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Classic Album Review: John Frusciante | To Record Only Water for Ten Days

The on-again off-again Pepper turns in one of his more listenable solo outings.

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This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


Like a lot of Red Hot Chili Peppers fans, I picked up Frusciante’s ’95 solo album Niandra Lades and Usually Just a T-Shirt. And like a lot of Chili Pepper fans, I listened to it about once.

No wonder. Recorded while Frusciante was in the post-Peppers depths of narcotic addiction, that home-recorded disc and its ’97 followup, Smile From the Streets You Hold, were undernourished, noisily self-indulgent affairs. Now, however, Frusciante is back on the wagon and back in the Peppers. And by comparison, his new disc To Record Only Water for Ten Days is surprisingly listenable. Although it’s another basement-studio job, it’s more of a singer-songwriter’s CD than a guitarist’s disc, with Frusciante concentrating on spare, hauntingly introspective ballads delivered in his thin, unassuming voice and buoyed by his understated, post-psychedelic guitar lines. It’s reasonably interesting, but make no mistake — anyone thirsting for the funky guitar wizardry of Californication will go away feeling parched.