Home Read Classic Album Review: John Frusciante | Shadows Collide With People

Classic Album Review: John Frusciante | Shadows Collide With People

The RHCP guitarist mixes idiosyncratic California pop with experimental guitarism.

This came out in 2004 – 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 guitarist John Frusciante’s ’95 solo CD Niandra Lades And Usually Just A T-Shirt. And like a lot of RHCP fans, I listened to it about once.

Made 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 entropic, self-indulgent affairs. Since then, however, Frusciante is back off the junk and in the Peppers. And by comparison, his subsequent works — 2001’s To Record Only Water For Ten Days and the new Shadows Collide With People — have been fairly listenable. Especially this one. These 18 cuts add up to nearly 65 minutes of idiosyncratic Brian Wilsonesque California pop, intercut with experimental guitar soundscapery. Much of it showcases the burgeoning songcraft and vocal range that have turned him into the Peppers’ secret weaon of late. To be sure, these freewheeling cuts aren’t nearly as concerned with hooks and choruses as your average RHCP tune. But they’re still intriguing and competent enough to entice the average Chili Peppers fan to listen to this disc more than once.