by: Alden I. Bula
Artist : John Frusciante
Genre : Electronica
Album titles tend to give away what is expected from the whole record. In this case, one would assume that the artist will be singing about fears or any themes that makes that artist reclusive and open his innermost thoughts as a therapy. Thus, in the first song of the record “Shining Desert”, you hear a drum sequence reminiscent of “You’ll See” by Madonna. You imagine a giant door slowly opening and revealing the singer standing in the middle of a huge entrance.
However, the process of revealing is broken with the second song “Sleep” in which you have a mid-tempo song which can be mistaken as one of those eclectic songs from David Bowie, even the vocals are strikingly similar. It incorporates several melodies which can be developed into independent songs. You just have the feeling of confusion, which you want to sleep but you can’t yet the body is too tired to do other things. “Run” is one of the one word title songs in the whole record. The tempo the he developed hear can make you imagine those seventies cop movies and the vocal rendition can lure you to become dizzy as if you are enjoying your favourite substance. “Stage” has an introduction that is very common during eighties, and then it segued into a melody using instruments which are familiar in bands like Suede and other nineties rock. The guitar riff is very Jimi Hendrix though.
“Fanfare” is a composition that tries to be ironical. The title is supposed to entice listeners to be excited but this is a sad song actually, melody and lyric wise. Even the vocal rendition is very quite sorrowful. Towards the end of the song, the artist played his guitar as if he is begging for something. By the time you reach this song “Cinch,” you will realize that John Frusciante created a pattern at the start of the song. The songs have musical strains that you often hear in movie soundtracks, especially this instrumental cut. In the song “Zone,” I suddenly remember G Sauce, drumbeat and synths that are R and B like. The electronic synth blends well creating a caged ambiance while listening to this song.
“Crowded” is a song for the confused. It has a drum progression that can be compared to child toying with his or her first drum set. There is a weird feeling when you listen to “Excuses.” It feels like a video game soundtrack. The last song “Scratch” is quite infectious to listen to. It has an arrangement which can work well if recreated as Electronic Dance Music.
As a whole, the record is listenable if you are confined in your own bedroom or music room. It is hard to imagine listening this music while driving or doing your usual morning walk or run. I give this album 3 stars out of 5 stars. Definitely, a pleasant record, it takes time though to appreciate some songs.