Fans expecting a Niandra LaDes 2, got something a little different. Unlike Niandra LaDes and Usually Just a Tshirt, John's state of mind seemed to be a lot different, and was WAY over his head with Heroin, as it shows. About half of these tracks were recorded before 1995, when John was in a lot better shape. "A Fall Through the Ground" a song John recorded at the age of 17, is a perfect example of Frusciante molding sound and vision into something truly genuine.
John has stated a few times, that the main reason that he released "Smiles" was for drug money. Smiles still has quite a few gems though, and is classic Frusciante in an altered state. Smiles was put together in pieces. There are tracks ranging from 1988 to 1997 on here and the diversity blends together and creates this very unique effect. The album delivers so much emotion and drug abuse really hits you in the face here. A very painful record indeed. "Smile From the Streets You Hold" takes you into the world of a Junkie.
It gives you a glance at something that looks so innocent, but turns on you and alters you state of mind and you health. "Enter an Uh" for example, is almost unlistenable at times. It really just depends on what you are like as a person. Does it give you a feeling that you can relate to? For instance, they're many people that feel that "Smiles" is John's strongest album yet. That's one great aspect about John, he's always changing as a person and a musician. If Smiles was a novel book, it be something where you couldn't read it every night for 3 hours, but you would read it every night because of the interest and diversity, wanting to know how the story evolves.
Because Smiles consists of different recording periods, ranging from 1988 to 1996, it's hard to pinpoint what was used during the recording of Smiles. Acoustic and Electric guitars run through out this album and was recorded on 4track recorders and rarely, a stereo system.
Thankfully, in 1997, John entered rehab and became clean. No more drugs. No more smoking. John does yoga every morning now and eats as healthy as he can. John enjoys life so much now, and loves the fact that he can give people inspiration and something to look up to. Many new chapters begin now...