The Empyrean

Studio Album by released in 2009
The Empyrean's tracklist:
Before the Beginning
Song to the Siren
Enough of Me
One More of Me
After the Ending
Ah Yom

The Empyrean review

Life, filled with ups and lows

American guitarist John Frusciante was born in New York in 1970. Since childhood, he was interested in music, especially rock. At age eleven, he started to play the guitar. He studied and analyzed the manners of play by Jimmy Hendrix, Jimmy Page and other favorite musicians. Right about that time, he started to work out his personal playing style. At age sixteen, Frusciante left the high school and moved to Los Angeles from the agreement of his parent and at age eighteen he joined Red Hot Chili Peppers – he had been the fan of this band for three years. He also was a friend of Flea, the bassist of Red Hot Chili Peppers, while their guitarist Hillel Slovak was his idol. To their regret, John’s audition for the role of the command’s guitarist was caused by a tragic accident – Slovak died of the drug overdose. However, right after Frusciante’s entrance to the collective, Red Hot Chili Peppers became famous with the disc Mother’s Milk. Unluckily, John himself also did not avoid the drug addiction, and his hard heroine affection made him leave the beloved collective. He lived in total solitude and had depressions, but managed to take himself into his hands and went to a rehab clinic. After that, the artist re-joined Red Hot Chili Peppers in order to share their second peak of the career. During 2004, Frusciante recorded four solo albums. Well, music has always been the performer’s love. This year, he recorded his ninth solo disc The Empyrean, without stopping the activity in his collective.

The psychedelic rock in its full beauty on The Empyrean

The new full-length by John Frusciante titled The Empyrean id not a commercial record, aimed for heavy radio rotation, but this disc is destined for success among the lovers of both psychedelic, experimental rock and excellent guitar play. In spite of the fact that the record of this disc was made by two Red Hot Chili Peppers members – John and Flea, The Empyrean has very little in common with the creativity of this collective, although it is also impressive and original. The disc opener is the nine-minute composition Before The Beginning. It starts with two guitar chords and later grows with the sounds of drums, fascinating the listener with its rhythm. However, it is the most ascetic song in the plane of musical instruments, as other compositions feature numerous guest appearances with the play of piano, string section, percussion, while John himself presents his mature vocals. His voice is unsure and delicate in the track Dark/Light, which starts as a somber ballad and suddenly breaks into the electronic jam. In the decorated with the piano play song Central, Frusciante solemnly sings in his full voice. The following track on the disc is the cover for the song of 1970 by Tim Buckley, titled Song To The Siren. The composition Unreachable with the sophisticated, intuitive lyrics, full of association, most of all reminds the singles of Red Hot Chili Peppers by its mood. The disc finishes at its highest point, the mystically titled track After The Ending, in which Frusciante screams in the middle of the composition.

Conceptual disc with the esoteric message

Frusciante regularly told his band mates that he changed deeply in his soul and started seeing the world in a different angle after he had given up the drugs. He decided to sublime these feelings in his solo activity. The Empyrean disc became a new try of the musician to express the inexpressible with the help of the music. The title of the long-play - The Empyrean – reminds us about such tycoons of poetry as Milton, Dante and Keats; they called so the highest point in Heaven. Frusciante chose this word as a title because the thought it would fully describe the conception of his new work – the entire story about the things that take place in the mind or in the imagination of his lyrical character. It is the main reason, why The Empyrean disc should be listened to wholly from the beginning to the end in order to understand the idea of the artist in its full volume. However, you do not have to possess some esoteric notion so that you could get the narration. Frusciante himself has the same opinion – he is sure that The Empyrean is a consecutive story of the spiritual experience, which should be comprehended by the listener entirely. Besides, this work showed him as the experienced vocalist with a pleasant timbre, while his friends and colleagues made The Empyrean the richest disc ever by this performer in his entire musical collection. The record, besides the aforementioned Flea, was fulfilled by Josh Klinghoffer, Johnny Marr, Donald Taylor and the New Dimension Singers – the last ones gave to the project the magnificent backing vocals. The record titled The Empyrean is definitely a hard piece of cake for the mainstream, but it raised Frusciante on a new level of his creative activity.

Ninelle Kazakoff (28.01.2009)
Rate review4.82
Total votes - 23

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