Alice in Chains' fifth album is certainly a worthy addition to the band's discography, but I feel that are a few shortcomings which prevent me from either giving it a 10 or liking it as much as "Black Gives Way to Blue." One of these is the sameness factor. Now, this isn't a huge problem by any means but it is there and makes it so some of the songs lose some of their uniqueness. Compare this to "Black Gives Way to Blue" where each song, in my opinion, has a unique identity and stands on its own two feet so to speak. Tying with that issue is my feeling that some of the songs, especially the title track, feel too long for their own good whereas BGWTB felt nice and concise. Finally, William Duvall simply doesn't have enough solo vocal parts. In fact, that's really my main beef with this album since I was hoping to hear him more than on BGWTB.
All this may sound like nitpicking and I admit they are minor issues in comparison to how pleased I am with this album, but I was hoping for perfection and didn't quite get it so I feel that I have to point them out. Overall, this is a brilliant achievement for a legendary band and I find myself coming back to it again and again. Hopefully you will too.