After less than twenty years, Jerry Cantrell, one of the most prominent figures in the cult band Alice In Chains, decided to continue his solo career and release a third album under his own name. For example, bassist Duff McKagan or singer Greg Puciato helped him with the novelty “Brighten”.
While grunge veterans Alice In Chains are enjoying a planned break after the release of “Rainier Fog”, one of the main creators, guitarist Jerry Cantrell, managed to prepare his third solo album. The first two “Boggy Depot” and “Degradation Trip” were released four years in a row at the turn of the millennium, but its fans had to wait a full nineteen years for the novelty. But this is the first time Cantrell has recorded a record for fun. His first two acts were due to the inactivity of his home band and due to problems with the then singer Layn Staley a rather necessary escape.
Jerry Cantrell surrounded himself on the novelty with truly stellar collaborators. The brightest names include bassist Mötley Crüe Duff McKagan, former frontman of The Dillinger Escape Plan Greg Puciato, former Marilyn Manson drummer Gil Sharone, and producer and backing instrumentalist, Tyler Bates, author of a number of film soundtracks, including the “John Wick” action trilogy. , both parts of “Guardians of the Galaxy” or the stylish blockbuster “300: Battle of Thermopylae”. “Brighten” is a very consistent and very balanced collection. We will not find any weaker place on it and the singles do not significantly exceed any of the remaining eight original compositions and one very successful cover. Cantrell has revealed several times in the past that he is a fan of Elton John and especially his song “Goodbye” from his fourth series “Madman Across the Water” from 1971. He just included his remake at the very end of the album. It is a very skillfully reworked ballad, in which a distinctive melancholic melody was left, but at the same time it got a raw blues-rock touch. However, Cantrell included her on the album only after consulting with the legendary pop musician, who allegedly liked the cover of his own song. And we’re not surprised at all. On the opposite side of the footage of the recording, ie in its introduction, stands the magically western piece “Alone”, composed as a tribute to Ennio Morricone and inspired by his work. The country-influenced atmosphere has a beautiful and captivating guitar line, the sound of which is the essence of the best of Jerry Cantrell’s pen. And although he was never the lead singer of his mother band, his voice has a new charm and strength. We will see that western haze in the balladly dreamy “Siren Song”. On the other hand, another pearl of “Black Hearts And Evil Done” has a more intimate song experience, in which Cantrell accompanied himself to acoustics and armed himself with delicate but very effective arrangements, including flying choirs. From the seemingly screaming and most moderate piece is one of the strongest moments of action.
In his third solo album, Jerry Cantrell proved how important it is to Alice In Chains throughout their existence. He is a strong author, an excellent guitarist, and without his charismatically gloomy backing vocals, the work of Seattle matadors would be at least half. “Brighten” is also an example of how the album as a whole can work, tightened to the smallest detail from the arrangements through the sound to the sequence of songs. Listening to singles is only a fraction of the experience that this gem brings.
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REVIEWS: Jerry Cantrell brings strong songs to the solo album “Brighten” accompanied by stellar teammates