John Frusciante

Album Title: Curtains
Release Date: February 14, 2005
Genre: Rock
A refusal to conform is the soul of meaningful art. We exist in a time of extreme musical segregation and domineering trends, the mainstream becoming an ever-smaller part of the equation for those fans sick of "the next big thing." Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante will not top the charts as a solo artist, but that is surely the point.

"Curtains" is the seventh and final chapter in a year long series of releases, a collection that has effortlessly explored the diversity and intricacy that typify the style of Frusciante. Whilst previous release "A Sphere In The Heart Of Silence" was a brooding trip through synth and electronica, "Curtains" is in stark contrast with its courtship of gospel infused folk and vocal emphasis.

The album opens with "The Past Recedes", a beautifully crafted figure of almost forgotten musicality that, as with earlier albums, sees Frusciante indulging his preoccupation with time and temptation, a theme that remains close as the opus progresses. Despite periodically glancing back to his earliest solo works, "Curtains" remains a truly unique release in the series. The country edge present is one not often heard commercially today, emphasising Frusciante's lack of a need for acceptance and the eclecticism that can still be found in music, if you're willing to look further than the charts.

Each track glistens with a simple splendour, particularly the ethereal "Your Warning", and although not his most experimental offering it is yet another shot in the arm of the so-called indie boys trying to dictate creativity. The Chili's may be the populist avenue for Frusciante, but it is with his solo work that he really sets down the challenges. Music needs a saviour, John Frusciante may not want the role, but he is certainly going the right way about getting it. Essential.

Writer: Dave Hardwick

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