John Frusciante - The Empyrean PDF Print E-mail
New Albums - Rock & Indie Rock Albums
Written by TK   

John Frusciante's new album "The Empyrean" is by no means easy listening.  It is about as commercial as a charity.  However, in an age where every rock band and solo artist starts sounding the same after a while, it is unusual to listen to an album that is absolutely unrecognizable in style and substance. 

The ex-Red Hot Chilli Pepper's guitarist - who is as famous for his ability on the guitar as he is with his penchant for partying - has mixed together several influences to create an eclectic and experimental sound.  Frusciante's left-of-centre charisma has created a somewhat mixed affair which grows on you as you become more familiar with it.  The music has a psychedelic feel about it, and Frusciante has even described it along these lines.  
"The Empyrean" is principally from the hand of Frusciante, notwithstanding his remake of Tim Buckley's "Song to the Siren" and also smattering of guest musicians across the album including Sonus Quartet, Red Hot Chilli Pepper's band member Flea, and former Smiths' guitarist Johnny Marr.

The most assessable songs on the album follow the self-indulgent opening two tracks, which feature high-pitched guitars, slow drumming and wailing.  In fact, it is not until you have heard the middle stages of the album that you realise the depth of Frusciante's talent.  The tracks, "Unreachable", "God" and "Dark/Light" stand out from the rest of the pack.  "Unreachable" has a fantastic guitar solo and creepy-sounding yet captivating lyrics.  "God" features an engaging beat and an entrancing melody.  The first-half of "Dark/Light" is beautiful.  Latter track "Central" is the best forum for Frusciante's voice, which provides stark juxtaposition against soaring strings.     

This will appeal to the fans of early Red Hot Chilli Peppers music, and anyone else into slightly experimental rock music.


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