very true but oh no what…
Alice in Chains -  Black Gives Way to Blue
I could write a book about how much and why I love this album.
so here goes
Alice in Chains was always big to me, as a 90s grunge metal kid they helped define what I wanted music to be like. They had the power of metal without the stupid hair or tight pants. Van Halen needed to die to make way for something that kicked too much ass to ever end up in a Pepsi ad and AiC was the bullet to do it.
When Layne killed himself in 2002 it was like okay, the 90s are officially dead. Pack up your ripped shirts and wash your hair because grunge is over. Let’s all listen to house until someone invents dubstep.
Five years later when AiC announced a new album, expectations were low. A bunch of ageing relics of the old school trying to cash in on nostalgia.
And then Death Magnetic came out; Metallica’s supposed return to form. It was … boring. A couple of months later, Guns ‘n’ Roses pooped the bed and called it Chinese Democracy. Revivals don’t work. The buzz for AiC was bad, expectations were in the toilet and anticipation was nonexistant.
But Black Gives Way to Blue isn’t Death Magnetic. It’s basically fucking perfect. It’s bold and subtle, angry and sad and optimistic. It’s got charismatic hooks. The lyrics have substance. The guitar work is broad and bold and metal as hell but the tracks are all layered with detail and complexity.
They talk about Layne’s death, they address that feeling that the best is passed, and they speak from the heart. I can’t stress this enough: songs that are actually about stuff. It seems simple but it’s a big refreshing deal in comparison to songs about nothing in particular (still talking about Metallica but also Paul Mccartney: what the fuck is “Dance Tonight”, you’re the worst Beatle).
This album is incredible and listening to it makes me feel like you’re supposed to feel when the underdog wins in an anime, except it’s real life; nobody thought AiC could do it, and they did it. Certified gold (a big deal for metal). Metal album of the year. One of my favourite albums of all time.
two point five stars out of five on rolling stone ROLLING STONE YOUR STARS ARE WORTHLESS IT WOULD TAKE A MILLION TO DESCRIBE THIS ALBUM