John Frusciante Shadows Collide With People

The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ prodigal son guitarist always seems to be undermined in the press by band-mate Flea when it comes to talking about the main force behind the band. John Frusciante is the true and tortured creative freak of the band, with skills on the guitar that almost touch Hendrix's cloud of inspiration. Shadows is not his first solo foray, though it is equally as brilliant as his previous efforts and surely to be misunderstood as they were as well. This album comes off as unfocused and all over the place and is loaded with surrealistic and prolific personal poetry, in both sound and words. It's hard to swallow, but once done, the rewards are astronomical. The disc is like the Plan 9 From Outer Space of the major label world — a strange mix of feminine psychedelic gospel pop rock using mellotron keyboards and trickling circus guitars that can sometimes sound like cosmically inspired remixes of his "regular” band's output. Oddly and ironically enough, the only suggestion I have for this record is that it needs more production — as whirling, angular and creative genius this record is, it does come off as a little too straightforward with its approach. However it’s a miracle alone that Warner put money into this at all, and we're blessed it exists. It will require more than just a few casual listens to get to the heart of this truly inspired musical soul, but it's very much worth it. Consider it a chess game for the ears. (Warner)