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Jerry Cantrell - Boggy Depot (1998) Retail CD
It must always be difficult to break free from what you've done for so long and try something different. It's like having a security job for 10 years and then working in a nursery. While Jerry Cantrell's solo debut is in no way like working in a nursery, is does portray vulnerability, naivety at times, and while it is like a toddler taking its first steps in the way that it lacks direction, you knew Cantrell would get it in the end.The end, up to date, is 'Degradation Trip', Jerry Cantrell's second solo outing and, so far, his best work, but it needed to find its steps and 'Boggy Depot' was amore… fine stepping-stone. On 'Boggy Depot', believe it or not, Cantrell goes deeper than on any of his works with Alice In Chains, using pianos and strings to aid the doomy atmosphere that Cantrell has follow him around on every record he makes. And although Cantrell is a lot more contemplative throughout 'Boggy Depot', that's no need to alarm the Alice In Chains faithful. This is defiantly not Alice In Chains, but the fine 'Dickeye' will sound familiar to the faithful, only with a little bit more of a pop edge, something Cantrell always wanted to do, but was always stopped under the watchful eye of Alice lead vocalist Layne Staley. The riffs never really get huger than the opening number, other than on the greasy, 'Keep The Light On', but what Cantrell's debut lacks in neck breaking riff work, it gains in atmosphere and diversity. Cantrell lets his Southern love come right to the top on the country-esque, longing, 'Between', which isn't dissimilar to Alice In Chains own 'Heaven Beside You' only with a bit more of a pop styling to it. The memorable piano opening in 'Settling Down' backs a harrowing tale of...well, settling down, adding more to an album that, like his bands own albums, is made for a late night. Indeed, Cantrell hadn't shown this much sobriety since the stunning Alice In Chains EP, 'Jar Of Flies', and now able to feel free to do what he like 'Boggy Depot' sounds confident and ultimately free. Cantrell lends more the classic rock than heavy metal, more to Zeppelin than to Sabbath. 'My Song' is a classic that never was, which while it is low key, it's as harrowing as anything else and is like much of Cantrell's debut, greatly memorable. 'Hurt A Long Time' is a stunning album highlight that was obviously played in as much a lower light as it was written. A stunning ballad that shows all Cantrell's best qualities to their fullest, eventually blowing up in the chorus to a mammoth scale, and nothing else he wrote by himself, even from his masterwork 'Degradation Trip 1 &2', could better it.The only thing that Cantrell lacks while away from his band is Staley himself. Anyone who has been listening to Alice for so long recognises Staley as the perfect all around vocalist for their own musical style, and Cantrell is very good on balladry, but Cantrell sounds surprisingly bare without him. He is a fine vocalist, but his voice doesn't suit all the styles that 'Boggy Depot' contains, but if anything it's good to see him trying something new. Where 'Degradation Trip' eventually became a mammoth hard rock album of the highest order, 'Boggy Depot' was Cantrell's one true chance to let a few things go without being restricted. And despite, 'Breaks My Back', being way over-long at just over seven minutes, it's surprisingly relevant and almost needs to be as long as it is, because it seems throughout 'Boggy Depot' that for once Cantrell sounded like he was truly free and enjoying himself.This is Cantrell's album there is no doubt about it. He hasn't got Layne Staley hanging over him, and it certainly isn't an Alice In Chains record. Cantrell offers contemplation and desperation, without his past musical genius coming into it too much, and thus beginning a whole new one. While 'Cut You In' is a fine piece of classic rock, even using brass instruments on the chorus, this was certainly something that Cantrell wanted to do on his own, how he wanted it. And ultimately, although it never matches any of his albums with Alice In Chains, it does make 'Boggy Depot' a better album as a personal achievement. And it sounds great on it. 4 Stars.
|2||Cut You In|
|5||Breaks My Back|
|7||Devil By His Side|
|8||Keep The Light On|
|10||Hurt A Long Time|
- Jerry Cantrell - Boggy Depot (1998) Retail CD
- 1182 x 930 px
- 250 KB
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- 15/08/08 by musicworld
- Quality Rating:
Rated 5 of 5 (1 votes). Click CDs to vote!