Ben W. (fbwilcox) from JASPER, GA Reviewed on 9/25/2008...
If you like Alice in Chains or the Screaming Trees, you will love Mad Season. This superband is a mix of members from other bands, including Alice in Chain's Lane Staley and Screaming Tree's Mark Lanegan. "Above" has a very solid rock sound with some blues in there as well. It's a hard CD to find but when you do find it, I'm sure you will enjoy it just as much as I have and it's a great addition to your CD collection from the best years of grunge (In my opinion, 1989-1995). I would rate this CD very high and I would recommend it to a wide variety of listeners. ~Ben
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Lauri Jean C. from PINCKNEY, MI Reviewed on 8/8/2006...
This is an excellent grouping with Layne Staleys tremendously melodic vocals.It simply doesn't suit my tastes any longer.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
If you liked A.I.C, get this release!
Ryan C. Reichardt | Ramsey, MN United States | 08/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD rocks.. and for those of you who only know of or have ever heard "River of Deceit" this album goes way deeper than just that track. In fact if you didn't know any better, you would think this is an A.I.C. album, it's just that good. In my opinion all 10 tracks are pretty cool in their own respects. ¤¤¤~~R.I.P Layne~~¤¤¤"
Must have for Staley fans!
Ryan C. Reichardt | 10/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"members from two of my favorite bands, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains combine on the only Mad Season album ever. Most prominent is the late layne Staley. Staley is one of the best rock vocalists of all time. Right up there not only with his contemporaries Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder, but with classic rock's greatest frontmen; Robert Plant, Mick Jagger,Roger Daltry, the list goes on. Staley's unique delivery works well not only on hard rocking albums like Facelift and Dirt, but also on quieter albums such as Jar Of Flies, Sap, and AIC Unplugged. The softer side is displayed throughout this album.
This is one of the most successful side projects ever assembled, right alongside the brilliant Temple Of The Dog. After you get this album, get the VHS (not on dvd yet) performance of Mad Season Live, it shows Layne's unique gift as a live performer. We miss ya Layne."
An essential listen from the first half of the '90s.
Aron Hsiao | New York, New York | 05/20/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Above is a must-have album for fans of Layne Staley, Mike McCready, or of course the era and the music that went along with it.Less manic and more subtle than the archetypal Alice in Chains or Pearl Jam albums, Mad Season and Above are an incredible but at times frustrating listen. While the album as a whole is somewhat uneven, beautiful tracks like Wake Up, River of Deceit and the latin-tinged Long Gone Day showcase that incredible potential for creativity and change that seemed to be everywhere in the early '90s. Sadly, this potential was never realized as most of the important bands have either split or lost members due in large part to the daemons that drove their projects in the first place.Still, at certain moments Above provides a glimpse into a deeper, more sophisticated 'grunge' (a stupid, inaccurate term, but it is useful here) that was never fully realized."
For All Seasons
Thomas Magnum | NJ, USA | 08/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mad Season is something of a Seattle supergroup with Alice In Chains lead vocalist Layne Staley joining up with Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready and the drummer from the Screaming Trees. The one album they made together, Above, is a stirring collection of songs that take on dark subject matters like death and addiction, but the album is not in the traditional grunge sound. There are some heavy guitar passages like in the psychedelic instrumental blast of "November Hotel" and bluesy "Artificial Red", but overall, the album has a loose, almost jazz like quality. "Wake Up" has a pounding bass with a strong vocal and "River Of Deceit" is an absolutely gorgeous song with great instrumentation. Mad Season unfortunately was a one-off project, but it would have been interesting to see where the band could have gone if they decided to make a second album."
As far as "grunge supergroups" go this is awesome...
Chris Edwards | East Texas | 07/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mad Season, the so-called "Grunge Supergroup" combines the talents of Alice In Chains' Layne Staley, Pearl Jam's Mike McCready, the Screaming Trees' Barrett Martin and also features blues bassist John Baker Saunders, and Screaming Trees' Mark Lanegan on a couple of tracks. This album is a masterpiece. Instead of serving as a "Layne Staley solo project," which some have referred to it as, it is a group effort all the way. The late Baker Saunders was an amazing, if little-heard bassist, and McCready, who never really got to excercise his songwriting muscles in Pearl Jam, wrote some great riffs here. Staley, as usual, is in fine form, both as an awe-inspiring vocalist and top-of-the-line songwriter and lyricist. As a matter of fact, Staley hadn't really addressed his pathos in song so clearly since his main band's "Dirt" album. Loneliness, depression, addiction and coming to terms with those problems, or attempting to, are the themes addressed in these songs. This is by no means a "feel good" album, but as with most great art, most everything Layne did came from pain. The avowed influence of classic '70's rock shared by both Staley and McCready (who both came up in the Seattle scene playing in 'glam metal' bands early on) is apparent on several tracks, like "I'm Above," which contains a killer guitar riff and a nice McCready acoustic solo. The crunchy "I Don't Know Anything," with Layne and Mike's guitar see-sawing riffs is another great track--simple, but very beautiful. Also, the collaboration with Mark Lanegan ("Long Gone Day") can't be missed, with its eerie, jazzy atmosphere and some guest saxophone by Nagalas Sin-Carne."