As a founding member of the pioneering alt-rock band Jane's Addiction, Dave Navarro has helped redefine rock guitar. During his brief, mid-'90s stint with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Los Angeles axeman solidified his reputation as one of modern rock's most innovative accompanists.
But with the recent release of his Capitol Records debut album, Trust No One, Navarro has emerged as a solo artist in his own right. Fans expecting indulgent displays of instrumental heroism will be pleasantly surprised. Though the album features plenty of Navarro's apocalyptic guitar, there's also a delectable surfeit of acoustic guitar textures and curious production sounds. But ultimately, Trust No One showcases Navarro's heretofore unsung songwriting talents, most notably his impressive lyrical skills.
In fact, Trust No One is one of the most honest and insightful meditations on rock stardom in recent memory. Songs like "Avoiding The Angel" and "Very Little Daylight" chronicle the guitarist's spiritual struggles, while the single "Rexall" cleverly rebukes idealistic music fans. "I hate my life . . . I want the life you think I have," Navarro sings in a voice dripping with irony. Shunning trendy fatalism, Navarro has created an earnest masterwork that offers a revealing peak inside the surreal world of rock & roll.
As if the album didn't offer enough insight into Navarro's psyche, the guitarist recently released his autobiographical book, "Don't Try This At Home" (Regan Books; $29.95 hardcover). With its sordid tales of band politics, romantic breakups, failed drug rehabilitations and professional mishaps, Don't Try This At Home - like it's musical companion Trust No One - dispels the myth of the glamorous, carefree rock & roll lifestyle.