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John Frusciante

To Record Only Water for Ten Days

RS: 3of 5 Stars


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Fans of John Frusciante's wondrously wigged-out solo albums - 1995's Niandra Lades and Usually Just a T-Shirt and 1997's Smile From the Streets You Hold - will be flummoxed by the lucidity of To Record Only Water for Ten Days. The Red Hot Chili Peppers' resident guitar savant is on the mend from years of opiated hermithood; his third record is both a testament to his survival and an homage to his inspired madness. His song structures are more linear now, as on tracks like the relatively straightforward ambient-folk song "Remain," but they still serve as conduits for his beautiful old eccentricities. "The First Season" combines acoustic guitar and synthesizer into a gentle backdrop for the singer's lyrical return to "my cell of space that holds me"; "Saturation" uses a wave of electronic orchestration - coupled with Frusciante's nuanced guitar playing - to carry a narrative of unraveling inner reaches and memories of "what I could have been." To Record Only Water for Ten Days lacks the flashes of experimental brilliance found on Frusciante's earlier albums, but it quietly reaffirms the promise of a songwriter who can be simultaneously impenetrable, strange and oddly magnificent. (RS 863)


(Posted: Feb 5, 2001)


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