Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Alice In Chains Unplugged
Has it really been 15 years since this album came out? Back when MTV was about the music, and grunge and 90s alternative rock filled the airwaves? Unbelievable, I'm starting to feel old. MTV's Unplugged series were an interesting take on modern music of the time- get a band that was usually pumped with raw energy and heavily distorted electric guitars to sit down, performing an intimate performance with a purely acoustic set. Naturally, songs needed to be reworked and reimagined for these performances, lest they come off as dull.
Nirvana's unplugged performance was one of the most highly regarded of the 90s, being the epitome of what an Unplugged session should be. However, there's just something about Alice In Chain's Unplugged session that makes it all the more attractive to me. Perhaps it's the focus on Staley's voice, blending rather than clashing with the acoustic guitar and bass; it gives the sound of quiet desperation at times, of a man struggling with drug abuse. Perhaps it's the sound itself, beautifully mastered and a real treat to listen to. Or maybe it was purely sentimental, being one of the last shows ever performed before Staley went into hiding for years, putting AIC on hiatus while battling his demons. Whatever the reason, this is a beautiful album, and a must have for any fan of rock music in general. Pick it up if you haven't already.