Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Perry Farrell 

Song Yet to Be Sung (Virgin)

As the frontman for late '80s legends Jane's Addiction, singer Perry Farrell mapped out an amphetamine dream of hard rock and roll fueled by the heedless roar of his band and the never-ending circus surrounding it. When Jane's was silenced, Farrell seemed to get lost in his new band, the space-rock freak show Porno for Pyros. Farrell's new gig sounded like a failed effort to fill a void, and the Pyros' music, lacking any real charge, wound up lost in the resonating feedback of Jane's Addiction's demise. But Farrell's muse is a wild bronco, and he can't sit musically still for long. Song Yet to Be Sung, his first solo record (his name alone graces the sleeve), may be the best post-Addiction move he's made.

Essentially an electronic record, Song blends Farrell's pleading, trilling voice with high-octane rhythmic beats, hints of reggae dub styling, Eastern weirdness, and spots of suave melody. Leading off with the daydream drip of "Happy Birthday Jubilee," Farrell displays a solid grasp and obvious affection for the tripping dance feel of house music. At times the music nudges too close to the post-gloom disco of New Order ("Our Song"), but mostly it stays on the happy/silly techno tip ("Say Something" is genuinely giddy). Farrell wisely chooses to keep his quirky vocals somewhere in the middle of the mix, leaving the bass lines and the beats right on top of everything else. Yet ambient electronic music, whether it's dance or atmospheric, is a tricky thing to sustain over the course of a full-length disc. It is repetitive by nature and works out best on darkened dance floors, chiming to the chaotic throb of strobe lights. And while Song may be Farrell's best post-Jane's work yet, it's ultimately just quaint and doesn't come close to transcendence. Instead, Farrell merely accommodates the electronic form to his own ambiguous needs long enough to make the album a dynamically challenged intrigue at best.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

More by Kurt Hernon

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 26, 2022

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Michael Kosta @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Fri., Jan. 28
  • Ali Siddiq @ Improv Comedy Club & Restaurant

    • Fri., Jan. 28
  • The Boys From the County Hell @ House of Blues

    • Fri., Jan. 28

© 2022 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation