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Underrated Album(s): Alice in Chains-Sap

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Gary Floyd

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Usually, when it comes to Alice in Chains' best album, people are usually split between Dirt and Jar of Flies. I know Black Lushus's favorite is Dirt, while I'm more of a fan of the Hard Rock/Acoustic Folk sound of Jar of Flies. However, this isn't about their best album, this is about their most underrated. For that, I choose the EP Sap.

Done after Facelift and before Dirt, Sap is a bit of a stop gap, and a major shift in tone after the sludge of Facelift. It sees the band exploring their acoustic ballad that doesn't suck/folk side that would be improved on Jar of Flies. However, it's still a good EP, save for the last track, the out of place (and annoying) comedy song "Love Song."

Opening track "Brother" features Cantrell on Vocals, with Ann Wilson from Heart offering backing vocals. The song is appropriately melancholy, with acoustic strumming and reflective lyrics taking hold. "Got Me Wrong" was the EP's single, as a video was made, and it was included on the soundtrack to "Clerks." It's a great duet between Layne and Jerry, that sounds almost upbeat, in spite of the cryptic lyrics, though the chorus presents some hope. "Right Turn" is a collaboration between the band and members of Soundgarden and Mudhoney. It's a little more light hearted than the previous songs ("But it's so hard/To penetrate pig thick skin"), and is the shortest song here. "Am I Inside" also features Ann Wilson, and is the eeriest track on the album, with mournful piano and acoustic guitar. There's a slight upbeat tempo change in the chorus, but the tone remains throughout.

As I said before, Jar of Flies improved the folk rock sound captured here. As it stands though, Sap is an unfortunately overlooked album in the band's career, and deserves more attention.
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I think their self titled album is even more underrated. The guys do a big style change and it definitely turned off the more casual AIC fans.

I think they are equals to be honest.

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