The Great Escape Artist - Jane's Addiction

Mixed or average reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 26
  2. Negative: 2 out of 26
  1. Dec 22, 2011
    Periodically dormant they may be, but it's clearly a tactic that works for Jane's. [Nov 2011, p.93]
  2. Oct 31, 2011
    [The] band's strange brew is as striking as ever it was, and is no less potent for being restrained by both taste and age. [15 Oct 2011, p.51]
  3. 80
    Another long-awaited offering finally drops and it's wonderfully enchanting.
  4. 70
    This is the comeback album they should have released in '03.
  5. Oct 24, 2011
    Instead of re-creating sounds, they've recaptured the vibe, which is enough to keep The Great Escape Artist absorbing even when it begins to drift.
  6. Dec 15, 2011
    Imagination and maturity abound, energy less so, although it bodes well for the next album. [Dec. 2001 p. 127]
  7. Oct 24, 2011
    The sound is brand-name familiar but all too settled; the songs place their hard-rock hooks neatly but without the original band's startling ups and downs.
  8. 60
    The classic Jane's rough edges have been smoothed out and coated in electronic confections, but there is a darker, grinding groove beneath that sonic sheen.
  9. Oct 18, 2011
    Too much of this lacks the urgent life of previous outings. [Nov 2011, p.89]
  10. Oct 18, 2011
    The Great Escape Artist does not dampen Jane's Addiction's legacy, but doesn't advance it either.
  11. Oct 17, 2011
    There's nothing here to match the wildly brilliant ambition of their late-80s/early-90s peak, but "Underground" packs a hefty punch, while frenetic closer "Words Right Out of My Mouth" sounds like an ornithophobic Stooges.
  12. Oct 14, 2011
    This is a somewhat underwhelming effort, once again pushing any idea of recapturing that lost magic even further towards the back of their cabinet of curiosities.
  13. Oct 13, 2011
    For their previous temporary-reunion album, 2003's Strays, these dark alt gods created a superslick din seemingly designed for radio, but definitely not your heart.
  14. Oct 18, 2011
    While the interplay remains incendiary, the textures freshly incandescent, there isn't much in the way of memorable choruses or hooks.
  15. Oct 18, 2011
    Perry Farrell strives for a Radiohead vibe that leaves guitarist Dave Navarro confused (though he gets his on "Words Right Out of Mouth").
  16. Oct 17, 2011
    The Great Escape Artist's intricate, heavily lacquered production--courtesy of Muse-man Rich Costey--has the effect of making Jane's Addiction sound like an anonymous assemblage of oversaturated recording tracks.
  17. Oct 17, 2011
    The overwhelming impression given by The Great Escape Artist is that they never actually tried.
  18. Oct 14, 2011
    Perfectly serviceable, but this band missed their chance to make a third great album decades ago.
  19. Nov 3, 2011
    The Great Escape rarely moves past generic dance-floor thump and sway. [Oct 2011, p.100]
  20. Oct 27, 2011
    Sadly, Jane's Addiction lost the fire ages ago and are now sleepwalking through the ashes.
  21. Oct 17, 2011
    The Great Escape Artist is the least cohesive of all Jane's Addiction's albums.
  22. 40
    They may talk it up as a brave new step forward, but their first album in over eight years can't really be viewed as other than a retrograde move for Jane's Addiction.
  23. Oct 13, 2011
    The Great Escape Artist is one-paced, bloodless, and frequently blighted by Dave Navarro's ersatz Edge-isms.
  24. Oct 28, 2011
    With Costey's 21st century modern rock production, everything on this album is blown up a dense roar that in its attempt to overwhelm with volume cannot obscure how dull the songs really are.
  25. Oct 18, 2011
    Great Escape is a bold, erratic, pathetic attempt to recontextualize Jane's for the 21st century.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Oct 27, 2011
    Let's start with what this isn't. It's not Nothing Shocking, it's not Ritual de lo Habitual, It's not Strays. If you want to listen to a Jane's album like those then listen to those albums. It's also not Jane's best album, in fact it probably their fourth best studio album after those mentioned above. So what is it? This is definitely a Jane's Addiction album, it is different to what has gone before, an evolution and an experiment in a slightly new more mellow direction but clearly identifiable as Jane's Addiction. Perry, Dave and Steve are still creating unique, interesting and moving music that is better than almost everything else out there. Full Review »
  2. Jul 13, 2012
    For die-hard fans only -- of which I am one. I saw Jane's Addiction after smoking a joint with some friends back in November, 1988 when Nothing's Shocking came out. We paid $3 per ticket! They scared me at first (paranoid reaction to how Perry was garbed in "dressed-to-KILL" garb), and the show was a raw punk rock performance with mohawks slam dancing and crowd surfing galore. How can I turn my back on a group like that. And then when "Ritual..." came out - WOW - what a hard-soft core alternative album. This album satiates my desire for a new Jane's album and I like it very much. I hear the critics and I agree with most of them that this is not their best work, but hey, they're like in their 50s now so give them a break... Just love Jane's Addiction and the culture and the philosophy behind it all !!! Full Review »
  3. Jun 25, 2012
    Metacritic won't include positive reviews by NME, or other publications like USA Today, so I've decide to help balance out the playing field for those of you who base your music listening decisions off...of all scores (yuck). The Great Escape Artist is Jane's for the modern day. They're older, wiser, richer, less adventurous, and happy. This happens in life once you succeed. Because of this, their music is not as dangerous or erratic as it once was. However, it is still layered with superb instrumentals and vocals that easily get the job done. It took me until my fourth spin of the album until it clicked, and now I love it. The only song I don't enjoy is "Word Right Out of My Mouth" simply because it is generic and boring; unlike Jane's. Strong cuts include "Underground" which sounds like it's straight out of their 1990 back catalog, "Irresistible Force" which is the most melodic and beautiful track on the album, and "Twisted Tales" as the 2011 Jane's anthem for the kids. Eric Avery may be gone, but Navarro took over handling most musical writing and has emerged victorious. This is exactly how I imagined Jane's of 2011 would be, and certainly not bad for a 52 year-old Perry Farrell. Full Review »