My favorites of this album are every single song without a doubt, but listing a few top favorites; Down In A Hole, Rooster, Dirt, Would?, Rain When I Die.
Every song on this ablum is great and really leaves you wanting more. For their second studio album Alice In Chains nailed it perfectly. Every great aspect of this band is in this CD, it will stay in my collection forever. I highly recommend purchasing this album you will not regret it at all. // 9
Djall89, on october 20, 2003 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell combines killer solos, catchy breakdown riffs, and in one song, a great soft melody to create an amzing background for Layne Staley to layout his vocals, which are equally great. The band is mainly grunge but also has a little bit of metal influences which is rare. Also, not two of their songs sound alike; they are all uniques with different meanings whihc is also rare. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics are incredibly deep and meaningful. Although, he (Layne) doesn't use too many metaphors (did i spell that right?) or other literary devices, they are very powerful. Layne is such an amzing singer, and uses his full potential on this album. // 8
Overall Impression: If you want to hear Alice in Chains buy this cd because it is their best. Every song was great, but my personal favorites are "Down in A Hole", "Rooster", and "Dam that river". This cd is definately woth your money, so go out and buy it today!!! // 10
unregistered, on november 10, 2003 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: The Sound of this record is timeless, Jerry Cantrell's guitar playing is second to none with kick ass solo's and great melody. Layne Staley has to be one of the most underated singers of our time, it's so sad that the generation of today has no clue who Alice in Chains are, when they have inspired probably 80 percent of todays music. Greatest harmony of all time Layne and Jerry. // 10
Lyrics: Lyrics are Dark and Depressing and you can just tell they are from the fucking heart. Layne and Jerry seem to pull from deep within and share there own personal hell with everyone. The torment of drug addiction and loneliness, with no happy ending in sight. // 10
Overall Impression: This is one of the greatest rock albums of the 90's and my personal favorite. I have bought this album for friends just because it is that fucking good and they have thanked me numberous times. If you don't have it...fucking get it. RIP Layne. // 10
Emenius Sleepus, on september 13, 2004 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Dirt mixes the anger and despair of grunge, menacingly heavy riffs, weird yet excellent harmonies and haunting melodies. Opening with the hard-hitting riffing of Them Bones, the album goes through moods, from the odd time signature of Dam That River, to the slow and sad "Rain When I Die", melancholic and deadly "Rooster", and haunting closers "Angry Chair" and "Would?"
Jerry And Layne certainly had an amazing partnership, keeping the music heavy, but with a groove and melody that many would kill for. This is however not to say that other band members weren't a part of what made this album. Mike Starr's bass lines and (sorry, no disrespect to the drummer and AIC fans) but I can't remember his name) the drumming on the record are the second driving power behind the record. Both are imaginative, yet none get in the way of the song. As Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin fame said in an interview, "it was four elements combining to create the intangible magic fifth element". // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics, while mostly mining the drug addiction territory, also include a song about guitarist's Jerry Cantrell's father, who was a Vietnam Veteran ("Rooster"). Layne portrays the addiction to the drug from every possible side.. THere are a lot of songs about addiction, but it is how deep the lyrics go, how imaginative and diverse they are are what makes this album sting the listener. Layne had a great voice and amazing, supernatural songwriting abilities. From a personal perspective, every time I listen to the record, I get the chills along the spine, because of Layne's lyrics. In Alice In Chains, lyrics and music went together hand in hand, there was no one without the other. // 10
