John Frusciante released The Empyrean on January 20th 2009 and I stole it online a couple days after that. I still feel guilty about this because this is an album that actually deserves to be paid for. I am looking around Tokyo for John Frusciante T-shirts or something so I can somehow, mystically, make up for this.
The sounds and the blends and movements in this album are so sublime and the heightened sensitivity and aesthetic sensibilities that Frusciante has developed in the last few years are amazing.
Over the years including his time with the The Red Hot Chili Peppers, his five years of intense drug addiction and solo recording then his return to the Peppers and since, John Frusciante has continued to adapt and shape shift. He plays with everything from classic rock guitar methods from the Masters like Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa to electronica like Depeche Mode and other bands including The Cure and old school punk mainstays like The Damned and Fugazi. It can all be found in some way or another on “The Empyrean”.
It has been said by Frusciante that this album is telling a story both Lyrically and musically. This is not the type of album you buy to hear one track you “really” like. This deserves to be listened to in its entirety. The album is speaking a lot about life and how you can live it and mortality and the passage of time. Heavy and thought provoking. According to Frusciante its good “Late at night, at high volume in a living room.” I concur. Mix a drink and sit down on the sofa and soak this up. I really believe that the musical genius contained in this album transcends a lot of the standard boundaries people seem to have about the “genre” of music they like or don’t like.
This is the best album of 2009. Unless something really amazing happens in the next two months I don’t see anyone stealing that trophy away either.
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