The Deal: Former Jane's Addiction bassist and co-founder releases solo debut.
The Good: The album's tone leans a little toward the goth side of the rock road – dark overtones in the music and vocals. (It should be no surprise that he worked with Peter Murphy in the past.) Avery gets help from friends on the album – Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters handles the drumming on most tracks, Flea plays trumpet and Shirley Manson of Garbage helps out with vocals on the keyboard-heavy "Maybe." It's not like he hasn't been playing – he formed Deconstruction with Jane's guitarist Dave Navarro, fronted Polar Bear for five years and contributed to projects with Alanis Morissette, Smashing Pumpkins and Garbage.
The Bad: No matter what he does, he'll always be the "guy from Jane's Addition." That band was just awarded the "God-like Genius Award" by NME – that's a lot to live up to. I've never thought of Avery as a singer either. He's not bad on the album, but there's a reason he hasn't done much vocal work. (In a press release, he notes that he's "not a great singer, but my voice works with these songs.")
The Verdict: Not a bad album, as long as you don't compare it to any of the stuff he did in Jane's Addiction. It's a dark album that's usually mellow and would probably be best listened to in a dark, candle-lit room.