Overall Impression: I'll admit, I'm relatively new to Alice In Chains, I only got to know their music at the start of 2004, when our singer introduced me to them... But from then on, I was truly hooked, and no cd of theirs has left my player for more than a week. That said, some songs aren't really my cup of tea, but the other 11 make up for any shortcomings, and even the songs that aren't my favourites have the parts that I like. But that's more of a personal taste. This album is very well made, in terms of production as well as songwriting and performance. As been said before, Layne and Jerry carry across so much emotion that there is no way you can go past it. In the end, all four members of this awesome band gelled together so well, that their music will always remain as one of the gems of Seattle and music of all time. // 10
nirvana666, on january 03, 2005 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Well, there's nothing else to say except it sounds great. Jerry's solos are so simple but so melodic. It was a great follow up to 'Facelift' and all of the guitar riffs were more metal than your normal 'Grunge'. They seemed like a depressing metal band stuck in the '90s. Some of the guitar riffs maybe were not as creative to that of 'Facelift' but 80% of the album was very innovative. Also, Layne and Jerry's vocal harmonoies are done exceptionally well. // 10
Lyrics: Now I had only started to listen to Alice In Chains in 2000, but the second I heard 'Rooster' I was hooked. I figured what kind of deranged mind would create such haunting lyrics and addictive guitar riffs. One month later, I owned every album. A lot of the lyrics focud around drug addiction, for example, 'Junkhead ' and 'God Smack'. The song 'Rooster' revolved around Jerry's dad and him being a Vietnam veteran. In addition to these songs, others talked about suicide and just really dark topics. // 10
Overall Impression: Not many bands can pull of Alice In Chains' sound. Their sound was so original and new. You cannot comepare Alice In Chains to any other band, as I said, they were original and always will be considered original in my mind. The greatest songs on the album go as follows in my personal opinion.
04. Down In A Hole
05. Them Bones
All in all, this is a flat out spectacular album and I would recommend it to anyone. // 10
bowtieboy, on february 15, 2005 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: The sound is great. The only other band that even comes close to this kind of music is Chevelle. When you first hear it it may sound dull because I wasn't used to the type of music but then after a day it's the craziest rock you've ever heard. No 2 songs sound the same and they are all harder or softer. The sound is the kind of stuff were you get the riffs and solo's stuck in your head playing over and over. The sound itself never gets boring and never gets old. This is my first AIC album but I've heard its the best music that Alice In Chains produced. Very good sound. // 10
Lyrics: Those of you who think these lyrics are pointless and suck are crazy. If you really listen they have a story behind it. The lyrics don't repeat themselves from song to song either. The lyrics are very inspiring and are the best lyrics I've ever heard, wait, that was an understatement. The singer is very talented and it is a shame that no more of his music will be heard. He can sing whatever he wants. // 10
Overall Impression: Very addictive CD and I suggest you pick up more then one incase one gets damaged. There isn't much I hate only a bit of a couple songs but thats about it. This is the perfect band they play and sing perfectly together and is hands down one of the best bands. If it were stolen I wouldn't buy it again, I'd buy the intire Alice In Chains collection and it as well! // 10
unregistered, on april 25, 2005 0 of 6 people found this review helpful
Sound: Grunge/metal is very cool sound. Alice in Chains are one of my favorite bands and one of the best from the Seattle movement. Every person in the band knows what they are doing with there instrument Jerry Cantrell flawless on the guitar. Layne Staley you could every piece of emotion threw his voice. Sean Kinney beating those drums hardcore. Michael Starr listen to would. // 10
Lyrics: "Rooster" is the best song on the album it is about Jerry's dad in the Vietnam war it is their all time best song all the other songs are great as well. // 10
Overall Impression: 01. Theme Bones - right in there with guitar and vocals 4/5.
