On Shadows Collide with People, his fourth solo record,
Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante still sounds like a
man who’s happy just to be alive. Five years after kicking a
nasty heroin habit, his demons still haunt him, but by this point,
at least, he’s come to grips with his past. Take for example
the reflective “Second Walk,” on which he sings
“I’ve paid it off and paid for it again / All these
miserable feelings never end / But to fall and be down’s
something I transcend.”

Music Reviews

Frusciante opts for a more subdued sound on Shadows than
in his work with the Chili Peppers, and he abandons funky pop-rock
riffs for simple strummed acoustic guitars and droning
synthesizers. As a songwriter, he shows a knack for dulcet melodies
and dramatic atmospherics.

Though possessing only average vocal talents, Frusciante still
sings with confidence and raw emotion on songs like the brooding
opener “Caravel,” wherein he issues a Cobain-esque
howl, and the serene “Ricky.”

It’s hard not to feel happy for John Frusciante while
listening to Shadows Collide with People. Maybe all those
miserable feelings will never end, but at least he’s getting
on with life.


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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