The new Alice In Chains album "Black Gives Way To Blue" is a hit with me. I'm really like it. I bought it the same day on iTunes that I purchases Pearl Jam's new album. I haven't actually listened to the new PJ album yet because I'm just engrossed in this one.
I've always been a big Alice In Chains fan. I think my friends and I saw them at least 3 times live in the span of 7 months, and a total of 4 times (because I count when they opened for VH). I love love the DIRT album. Jar of Flies is amazing. Man in the Box and SAP are terrific. The last album before Layne passed was good, not as amazing I think, but that was a hard time for Layne and it showed in his performance.
I really like the new album. The following is a good review of the work. I think the review sums up a lot of what I've been thinking. The title track is similar to "Back in Black" as a tribute song to a fallen lead singer. I've long said that Jerry Cantrell was the driving force behind the band and this album really proves that. He has pieced together a good album.
Listening to this album does make me miss Layne a lot. I have already listened to the "old" stuff a few times. I smile because although his lyrics were very dark the songs remind me of fun times with my friends. I loved the grunge rock sound of their songs. Layne's lyrics were understandable and served more as lessons learned to me than mirroring any shared experience. The music reminds me of the summer of 1992. A good year.
Overall I'm finding that I keep playing this album over and over and singing along. I've often said that Layne was a great talent. Like many great talents he burned out very hard and far too quickly to truly ever know. I think this album moves all fans forward who want to move forward.