02. Dam That River - not a hit but it could have been 5/5.
03. Rain When I Die - great bassline 3/5.
04. Down In A Hole - excellent with lyrics, guitar, vocals. Everything is flawless 6/5.
05. Sickman - I like but not many others will 3/5.
06. Rooster - their all time best 7/5.
07. Junkhead - talks about Layne heroin addiction, cool song 4/5.
08. Dirt - OK 3/5.
09. God Smack - Layne sings weird on this song 3/5.
12. Hate To Feel - OK 3/5.
13. Angry Chair - Layne best composition 5/5.
14. Would? - the best bassline ever 5/5. // 10
SuperAnalytical, on february 11, 2006 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: The hard-hitting, bareknuckles opener 'Them Bones' sets the tone for the rest of AIC's "Dirt" along with differentiating itself with a few of the other, softer tracks (i.e. 'Down In A Hole'). This album truly differs from any CD released in that year (most noteably, "In Utero" from Nirvana in 1992). The guitar work is syncopated and at the same time, nicely sustained throughout this masterpiece of a CD by Alice In Chains. The sound replicates days of metal and hair-bands in a way with hard riffs, but makes it known that this isn't a metal band. I love the different sounds Alice In Chains has than other bands I listen to. Certainly a wonderful escape from the usual. // 10
Lyrics: Jerry Cantrell and Layne Staley do a wonderful job with the lyrics. They make sense, but set a mood somewhat different than that of what you expect. The creativeness that they had was wonderfully complimented through the lyrics and the impact the vocal range and sound had. // 9
Overall Impression: This is the first CD from Alice In Chains I have owned, and I must say, it was well worth the price I paid for it. Some of the impressive songs that stick out in my mind that aren't usually heard on the radio would be 'Dam That River' and 'Would?' This is a must buy for those looking for a grunge and metal mix while retaining originality and awesomeness. // 10
Korntera, on august 19, 2006 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: If I was to land on a desserted island with only a CD player and five CDs, this would be one of them. Alice In CHains are one of the most inspirational bands I have ever listened to. Without Staleys incredibly haunting voice and Jerry Cantrells amazing songwriting talents, the band would not have got where they are today. This is by far their best work to date. It is a damn shame that Staley messed his life up with heroin addiction. He wasted such talent and just dropped dead on the floor. There are all sorts of unique numbers on this masterpiece. For example there are songs with really neat bass guitar intros such as 'Rain When I Die' and the unforgettable 'Would?' and there are also stunningly beautiful ballads like 'Rooster' and 'Down In A Hole'. If you have the slightest affection for this band, you are gonna love this. This is an essential purchase by Alice in chains. // 10
Lyrics: Would they have made it just with the music? Maybe, but Alice In Chains would not have sold as many records as they have today without their lyrics and would not have definately made it without Cantrells tireless songwriting. He was (and still is) by far the highest talent in the band. The beautiful masterpiece 'Rooster' was about his father in the vietnam war which has simple but stunning lyrics and there are haunting, spine-tingling lyrics like 'Them Bones' which is about how likely it is for Layne to die which was actually written by him. // 10
irishmatt1992, on september 02, 2006 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Alice In Chains are an influential rock group formed in the late-1980s in Seattle, Washington. Along with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden, Alice in Chains were one of the more commercially successful bands from the Seattle grunge music scene. Unlike many of their peers, Alice in Chains owed more to heavy metal than to punk or '70s rock, but the group became closely associated with grunge due to their Seattle roots, their image, and their introspective and sometimes morbid lyrics. Dirt (1992) is Alice in Chains' major artistic statement and the closest they ever came to recording a flat-out masterpiece. It's a primal, sickening howl from the depths of Layne Staley's heroin addiction, and one of the most harrowing concept albums ever recorded. Not every song on Dirt is explicitly about heroin, but Jerry Cantrell's solo-written contributions (nearly half the album) effectively maintain the thematic coherence, nearly every song is imbued with the morbidity, self-disgust, and/or resignation of a self-aware yet powerless addict. Cantrell's technically limited but inventive guitar work is by turns explosive, textured, and queasily disorienting, keeping the listener off balance with atonal riffs and off-kilter time signatures. Staley's stark confessional lyrics are similarly effective, and consistently miserable. Sometimes he's just numb and apathetic, totally desensitized to the outside world; sometimes his self-justifications betray a shockingly casual amorality; his moments of self-recognition are permeated by despair and suicidal self-loathing. Even given it's subject matter, Dirt is monstrously bleak, closely resembling the cracked, haunted landscape of it's cover art. The album holds out little hope for it's protagonists (aside from the much-needed survival story of "Rooster," a tribute to Cantrell's Vietnam-vet father), but in the end, it's redeemed by the honesty of it's self-revelation and the sharp focus of it's music (some versions of Dirt feature "Down in a Hole" as the next-to-last track rather than the fourth). // 8
Lyrics: 01. Them Bones - this song starts out heavy. There isn't much of an intro. AIC just decided to cut right to the main verse. The harmonys between Cantrell and Staley are amazing in this song. I felt that this song had a lot of meaning to it. It is also one of my favorite songs on the album. Easy to play, good lyrics.
