Alice in Chains’ Jerry Cantrell has released his third solo album titled Brighten. The album comes nearly two decades after 2002’s Degradation Trip. The multi-talented Cantrell always seems to amaze fans in every project he is involved in. Nevertheless, he did not disappoint with his latest nine-track album. Of course, it is hard not to think about Alice in Chains throughout the album, but Cantrell was sure to jam-pack powerful emotions from beginning to end.
Brighten kicks off with “Atone,” a four-minute track that appears to be an American blues and desert rock mixture. The opening track quickly illustrates a vivid picture of the Wild West with its banjo and catchy country rhythm. The title track, “Brighten,” comes in strong with a mesmerizing electric guitar within the first few seconds. The grunge song illuminates Cantrell’s strong vocals throughout, reminding fans just how incredibly talented he is.
“Prism of Doubt” returns the album to the country inspirations but with calmer tones. The acoustic guitar rhythm and aesthetically pleasing percussions are quick to captivate the audience in a daydream. “Black Hearts and Evil Done” channels back to Cantrell’s first solo album, Boggy Depot, a masterpiece that will have many reminiscing on ’90s soft rock.
The album turns to more aggressive tones with a hard rock track titled “Had to Know.” One of the tracks that stick out is “Dismembered,” as it shifts back and forth between country and hard rock, a passion-filled song of the hardships of life. With surprises up his sleeves, Cantrell closes the album with a stunning cover of Elton John’s “Goodbye.” Cantrell’s soulful vocals are joined by heavy violins and a somber piano that struck to the core. Just short of the two-minute mark, the track will have many reaching for the repeat button to listen to the beautiful cover once again.
Jerry Cantrell has returned to remind everyone just how immensely talented and brilliant he is with his latest album Brighten. The album not only consists of a wide range of musical genres such as grunge, desert rock, blues and country, but it carries powerful emotions that resonate with many. The album is a beautiful masterpiece, carefully thought out and composed; those 19 years were worth the wait for Cantrell’s Brighten.