There are people in this world who perceive existence on more planes than most of us. People like the great Mohammad Ali, who stoically explains being struck down-but-not-out by Parkinson’s disease as God’s will, a way of showing us that the most perfect human specimen, robbed of all his physical and verbal dexterity, can still live with grace and dignity.
Another such being is [a]Perry Farrell[/a]. Nominally a rock star, Perry sees beyond music. The trademark echoing amplification of his vocals isn’t just a gimmick; it’s symbolic of the sheer [I]bigness[/I] of his vision. What exactly he sees is another matter entirely.
‘Rev‘ is a collection of some of Perry‘s greatest moments with the pioneering Jane’s Addiction, the more self-indulgent Porno For Pyros and a taster of where his solo stuff may be heading. Quite apart from providing us with an opportunity to revisit some of the most genuinely thrilling music made in the last decade or so, it also proves that, coursing through the veins of the entire body of this man’s work, is a search for the answer to the biggest question of all: what the fuck are we doing here?
Perry‘s progress – through the wanton hedonism of early Jane‘s to the erotic ritual of the band’s later work, through the wasted junkie years and the recovering sci-fi of Pornos – seems to be a journey towards the realisation that the instinct towards the epic that has always informed his work is, in fact, an illustration through sounds and gestures that there is something higher to be attained. Something religious. Right now, having witnessed the spectacular carnival that Perry presented at the recent Coachella Festival in California, this writer is unsure whether he is saying we can all be gods or that we should recognise the fact that there are gods and celebrate the arse outta their existence.
Whatever. When was the last time that you can honestly say you were truly intrigued by the music you are listening to? Perry always intrigues. From the fabulous ‘Jane Says‘ – the only song ever to sympathise with the junkie’s sweet self-delusion; [I]”I’m gonna kick tomorrow”[/I] – through the just plain adorable ‘Kimberly Austin‘, to the rarities included here – generous covers of ‘Tonight‘ from [I]West Side Story[/I], ‘Ripple‘ by The Grateful Dead and Lou Reed‘s ‘Satellite Of Love‘ – there is a reverberating joy at the sensational feast that is being alive.
‘Rev‘ also features two new things from Perry – a drum’n’bass version of Led Zep‘s ‘Whole Lotta Love‘ and the album’s title track, both of which suggest his next move will be towards dance. Which makes total sense when you think about it; Perry‘s thing has always been about communion, about sharing the spectacular.
His next project is rumoured to be a concept album. Oh [I]really[/I]!