02. Dam The River - it starts off with a great guitar riff, then going straight to a little mini-solo type thing. Staley and Cantrell once again go into harmony both on the same note, but different octaves. I love Staley's voice in the song, especially in the chorus, where he shouts "Oh you couldn't dam that river! And maybe I don't give a damn anyway".
03. Rain When I Die - I gave this song another chance. I had previously only listened to the first minute or so of the song, where I find it drags a bit. But when I listened to more of it and actually heard the whole song through, my opinion on the song completely changed. The chorus is outstanding. The song has a lot of energy to it also.
04. Down In A Hole - I love the intro to this song. This song is AIC's slower song of the album. The song starts off with a smoothing guitar sound. The drummer does a nice job of staying out of the way in this song, but not getting too sloppy. The chorus to this song is incredible. You can almost feel Staley's emotion when singing this song. Great song.
05. Sickman - Staley's voice gets a little more aggressive. The verse is awesome, the chorus is awesome, the whole song all together is awesome. I find that the best part of the song is right before the chorus when Staley and Cantrell both are shouting "AhhhhHHHHh!", again in harmony slowly going up to different notes. This is a great song.
06. Rooster - if I am not mistaken, Rooster was a single for this album. Rooster is also in my top 3 favorites for the album. Rooster, like Down in a Hole is a slower song on the album. At about 30 seconds into the song, Cantrell and Staley once again do a nice harmony that fits with the guitar extremely well. Staley's voice is almost haunting in this song. I still can't figure what the song's about, but that makes the song even better.
07. Junkhead - is another one of my favorites on this album. The song starts off like a classic, with the drummer counting off on the hi-hats. The Staley goes into harmonics with the guitar shouting "yeah". I like Staley's voice the best in this song. However, I didn't like the lyrics in this song too much.
08. Dirt - Cantrell starts off with an awesome riff with his wah pedal that completely makes the song. Staley really lets his anger out on this one. However, I don't find the song too catchy.
09. God Smack - is one of my favorite songs at this point in time, along with a whole bunch of other songs on the album. Staley and Cantrell start off with these harmonics on the guitar that are awesome. Then Staley sings with a really shaky voice in this song, which gives the song the extra "umph". Some fools clame that AIC ripped off the band, Godsmack. However, if they were smarter, they'd realize that AIC was around before Godsmack.
10. #10 - kind of like the joke song of the CD. There are just bits of laughter and haunting guitar rhythms. Continuous laughing repeats throughout the whole song, until at the end, someone shouts "Redrum!" Which is hilarious. I always enjoy this song, even if it is only 43 seconds long.
11. Hate To Feel - when I just sit down and listen to it, it ends up being one of my many favorites. The harmony's again between Staley and Cantrell are amazing. They both sing together throughout most of the song. The guitar is incredible in this song, along with the drums. This is a great song with an incredible chorus. I love this song!
12. Angry Chair - one of my faves. The beginning is quite odd actually. I don't get it. This song is actually quite good. Somehow, someway, Cantrell, Staley, and their haunting guitars somehow find a way to mix together perfectly, which makes this song excellent.
