John Frusciante
Curtains


4.5
superb

Review

by pulseczar USER (67 Reviews)
April 30th, 2006 | 107 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


Whoa! John Frusciante is a machine! He made total of seven albums during most of 2004. The boy loves to work. Personally, if it were me, I would just roll around in piles of money and rekindle drug addictions instead of making more music, but I guess thatís why heís there and Iím *sigh* here. Of course, Mr. Hard Work here did skimp a bit, Curtains is only 33 minutes long. Still, he didnít waste any time in those 33 minutes, and made this album short, but very sweet. So sweet itís addictive, as sweet as a gummy bear that got maple syrup poured on it, run over by a chocolate truck on a candy cane lane in the city of Marshmallowville. Okay, now that I got all you fat kidsí attention with that candy odyssey, on with the review.

Though the album has been described as the acoustic album of his bunch of 2004 records, it still retains a unique sound unlike other typical acoustic projects. Frusciante still uses the various psychedelic elements sparsely from his previous works, such as his first two 90s albums, which were admittedly made for drug money while he was out of the Peppers. Ironically, the opening track, The Past Recedesí gives the feel of a safe, Neil Young folk homage. That supposed blueprint is quickly abandoned in the second track, Lever Pulled, where the unusual, vaguely incomplete song structures that are familiar to Curtains takes place. Frusciante is quick to emphasize that this ainít no pussy footiní Jack Johnson shit, by layering Lever Pulled with gently rippled synthesizer, Latin sensation Omar Rodriguez-Lopezís piddling guitar noise, and abrasive guitar fuzz. Curtains continues throughout using these sorts of odd supporting sounds, in different ways and varieties.

The hollow feel of the album (which can be credited to the fact that it was recorded in his living room with an 8-track recorder previously owned by the anarchy that is King Crimson) makes an almost uncomfortably quiet atmosphere when Frusciante stops in one of is more rambling, but intriguing songs. Control (the only song over four minutes) goes for a minute with Frusciante quickly stopping and starting the song with a sole acoustic guitar, before coming to a climax that blindsides the listener with violent drums oddly buried in the mix and electric guitar squeals. Though the song becomes energetic quickly, it still sounds hollow and fairly quiet. Anne also uses a similar strategy of going from sprawling mess to majestic apex. Itís seemingly split up into three parts, the first two being ramblings amidst intricately picked chords, the third a booming melancholic burst of energy, possibly the best melody Johnnyís ever written, topped with two The Mars Volta-approved guitar solos layered on top of each other.

Of course lead guitarists are sometimes known for their bad voices. Last time I heard Keith Richards sing... Well, Iím surprised Skeletor can sing at all, but the point is, it was disgusting. Fortunately thatís not the case with John Frusciante, who makes a good counterpart to Anthony Kiedisí funky, big man voice as heard in songs like Otherside. Johnís voice is light, with a honky timbre to it that makes him sound a lot like Cat Stevens, everyoneís favourite 70s folk-pop singer (even mine, believe it or not.) Indeed, John can make great vocal harmonies with himself as good as with the Chilisí lead singer, and these harmonies are used heavily on the album. This is most noticeable on The Real and A Name, where layers of howling Frusciantes make a prominent appearance. John uses this perfectly to his advantage, as if it was another one of his odd instruments to throw into the mix.

Curtains may be a short album, but every second of it is used precisely to make a beautifully unique album. Though it has its share of oddball moments, it also has some conventional songs on it to keep itself grounded, such as the piano lead Leap Your Ball (which ironically, probably has the strangest melody of the album.) The only thing I donít like about the album, is that it is short, strangely enough. Itís great as it is, but I imagine it couldíve been longer without damaging itself. Wishful thinking, I guess. Just like how all you fat kids are still thinking about that wretched gummy bear.



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user ratings (428)
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4.1
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other reviews of this album
EVedder27 (4.5)
"I never got all the way off the ground"...

WhiteNoise (4.5)
The greatest acoustic album you haven't heard....



Comments:Add a Comment 
mybrotherthecow
April 30th 2006


79 Comments


nice review

pixiesfanyo
April 30th 2006


1223 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is really good.



Anne has a great solo on it.

pixiesfanyo
April 30th 2006


1223 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Time Tonight is last on the track list though dude.

pulseczar
April 30th 2006


2385 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's Leap Your Bar on my copy, and it's Leap Your Bar on Wiki. Maybe it's a US/UK thing?

The Jungler
April 30th 2006


4826 Comments


Great review, happy 50th.
I always liked John's style of playing with the Chilli Peppers so I might pick this up, or at least give it a listen.

Zebra
Moderator
April 30th 2006


2647 Comments


Good work on the review, I enjoyed the Cat Stevens reference.
I've never been a huge Frusciante fan weather it be his solo work or his guitar work with the Chili Peppers. A 4.5/5 intruiges me but I don't have very high expectations.

gigi666
April 30th 2006


257 Comments


nice review and funny intro ;)

pixiesfanyo
April 30th 2006


1223 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No I'm just wrong.



Heh.

XxcheetoxX
April 30th 2006


78 Comments


This sounds awesome.

Cool review, and you will give this to me on slsk >:[

There, There
April 30th 2006


4 Comments


"So sweet itís addictive, as sweet as a gummy bear that got maple syrup poured on it, run over by a chocolate truck on a candy cane lane in the city of Marshmallowville."

That made me lol.

I loved Ataxia - Automatic Writing, is any of John's other stuff anything like that?This Message Edited On 04.30.06

pulseczar
May 1st 2006


2385 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Niandra Lades and Usually Just a T-Shirt is John's first solo album, it might be something you'd enjoy if you liked Automatic Writing.

sj_2150
May 1st 2006


251 Comments


i really love this guy but i dont think i can handle an alum with his voice. i hemember him singing at the big day out and he was HORRIBLE! ill keep an open mind and try it out though...

black guy
May 1st 2006


47 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

His voice took me some getting used to, but now I love him. Great album.

Sepstrup
May 3rd 2006


1567 Comments


Very nice review.

Storm In A Teacup
May 13th 2006


25011 Comments


Whoa, I didn't even know he released one in 2005. Great work. :thumb:

Jawaharal
May 15th 2006


1832 Comments


This album is awesome. Anne has a great solo.

Rocksta71
June 5th 2006


1023 Comments


Great review! loved the intro, very funny!
I want this album, i just wonder is it as good as it looks?

Riziger
June 23rd 2006


316 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

He's really awesome, both as a solo and with the peppers.



Lever pulled is superb..... His voice is nice imo but maybe it's me and my infatuation with Frusciante.

Rocksta71
July 21st 2006


1023 Comments


im gonna get one of his albums soon, which one would you recommend?

Zesty Mordant
July 21st 2006


1196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is probably my favorite Frusciante album. Agreed about "Control"



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