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Cover Art John Frusciante
Smile From The Streets You Hold
[Birdman]
Rating: 0.0

Seriously now. Frusciante used to be the guitarist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers and there've been all sorts of rumors and probably some truths about crazy-ass drug abuse, insanity and his all-out disappearance. Smile For The Streets You Hold would easily have to be the easiest CD to hate that I've ever heard, but hidden between the disturbingly twisted and tortured vocals there are a few gems. Occasionally a riff emerges from the noise with the perfect clarity of a single snowflake, only to melt into the tumult again. Lyrics that are beyond scream, his voice shattering to bits in mid- incomprehensible verse, alongside sweet, feeling guitar melodies. Hard shit. Looking into someone's soul without sunglasses.

I saw a Fruiscante BB somewhere filled with believers hailing him as a genius, as an inspiration, as true unrecognized genius. People wanted to know if River Phoenix had done the vocals on "Height Down." An artist somewhere tells us that "John is no more mad than this message is a coatrack. He is simply a genius." Another says, "No words have taught me more than the ones coming from John Frusciante's mouth." Let's agree that it's fringe -- way, way out there. I'm giving it a 0% because you'll have to call this one on your own, sorry.

-James P. Wisdom







10.0: Essential
9.5-9.9: Spectacular
9.0-9.4: Amazing
8.5-8.9: Exceptional; will likely rank among writer's top ten albums of the year
8.0-8.4: Very good
7.5-7.9: Above average; enjoyable
7.0-7.4: Not brilliant, but nice enough
6.0-6.9: Has its moments, but isn't strong
5.0-5.9: Mediocre; not good, but not awful
4.0-4.9: Just below average; bad outweighs good by just a little bit
3.0-3.9: Definitely below average, but a few redeeming qualities
2.0-2.9: Heard worse, but still pretty bad
1.0-1.9: Awful; not a single pleasant track
0.0-0.9: Breaks new ground for terrible