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Archive for Thursday, July 12, 2001

The Mag: CD reviews

July 12, 2001

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Dave Navarro

"Trust No One"

Two facts will probably smack listeners in the face when sampling the debut solo albums from Perry Farrell and Dave Navarro: 1) Jane's Addiction was one of the truly outstanding bands of the late '80s/early '90s. 2) It's not easy living in the shadow of greatness. Jane's Addiction was the most important band to rise from the ashes of the '80s Los Angeles metal scene, creating two brilliantly twisted, highly musical masterpieces ("Nothing's Shocking" and "Ritual De Lo Habitual") and helping to wipe hair bands from the face of the earth. Though Nirvana is often credited with that feat, it was actually JA that set the stage for Seattle's grunge explosion. Unfortunately, the L.A. act parted ways right after the inaugural Lollapalooza tour -- disintegrating in a sea of bad vibes, drug abuse and unchecked ego. The band members' post-Jane's projects

characters to his long-delayed solo project, including Pearl Jam alum Matt Chamberlain, Marilyn Manson sidekick Twiggy Ramirez and Jane's/Porno For Pyros stick twirler Stephen Perkins. Leaving most of his trademark guitar histrionics at home, Navarro concentrates on singing and songwriting on "Trust." That's not necessarily a bad thing: The world isn't exactly sitting on the edge of its seat in anticipation of a record full of guitar solos. On the other hand, Navarro doesn't sing or write nearly as compellingly as he plays the six-string. With no axes to grind -- musically, lyrically or even figuratively -- Navarro sinks into the murky waters of self-absorption, producing 10 songs that provoke almost no reaction. With sophomoronic lyrics like "There is no love left in your eyes/There is love between you thighs," you'd almost think you stumbled into the latest cringe-worthy piece of crap from Aerosmith. To his credit, Navarro isn't living on past glories here, opting to try his hand at creating something wholly new (for him). However, you'd think a guy who claims to sleep in a coffin would have something a little darker to offer. Instead, Navarro elects to play it safe, resulting in an album that has nothing to say on any level. It's not bad, it's just boring, which is one of the worst things you can say about any record. In that sense, Navarro's efforts are reminiscent of Smashing Pumpkin James Iha's forgettable 1998 solo shot: inoffensive but utterly unmoving. I'd trade both of these discs for just one song as good as "Had a Dad," "Whores" or "Three Days." Or "Ain't No Right." Or "Classic Girl." Or "Mountain Song." Or "Pigs in Zen." Or "Idiots Rule." Or...well, you get the point.

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