Alice in Chains

Down in a Hole

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Song Review by Ned Raggett

Though "Rooster" was the power ballad (of sorts) that featured most strongly on Dirt, "Down in A Hole" wasn't far behind, showing Alice in Chains in its compelling partially acoustic mode -- as much the band's secret weapon as Jerry Cantrell and Layne Staley's harmonizing. A gentle start, complete with a softly crooned Staley coo, moves first into an equally calm first verse, just doom-laden and crushed enough, before the thunderclouds open on the dramatic choruses. Staley's singing there is among his best -- though he doesn't have a conventional singing voice per se, his half-strangled but still amazingly evocative performance, especially when Cantrell backs him up, is heartfelt and almost yearning. The end result feels like a ruined man looking for some sort of comfort, hoping to escape, even when the lyrics talk about "feeling so small" and being kicked in the teeth, a struggle without end.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Dirt 1992 Columbia 5:38
Kerrang!: The Album 1994
Various Artists
Nothing Safe 1999 Columbia / Sony Music Distribution 5:37
Music Bank 1999 Columbia 5:37
Music Bank: The Videos 1999 Sony Music Distribution
Nothing Safe/Music Bank 2003 Smv 5:37
Dirt/MTV Unplugged 2006 Epic / Sony BMG 5:46