Trying to describe a Perry Farrell album is like trying to explain a pinkish hue to the blind. From Jane’s Addiction, Porno For Pyros, Lollapalooza, and every other project the man has touched in between and since, Farrell has made himself as much an innovator of music as a cultural beacon. Making music wasn’t enough for him, so he created the touring festival that all travelling events have modelled themselves after since.
While piecing together his latest project, Satellite Party (which features ex-Extreme guitarist — yes, the “More Than Words” Extreme! — Nuno Bettencourt, Kevin Figueiredo on drums, Etty Lau Farrell on backing vocals and Carl Restivo on bass), he also set his sights on saving the environment. Put together in an eco-friendly green packaging, Ultra Payloaded is made out of recycled paper, and the disc itself is “carbon-neutral, with the estimated CO2 produced from its manufacture, shipping and packing being offset by helping build renewable energy projects with NativeEnergy (www.nativeenergy.com/sony). It may not have anything to do with the music, but is entirely worth mentioning. Save the planet one compact disc at a time!
The actual music blends all of Farrell’s eclectic influences, from dance funk (“Hard Life Easy” which features Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea and John Frusciante and “Kinky” with Joy Division’s Peter Hook on bass), to the Jane’s Addiction reminiscent (“Insanity Rains”), to the darkly soulful (“Awesome”), to the airy pscyhadelic (“Ultra Payloaded”). But the real gem on this album, is the closing track, “Woman In The Window,” which has been a song 30 years in the making. Recognize the deep, tortured yet playful voice? Yep, it’s Jim Morrison. Unreleased, never heard, it’s the Lizard King’s words and voice set to Farrell’s vision, complete with a string section. With the repeating chorus of “just try and stop us, we’re going to love,” it’s a fitting end to a project whose belief is that “people can change the world one step at a time.”
Satellite Party: www.satelliteparty.com