Perry Farrell's flair for musical drama served him well in Jane's Addiction, arguably the American group that had the greatest success merging the idiosyncrasies of English post-punk with arena-rock excess. However, Jane's was really a movement of one, and once the band fell apart, Farrell's most visible influence in the U.S. was as an impresario, thanks to the early success of his traveling Lollapalooza festival. Lollapalooza no longer travels, and Farrell's seen enough water go under the bridge since the heyday of Jane's and their less aggressive successor, Porno for Pyros, that the great unwashed mass of rock consumers known as "the kids" may not have a very good idea of who he is musically.
No matter - they'll know precisely where he stands by the end of Satellite Party's very Jane's-y reworking of Rare Earth's '70s funk-rock hit "I Just Want to Celebrate" (titled here "Only Love, Let's Celebrate"). To wit, he's this dude with a high, kind of spacey pop voice who believes that love is the answer and that pretty much anything will work in the mix as long as you layer it over a decent groove. He's right, of course, but that doesn't mean Satellite Party is a great success.
The Rare Earth remake is a would-be dance-floor fave, and the ominous, mid-tempo throbbing of "The Solutionists" (another version of which he recorded with Thievery Corporation) is definitely a good choice when it's time to put down the inebriants and go in for some woozy late-night canoodling. But sadly, a lot of tracks come across as production exercises rather than actual songs, and Farrell's attraction to speaker-filling orchestration transforms several perfectly serviceable pop tunes into thick, ultra-earnest examples of how to spend way too much time on a rather simple idea.
The weirdest song by far is the string-laden "Woman in the Window," a tune employing a previously unreleased vocal by the late Doors frontman Jim Morrison. Morrison's message of peace and love is welcome, but Farrell's breathy background vocal treatments are a bit presumptuous.