John Frusciante
Shadows Collide with People


5.0
classic

Review

by Mike Allen USER (107 Reviews)
November 4th, 2009 | 22 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Whether it’s the skepticism of Ricky or the sheer optimism of The Slaughter, “Shadows Collide With People” delivers on all cylinders.

Once every few years, I encounter an album that changes my musical taste. When I was eleven, I remember listening to Third Eye Blind’s self-titled release, singing along with every track and playing the record continuously. When I grew a bit older, I worshipped Linkin Park’s “Hybrid Theory” as if it was revolutionary. In the following years, Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” and Pearl Jam’s “Ten” served as turning points for my musical taste, and are a major factor in what I listen to now. This past summer, I encountered a similar phenomenon when I least expected it.

As a Red Hot Chili Peppers fan, I had never quite gotten around to listening to John Frusciante’s solo work until this summer. I purchased “Shadows Collide With People” with the assumption that this would be just another good album, which was true; at first. While working on a golf course, I gave the record a few listens on my ipod, and at first thought; this is pretty good. Somewhere around that 4th or 5th listen, “Shadows Collide With People” clicked for me in a way I never would have imagined. I would consider this to be one of the most influential albums to both my music making and music taste that I have ever listened to.

When listening to this the first few times you may ask yourself: What is really so great about this? The record is composed of 18 tracks, only two exceeding six minutes and several that don’t surpass three minutes. The instrumentation is somewhat simple, there is drums, bass, and electric and/or acoustic guitars, although occasionally keyboards and strange effects make an appearance. Frusciante does not have one of the greatest voices in the history of music, nor does he have one of the best in modern music. His range however is excellent, changing from a falsetto to a growling yell, and his emotion is utterly amazing. In the opener Carvel, Frusciante’s falsetto and growl are in full effect, especially in the track’s final moments, “And I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Carvel is truly a brilliant song, beginning with strange water-like effects and building to one of the most upbeat tracks. The bass pounds, and is accompanied by guitar volume swells. Carvel gives off almost a mysterious vibe, and sets the tone for rest of the record. Frusciante’s pure emotion is clear in This Cold, passionately annunciating at the end of each verse, and powerfully yelling, “I feel this cold! Never stay and I never go.”

Frusciante’s songwriting ability is not to go unmentioned, for this is another characteristic that makes him so great. The tandem of Song to Sing When I’m Lonely and Time Goes Back hold true to this, and are two of the greatest songs Frusciante has written. Song to Sing When I’m Lonely is the most perfectly written track on the record; you can feel John’s ache when he sings, “Out of place in my own time, drowning thinkin that I'm dry.” This track has everything from beautiful harmonies to once again full-fledged sentiment. Time Goes Back plays along the same lines, it is simple yet powerful. John claims, “I’ve flown through a mirror, almost disappearing. I glow faintly, you know this is nobody’s life.”

“Shadows Collide with People” is considered to be one of Frusciante’s most experimental records, which is clear with instrumentals Negative 00 Ghost 27 and Failure33Object. These tracks are noisy and a bit irritating, and are potentially the only weak spots of the record. The third instrumental, 23 go in to end however, is one of those tracks that makes you want to close your eyes and think about your life. The atmosphere is chilled and it feels as though you are floating down a river while listening. This nearly 7-minute piece is absolutely beautiful and undoubtedly an underscore of the record.

Even in the simpler parts of the album such as Second Walk, Frusciante is brilliant, wailing on his guitar and powerfully unleashing his passion. Whether it’s the skepticism of Ricky or the sheer optimism of The Slaughter, “Shadows Collide With People” delivers on all cylinders. It is extremely difficult to convince me that this is not a classic, for it has simply affected more than 99% of other records I have listened to.

Recommended Tracks:
Carvel
This Cold
Song to Sing When I’m Lonely
Time Goes Back
23 to go in end



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Comments:Add a Comment 
EVedder27
November 4th 2009


6088 Comments


Let me just say that I absolutely do not believe Hybrid Theory even remotely compares to this. I just mentioned it for the concept.

iranscam
November 4th 2009


469 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

great review. this album is pretty much perfect but i'm pretty much fruscfantothemax

SeaAnemone
November 4th 2009


20527 Comments


Fantastic review. pos'd. If it weren't for some unnecesary tracks, I'd agree wholeheartedly with you. Song To Sing When I'm Lonely is one of my all-time favorite songs.

Digging: Pharmakon - Bestial Burden

Skimaskcheck
November 4th 2009


2360 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, great review! Great album too. Carvel and 23 are my faves.

EDIT: Lol '33 Go In To End'

CelestialDust
November 4th 2009


3155 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

such a good album

BrandNewBoognish
November 4th 2009


1021 Comments


Too many classic ratings being handed out on this site

CelestialDust
November 4th 2009


3155 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this is quite deserving

iranscam
November 4th 2009


469 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

basically. also, of the experimental "noise" tracks, "Failure 33 Object" is the only one that really sucks. Double-0 is cool.

Roach
November 4th 2009


2148 Comments


Frusciante's solo work is so good.

EVedder27
November 4th 2009


6088 Comments


Thanks guys. I forgot how great "23 go in end" was until I did this review.

MassiveAttack
November 4th 2009


2688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I enjoy John Frusciante, but I like Curtains more then this. Shadows Collide With People is still great though. Good review man, keep that shit up!

PuddlesPuddles
November 4th 2009


4784 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Atta boy ;)

EVedder27
January 30th 2010


6088 Comments


I'm beginning to like Time Goes Back better than Song to Sing When I'm Lonely. Either way though, Anne is still John's greatest song.

CelestialDust
January 30th 2010


3155 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

so many good songs on this

EVedder27
January 30th 2010


6088 Comments


Yeah it's definitely a top 10 album for me. Was #1 on my decade list too.

TricksterGRex
January 30th 2010


2087 Comments


prob in the minority but i still think smile is his best

EVedder27
January 30th 2010


6088 Comments


That is the only one of his records I haven't heard yet. Just listened to his debut for the first time today.

Nagrarok
July 26th 2010


8259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Listening to this again and enjoying it more than before. It's starting to rival Curtains. I'm going to look up some more of his albums soon.

WhiteNoise
September 16th 2010


3210 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hmm people say this his his best but I gotta say that the two drug induced instrumentals really bring this album down, whilst Curtains an Empyrean have absolutely no dull tracks.

Still a brilliant record though.

SeaAnemone
January 30th 2011


20527 Comments


"Song To Sing When I'm Lonely" was my absolute #1 favorite song ever for like 2 years in high school... just re- fell in love with it and it's bliss



love and pain to be clung to. by looo... zing us... falling. only waiting for long times, to be wrong, and true to us.



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