John Frusciante
Niandra LaDes and Usually Just a T-Shirt


4.5
superb

Review

by YoSwanHelloChip USER (1 Reviews)
June 19th, 2006 | 505 replies


Release Date: 1994 | Tracklist


Mainstream listeners, stop reading now. Don't bother.

Guitar legend John Frusciante's first solo album, Niandra LaDes and Usually Just a T-Shirt, takes you on a bizarre journey to the faraway land that is the mind of a junkie. With screaming vocals and a wailing guitar, this album goes to a major extreme... horrific, unimaginable beauty. Really, you have to hear it to believe it, and you have to get used to it before you can like it. Love it or hate it. No in-between whatsoever.

Most people who listen to today's popular music will find this album disgusting... the whole feel of it, while incredibly alive, is so drug-induced and harsh that the average person will cringe with fear. But if you listen to music for the music, for the sound, for the reasons behind it and the honesty that projects it, you can love this album.

Frusciante doesn't hold anything back. Of course, he never does, but that's hardly the point. This album conveys every emotion with flying colors. And put into consideration, that at this point in his lifetime, John's emotions had gone haywire.

The vocals, whether he belts, screams or whispers the words, have such passion, such pain behind them... While sometimes nonsensical, fantastic or true to life, it is impossible to turn away, even though about half the time you can't decipher what he's saying... It captures the imagination, takes you to another dimension in a way you never saw coming. I don't even know how to explain them all.

Niandra was created after John left the Red Hot Chili Peppers during their Blood Sugar Sex Magik tour, and entered deeper the turmoil of heroin. This album is actually two parts released on one disc (producer's doing). The first twelve tracks are Niandra LaDes, and the remaining thirteen (Usually Just a T-Shirt) are a jumble of radical untitled tracks. The songs were recorded at John's house, on a 1971 tape recorder. The only other contributor on the album besides John was his close friend and late actor, River Phoenix, who helped with vocals and guitar on two songs. Both of these tracks were cut from the CD version (released in 1995) and were made available on the cassette version and on John's later album, Smiles From the Streets You Hold.

Niandra LaDes and Usually Just a T-Shirt is to be handled in small doses and with an open mind. I give this album 4.5 out of 5.

John recovered from his drug problem and in 1999 rejoined the Peppers as their guitarist, and they released Californication. He has since recorded several more solo albums, and is still a genius.


user ratings (240)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Mike Allen (3.5)
Looking past the sprawling mess, the record is actually enjoyable....

gaz (5)
Frusciante records his mind, heart and soul simultaneously on an old eight track, and heroin....


Comments:Add a Comment 
masada
June 19th 2006


2733 Comments


yeah those damn mainstream listeners don't read

pulseczar
June 19th 2006


2385 Comments


Great first review, one thing I would suggest that you do is point out some examples of songs throughout your review to support points.

Generic Joshman
June 19th 2006


40 Comments


Enjoyable read.

The Jungler
June 19th 2006


4827 Comments


Everyone's raving bout this guy's solo stuff. I might check it out.

Saxon Priest
June 20th 2006


110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The vocals to many are horrible but I really like them, this album is so honest and raw.

Zesty Mordant
June 20th 2006


1196 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Man I love John Frusciante and all. but I'm sorry, this album is pure garbage.

And its not that "I'm afraid" or that I don't understand the pain and depth, its simply the fact that its a random collection of half-baked ideas hastily thrown together with terrible production and mixing. This is like the Metal Machine Music of the 90s.This Message Edited On 06.20.06

Jmac87
January 11th 2007


17 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

But thats exacly it!! You either love it or hate it. I love it because ive never heard anything like it. It's the first Frusciante album I bought and I dont regret it one bit. its great if you want to listen to music that changes and stays so disorganized. I also love the fact he divided the cd into 2 parts. I can listen to the first part when ever i want, but to listen to the second, i have to reeeeally feel like it or be really stoned.

Granfalloon
October 19th 2008


176 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

which songs on here are best in anyone's opinion?

Granfalloon
October 20th 2008


176 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I'm sorry, I gave this a try and I just don't see the appeal. I love J-Fru but this is just too bizarre and jumbled.

McP3000
December 4th 2008


3941 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i love this man's first two albums

well i love all his stuff for the most part, but the first two albums are so fantastic.

this man must have done a lot of drugs

Douchebag
January 29th 2009


3624 Comments


From what i've heard, this album is like Weezers Pinkerton on LSD.

TRHCPSOADLP
July 5th 2009


1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

THIS ALBUM IS IMMENSE!!!

PointDemo
July 5th 2009


49 Comments


^ I can vouch for that

iranscam
October 4th 2009


469 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Untitleds 6 & 7 are the coolest shit ever

iplaymusic
October 18th 2009


5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

if this was separated into two albums it's score would be a 5 for Niandra Lades and a 3.5 for Usually just a T-shirt. it settles at a 4

iplaymusic
October 18th 2009


5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

if this was separated into two albums it's score would be a 5 for Niandra Lades and a 3.5 for Usually just a T-shirt. it settles at a 4

EVedder27
January 30th 2010


6088 Comments


Damn this is crazy

rebel86
July 4th 2010


132 Comments


LOL. This album is amazing, yet a hot ass mess at the same time.
He was loaded on cocaine and heroin during the recording of the whole thing.

Counterfeit
July 31st 2010


17819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

gaiz, dis is fuckin awesome

RosaParks
October 14th 2010


14951 Comments


I luv this man's voice :']



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