April 23, 2006

John Frusciante - Curtains

All of you should by now know the works of John Frusciante somehow. Whether you know his masterful guitar work with the band Red Hot Chili Peppers or you’ve heard me praise him repeatedly, his name should at least be vaguely familiar by now. What you may not know is that Frusciante promised his fans 6 solo albums in 6 months. An unthought-of task for any musician, Frusciante focused and accomplished his mission as promised in 2004. “Curtains” is the final chapter in the series, and fittingly so. The normal (if you can call it normal) conceptual sound that is found on his previous works is replaced by a calmer, gentler sound in his final. This record was recorded on John’s living room floor with an 8-track tape machine that was made in the 70’s. He dubbed it practically by himself, but had a little help from Omar Rodriguez (The Mars Volta), who also plays lead guitar on 2 songs. One of those songs being “Anne” that starts slowly and ends with Omar and John dueling it out with their guitars in a distortion of electric fury. As his other albums have been thus far, it took a listen or two to realize the magic that lies underneath in the profound lyrics (I’m gonna move toward a point in time / where where you are is a state of mind) and creative guitar, but it can not be denied that this music is in fact created by a genius. John Frusciante continues to astonish me with every song I hear. This album took me completely off guard. I have always known Frusciante to be a talented singer/songwriter, not to mention a magical guitar player. I wasn’t, however, expecting to get knocked off my ass again. John has many sides. “Curtains” portrays his more elegant side yet it holds true to John’s sense of ingenuity which makes this album differ from your everyday singer/songwriters. Keeping it simple is not something I’ve known Frusciante to do, but he tries his best to make this album relatively uncomplicated. In closing I would like to say, for emphasis sake, that Frusciante has become one of my all time favorite musicians. The sweat and careful details that go into his poignant music are some of the best I’ve come across in recent years. This man does not receive the credit and respect he rightfully deserves.

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