Review Summary: Bare boned approach that works very well with such a talented songwriter. Faults, yes, but kept to a minimum. Worth a buy.
Hello, Sputnik community.
Forgive me for abdicating my responsibilities as a member of the staff for the past six months or so, as I’ve been busy with other things, including my school work. As a disclaimer for my brief return as a reviewer, and contributor, I would like to apologize in advance for how terrifyingly crappy this review may be. If not, great, if so, I apologize for my lack of writing anything on an critical degree. So…
I have listened to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, as well as anything their members have released, since I was the immature age of five years. Albeit my love for the band, I had never taken a liking to John Frusciante’s role in the band, or any of his solo work, until I was fifteen. Yikes. My first impression of his solo work was that his songs and writing technique were lackluster and monotonous. If I recall correctly, that was my impression of To Record Only Water For Ten Days. To quicken the pace, two years later I sit and hold Frusciante to be one of my most beloved musicians and songwriters of all time. Next to Bob Dylan, of course. I’d *** the man.
When I heard about his venture into releasing seven albums in sixth months, I almost came myself. The next morning, sitting in Geometry, listening to my extremist conservative teacher lecture me on the justifications of the Iraqi war, and how it pertains to geometric philosophy. The only thing on my mind, besides thinking how cool this guy is, for being so god damn bold as to actually telling kids to go *** themselves, was the album I am currently reviewing (sort of, anyways, up until this point).
To begin my review, following nearly three paragraphs of bull***, I state this- Inside of Emptiness is John Frusciante’s magnum opus of solo work. Clocking in at a mere thirty nine minutes and twenty seconds, the ten songs which encompass Inside of Emptiness are by far some of the most fascinating songs to listen to. It is not because there is any intricate production or long guitar solos or any of that post-modern commercialized good stuff, but simple due to the fact that John Frusciante knows how to write a ***ing song. And write it well, may I add. Frusciante bears a very unique voice somewhere in the tone spectrum that is borderline between alto and tenor. It sounds fragile, but booming. His lyrical hooks are to die for (literally, because some are pretty depressing), and his guitar work, although minimalist and experimental, are extravagant in richness and sound. He solos, enough, anyways, but never too little or too much. Ideal for what he plays. The different emotions expressed through Frusciante’s ten track album are a juxtaposition of moods just about as random as your sister’s pre-menstrual syndrome. While some of lyrics wallow in self pity over failed relationships, while some turn to anger, and others into love, and even resentment over being arrested during a drug deal. Sounds like my type of man. His voice carries the melodies in every track, with a bit of variation here and there. While some songs obtain a tender, sentimental cracking in his voice, others have an Ian Mackaye sort of feel to it, albeit a melancholy album to begin with. Here and there are touches of acoustic strumming, and even audible bass work, but the focus never wanders too far from everybody’s favorite Jesus look-alike. Except for the actor that played Scanlon in the film adaptation of Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
In conclusion to my elongated, mundane one paragraph review is the section where I say that the album is the ***, and you all say “orly? I think I should get it”. Get it. By any means. Por que? Because it is awesome, and that is all the rationale in the world. If my overused, crappy sarcasm cannot prompt you to at least listen to the album, talk to other people who actually have some degree of intellect.
Was my review ***ty? Let me know. I appreciate all feedback and criticisms. Thank you for reading up until this point, because I know it was difficult.