Perry Farrell

Song Yet To Be Sung (Warner Bros. Records)

Perry Farrell has found God. That fact would usually send most music scribes hurriedly scurrying to write an artist's epitaph -- and rightfully so. Rock 'n' roll legend has it that musicians hoping to tap into their creative muses have successfully done so only by choosing to sell their souls to a much darker deity. Any alliance with the Almighty is almost certainly a recipe for artistic doom.

But if Farrell's solo debut is any indication, the fact that he has traded his allegiance to smack-fueled hedonism for messianic Judaism is no reason to ring up the rabbi for final atonement. Eschewing the monster guitar riffing that powered much of his past work, Farrell bathes himself in all things electronica on his solo debut, Song Yet To Be Sung.

By choosing to work from a techno base, Farrell invites critics to accuse an aging altrock icon of hitching a ride on the latest musical bandwagon. What better way for the godfather of Lollapalooza to attempt to retain his shaman status? It's true that hard-core dance fans may find some of the breakbeats and ambient electronica somewhat pedestrian, but when Farrell's childlike voice blissfully croons the nursery rhyme chorus to hook-filled gems such as "Shekina" or "Say Something," all should be forgiven.

Always more of a stylist than a singer, Farrell, now virtually free of the shrill banshee shrieks he utilized to be heard over the decibel-heavy attack of Jane's Addiction, fits this genre perfectly. His chameleon tendencies may point to a Bowie-like aspiration to tread boldly whatever musical landscape he sees fit, and if Song Yet To Be Sung is any indication, he is certainly more than capable of achieving that lofty goal. God willing.

 
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