John Frusciante
Smile from the Streets You Hold


5.0
classic

Review

by pixiesfanyo USER (118 Reviews)
June 27th, 2007 | 250 replies


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: only time can show you / through an invisible door

There was a time when my days consisted of taking hallucinogens and listening to this album. I guess that really doesn’t compare to Frusciante’s actual writing of this album which for the most part was marked by his intense heroin addiction, but I think it does encapsulate what kind of album it is. Really, I can’t see myself listening to the bulk of the tracks to cheer up. The album is desolate in its guitar and vocals accompaniment and both of those are played in some of the most dissonant, abrasive ways I have ever heard. The lyrics on “Smile From The Streets You Hold” basically all seem to be stream of conscious with lines like “Relieve your cock on your beloved wife” and “Dirty boys always seek that rollercoaster” making constant appearances. The album is dark, morbid and depressing and very few of the tracks are uplifting. Although, I’m making it out to seem like a terribly drag of record, the actual sound of it is far from straining. Frusciante’s odd vocal melodies and extraordinary original guitar playing make this album a one of a kind experience and most of all a beautiful one.

In terms of the structure of the album there are epically long pieces like “Enter a Uh”, simple pop songs like “Height Down”, and tragically minimal instrumentals like “Poppy Man”. Frusciante embalms his guitar and vocals in a variety of effects like the delayed flanger ridden, “I May Again Know John” and these subtle additions make the album much easier to stomach. The album’s highlight is probably “Life’s a Bath”, a minute or so acoustic piece that is interrupted in the middle with noises reminiscent of the conclusion of Radiohead’s “Motion Picture Soundtrack”. It is a fragile and emotional bare piece that’s video was basically Frusciante taking heroin intravenously. “For Air” is another beautiful piece that is completely instrumental and that relies on a simple chord melody and some overdubbed guitar playing. I guess technically this album is a mixture of Hendrix’s more attractive playing, the minimalism of the ‘70s, and the passion of hardcore. My only compliant is the length of the album in terms of tracks it is seventeen long and it can get somewhat repetitive over the course of its hour play time.

Few albums will ever strike the same emotional chord, “Smile From The Streets You Hold” do with me. It basically was responsible for me surviving my first year out of high school, so it’ll always resonate in me deeply. Emotional performances like this are truly rare and only come along once every decade. The tragedy of this recording is perhaps its greatest strength and the way Frusciante was so accurately able to describe his feelings in sound make it one of my favorites. I can’t in good faith recommend the album to everyone just because of its extremely abrasive nature, but in terms of people interested in the avant-garde this is a truly spectacular album.



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user ratings (204)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
StreetlightRock EMERITUS (1)
To call Smile From the Streets You Hold a collection of ‘music’ is hard enough, let alone anythi...

joshuatree EMERITUS (3)
...

josephbh1 (2.5)
"Smile From the Streets You Hold" is 61 minutes of the most choatic and disturbing music i've ever h...

EVedder27 (2.5)
Let's just say John has done much better....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Abaddon2005
June 27th 2007


684 Comments


Most of the interviews I've read with Frusciante are really interesting, but at the same time I never really got into his solo work. Ataxia is decent, but a whole CD just tires me down really fast.

pixiesfanyo
June 27th 2007


1223 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Well, you're missing out. He's probably one of the most consistent singer/songwriters around. Ataxia is probably his worst project, besides RHCP.

Abaddon2005
June 27th 2007


684 Comments


Yeah, is this the best place to start though? His catalogue is extensive to say the least.

pixiesfanyo
June 27th 2007


1223 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

No. I think most people think this record is a joke.

samthebassman
June 27th 2007


2164 Comments


Shadows collide with people is a nice starting point.

RandyfromPennywise
June 27th 2007


752 Comments


"besides RHCP"...

Neg neg neg.

Riziger
June 27th 2007


316 Comments


hmm i would love to get my hands on this altho it's next to impossible.

good review.

i would say curtains is a good place to start.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
June 27th 2007


2126 Comments


Every piece of his solo work that I've heard is pretty much unlistenable for me.

But good review.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
June 27th 2007


3912 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Im sorry, but i hatehatehatehatehate this album.

riobravo1023
June 27th 2007


274 Comments


Shadows Collide is one of my favorites of all time. Does that mean I would probably like this?

711
June 27th 2007


1341 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wonderful review. I read that John Frusciante had this removed from stores in 1998. So is it like impossible to find?

Kage
June 28th 2007


1172 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't like RHCP that much but I've always been impressed by Frusciante's solo albums that I've heard. I'll check this one out.

Fort23
June 28th 2007


3017 Comments


This is actually realy good, totally panned by critics, but its nice. Niandra was much better but this is still a good frusciante solo record.

Kage
June 28th 2007


1172 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It sounds like it could be right up my alley.

711
June 28th 2007


1341 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

again where is this availible?

Fort23
June 28th 2007


3017 Comments


Lime Wire.
Its out of print i just remembered.This Message Edited On 06.28.07

iarescientists
June 28th 2007


5865 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

slsk

711
June 28th 2007


1341 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I just saw that its on albumbase

yay

711
June 28th 2007


1341 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

God, "Enter A Uh" is so beautiful.

xmuffincakes
July 5th 2007


3 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is probably my favorite Frusciante record, I hated shadows collide with people.



btw, for anyone who cant find it, I downloaded this off a torrent site using utorrent.



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