13. Would? - this was the very first AIC song I heard. I got hooked after this song. Would is one of AIC's haunting songs. Staley just pours his emotions in his singing more than any other song in this song. The bass and guitar are very smooth sounding throughout the song. And the drums are excellent too, getting that classic sound on the bell of the ride to keep the time. My favorite part of this song is in the last minute. Staley does these weird trills with his voice that leaves you hanging at the end of the song, making you want more; hence, you go back to the beginning of the song and listen all the way through again. I love this song! // 8
Overall Impression: Alice In Chains is a very individual band. Awesome lyrics, cool harmonys in the guitars, creepy bass intros, and well-beaton drums. All of it together is one of the best bands on the planet. Probably the best Grunge artist, knowing they were one of the bands that introduced it. Know one can be like Alice In Chains. Them Bones, Dam That River, Down In A Whole, Angry Chair, Would?, and Rooster are some of the best. Ultimately the best Alice In Chains CD. I just love everything about it. It all fits so well. Don't really hate anything, some songs are less catchy, but still good. I'd buy it again if it were lost/stolen due to I'm proud of owning a CD of the original Alice In Chains. // 7
larry jones, on september 20, 2006 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Alice In Chains' dark and brooding music calls upon comparisons to no one else in the music industry. When you hear "Would?" or "Them Bones", you know immediatley that you are listening to AIC. The creators of grunge (not Nirvana, who made it mainstream) perform at near perfection on every track on this masterpiece of an album. Cantrell himself plays some of the best guitar pieces of the 90s with "Them Bones", "Would?" and "Dam That River". As a whole, AIC achieves exactly what everyone expected them to do: produce listenable music that rocks out loud in every way possible. // 9
Lyrics: Layne Staley writes some of the most haunting and chilling lyrical subject matter of the 90s on songs such as "Them Bones" and "Rain When I Die". Cantrell also provides some lyrical genius with "Rooster" (a song about Cantrell's Vietnam-vet father). The subject matter is more eerie and thought provoking than that of Facelift's. Staley reflects on his new challenges with drug abuse on multiple tracks, and moans some of their greatest hits-"Rooster", "Down in a Hole", "Angry Chair". Overall, this is the band's best lyrical performance. // 10
Overall Impression: Alice in Chains stands on a list with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden as the Seattle-native innovators of the grunge movement. As a whole, Alice in Chains blossomed into one of the best hard rock outfits of the '90s, where they would stand for most of the decade. // 10
spoonman_aic, on november 20, 2006 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Alice In Chains' 'Dirt' has got to be without a doubt one of the greatest metal/grunge albums to be produced ever. It has excellent guitarwork, excellent basslines, singing and drum work. Jerry Cantrell has created his own original style of riff-work which is dark, gloomy, drug influenced which worked perfectly with Layne Staley's vocal work. Some of the songs like 'Dirt', 'Junkhead' and 'Godsmack' have excellent riffs, and all the songs namely 'Rain When I die' have some beautiful guitarwork. // 10
Lyrics: Layne Staley, is an excellent singer/frontman and will remain a legend to many (R.I.P. Layne Staley). Layne Staley had the skill of showing us what he was feeling through song. He has an excellent voice to suit many styles on this album. He has a harsh voice in the heavier songs and he can change it to suit acoustic/layed back songs. In the song 'Down in a Hole' both Staley and Cantrell perform beautifully, where they use some beautiful harmonizing and other voicework. Also Cantrell's and Staley's lyrics are excellent because they deal with the thoughts of death and drugs. // 9
Overall Impression: After listening to AIC's debut 'Facelift' it is hard to believe this is them on 'Dirt'. It is easy to see how this album along with Pearl Jam's 'Ten', Nirvana's 'Nevermind and Soundgardens 'Badmotorfinger influenced a whole generation of grunge rock. Dirt is without argue, Alice in Chains' greatest album. The most impressive songs on the album are Rain When I Die, Down In A Hole, Rooster, Junkhead and Would? I love this album and there is nothing on it which I hate, and if it were stolen I would buy it again. // 10