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The Empyrean

Released on 26 January 2009

Artist: John Frusciante

(10 customer reviews)  |  Write a review

Condition:  Used - VeryGood

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  1. Before The Beginning
  2. Song To The Siren
  3. Unreachable
  4. God
  5. Dark/Light
  6. Heaven
  7. Enough Of Me
  8. Central
  9. One More Of Me
  10. After The Ending

customer Reviews

 Average rating (10 reviews)

 Based on preview clips and 1 song, this is gonna be amazing!

| | See all louisruben's reviews (5)

I've heard one full track from this CD, 'Unreachable'.
Which I believe can be streamed on his myspace page.

I have also heard 45 second clips of all the other songs and this album sounds like it's going to be amazing!...

The 2nd track 'Song To The Siren' is a Tim Buckley cover and sounds very stripped down with powerful vocals from John..

Johnny Marr (Guitarist from The Smiths) contributes some guitar on 'Enough Of Me' and 'Central'.

The lyrics that i've heard from the preview clips sounds quite deep and spiritual but remain abstract and creative.

I'm sure this will be one of Frusciante's greatest albums, in interviews he has said that he recorded all of the vocals himself and felt relaxed in the studio and could enjoy the process more then ever because of this.

Any fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and of good creative music should enjoy this album. If not for the powerful vocals and lyrics, then for the amazing guitar work and production.

 Poetry in motion

| | See all rackgaki's reviews (1)

I'm not going to beat around the bush with musical analysis of certain tracks. However, I will say that see is incredible achievement in music and must be listened to!


| | See all stuartn88's reviews (3)

As previously mentioned, John suggests first listening to it in the dark at a high volume. I did this and damn, its powerful stuff, it lets your mind run free and you absorb the music through to your bones! My top 4 tracks are 'Before The Beginning', 'Song To The Siren', 'Central' and 'After The Ending'. All because they are written, recorded and executed brilliantly.

Everytime i listen to his albums i honestly think that he'll be pressed to make the next one better or even as good, but the man is a genius and always proves me wrong. Keep them coming John!

 Work of a genius

| | See all Swilliams1989's reviews (11)

This album shows that Frusciante is a genius, whether its his wide ranging vocals or his gentle and soulful guitar playing. It seems to get better with every listen and you realise the brilliance of songs such as the slow and beautiful 'Before The Beginning', the warm 'God', and the powerful 'Central'. For me 8 out of the 10 songs are essential listening.

The only negative for me is that sometimes it seems repetitive, eg. the song 'Dark/Light', the last 5 min of the song is the same 'riff' over and over again, it is a good 'riff' but gets a bit tiresome after 5 mins. Also , although alot of people seem to like them, i don't like 'Song To The Siren' and 'After The End', i find they are a bit boring, but they might grow on me after a few more listens.

Overall i think this is Frusciantes second best album (my personal favourite is 'Shadows Collide With People') and is well worth buying if you understand good music because its not necceserally the easiest album to listen too, but after a few listens you will unlock the magic of this album and you won't regret it!

 An engrossing and turbulent concept album

| | See all Pmaund's reviews (1)

For those who are reading this review in eager anticipation of a sequel to the Chilis 'Stadium Arcadium' having only recently discovered the aspiring solo career of Mr Frusciante, you should expect to be enlightened otherwise. I'll admit, I - despite being a massive Chilis fan - had been naive and not even known John had a solo career until this album. I was pleasantly surprised.

As with many concept albums, the artist rarely details the exact 'story' behind the tracks; though Frusicante has expressed his desire to portray themes of elevation and birth-to-life-to-death. As an example of this, he has deliberately 'elevated' the key of the tracks throughout the album - with the final track void of all bass and drums and utilising Frusciante's excellent falcetto (high) vocals.

The opening track steadily marches along under a searing guitar solo that seems to shift in an out of existence. For those familiar with Funkadelic's 'