So it arrived today on my desk, former Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante’s new solo album.
John has been awfully quiet ever since announcing his departure from Red Hot Chili Peppers in December 2009.
But then in late May he pops up on his website announcing two new recording, the EP Letur-Lefr and LP PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone which is due for release in September.
Best thing Frusciate did in my opinion was depart Chili Peppers, I am not overly keen especially anything they have done after Californication, its all become a bid predictable and pedestrian and ultimatley become a parody of themselves. On the flipside of this John’s solo efforts are immense. 2001′s ‘To Record Only Water for 10 days’ & one of 6 albums he released in 2004 ‘Inside of Emptiness’ are personal favourites of mine, obviously his collaboration album with Omar Rodriquez Lopez is quality but that goes with out saying!
The first thing that took me by surprise was his description of his new music: “I consider my music to be Progressive Synth Pop, which says nothing about what it sounds like, but does describe my basic approach. I combine aspects of many styles of music and create my own musical forms by way of electronic instruments.”
The whole statement and more about the latest releases can be found at http://johnfrusciante.com/
For anyone who knows John’s solo music this would take them by surprise. His music is always lo-fi and has an element of programming and drum machines but it is by no means Progressive Synth Pop.
This statement intrigued me and what also intrigued me today when I was reading the inlay was the likes of RZA and Kinetic 9 listed as collaborators.
Also listed is ‘Female backing vocals on FM by John Frusciante’, again very intriguing.
Probably what you have picked up so far is the following:
1. I like John Frusciante as a solo artist.
2. I was intrigued!
Also I have to admit I know nothing about Progressive Synth Pop and to be honest with you not a great deal about any derivative of Synth Pop.
So what do I know I hear you cry, well I know I like Letur-Lefr and I know it is not like anything I have every listened to in my life!
It requires an open mind for any RHCP fan and even for any Frusciante fans, but trust me it is worth the effort as once you ‘get it’ you GET IT!
The album is warm and calming and has a spiritual feel to it which is something John’s music and vocals always have me feeling.
It sounds like John has spend many hours painstakingly building the layers on these tracks.
There is depth, warm and layers to what John has created.
Johns trademark vocals are on opener ‘In you Eyes’ which ends with the recognisable tone of his guitar, this track would bring the sun out on a winters day its that warm.
’909 Day’ is a personal favourite on the album with some beautiful synth work, nice drum machine beats and beautiful vocals. Not only is it an uplifting and invigorating number, its a work of beauty. Just a tad too short,
‘Glowe’ is an instrumental piece Johns guitar is the main basis of this track and it majestically weaves through programmed drum beats, bongos and synths.
‘FM’ a rap number. The track is very synth heavy and has John performing very high pitched operatic ‘Female backing vocals’. The track also has vocals from Kinetic 9, Rugged Monk and RZA
The album ends with ‘In My Light’ which I must say is where Johns vocals sound best on the album.
The album mixes electronica, Synth Pop & R&B and gives birth to a very interesting blend.
Give it a go, listen to it and be prepared for a 15 minute journey of discovery, adventure and beauty. Experience something completely different today and get yourself a copy of Letur-Lefr
I always respect an artist who is not afraid to do something different.Good, bad or indifferent, respect is what artists who push boundaries deserve.
What Frusciante has done here is made something different with no fear of what we may think and what a creation he has created!
Stand out tracks – 909 Day and In Your Eyes
Rating – 5/5
Check out the below video for 30 second samplers of each song on the album
1. In Your Eyes.
2. 909 Day
5. In My Light