Posted by: markfender | January 23, 2013

Headphone Diaries – August 21, 1990

The origin of two long-standing ’90s trends starts right now.

ritual_de_lo_habitual_coverJane’s Addiction
Ritual de lo Habitual

Jane’s Addiction most popular, and last, album came out. And we all bought it. Because we were mesmerized by Perry Farrell’s inability to sing. Or something. I have no idea why we made this band a thing. While “Been Caught Stealing” is kinda catchy, the rest of the songs aren’t that great. And I pretty much place the blame for that on Perry Farrell. His voice is kind of annoying. In fact, it’s more than annoying. And his lyrics don’t rhyme, which so very rarely works. Combined with the non-rhyming, I don’t feel like his melodies are actually in tune with the music.

I don’t know why I bought this album. I think it was just a “ooh, alternative” phase or something. Relistening to them now, I really don’t like them. I wouldn’t say it’s a “didn’t age well” thing, since its a unique enough sound that aging doesn’t quite apply. I guess I just have more musical taste now or something. Personally, I think Nothing’s Shocking is probably a better album. Songs like “Nothing’s Shocking” and “Jane Says” actually work with Farrell’s voice. It’s probably pretty obvious I don’t care for this band. But just to make sure, I also listened to the two Porno for Pyros albums. Was it really just Farrell that drove me away? I can answer “Yes” to this question, as it turns out I don’t like Porno for Pyros either.

Of course, Jane’s Addiction did create Lollapalooza, which was a giant cultural touchstone for the ’90s. So there’s that. Even after the breakup of the band, their legacy is living on in the entirely mainstream ‘alternative’ concert experience. So I guess that’s a thing.

And their other lasting legacy is Dave Navarro. Seriously, why is a he a thing? Other than that not-great Red Hot Chili Peppers album, he hasn’t actually done any music that anyone cares about since Jane’s Addiction. He’s currently in a cover band, for God’s sake. He’s like Mark McGrath – more celebrity than rock star. Why does he still get invited to premiers? Because he’s guaranteed to bring a hot model for the red carpet walk? I don’t get it.

Did it age well? Well, it still sounds the same. Is that the same thing?

Should this go on your iPod? I think this might be only CD I own that I didn’t put on my iPod. So I guess that tells you how I feel about this band.




  1. This was one of those albums that just about everybody I knew professed to love but I could never really get behind. Jane’s Addiction played a lot of shows in my area before they hit it big, so there’s that. Alt-rock and punk enthusiasts around here were unnaturally into Primus at the time, too.

    • Yeah, “local band made good” does transcend a bit of musical taste. There’s a band I recall perhaps more fondly than I should due to this very phenomenon.

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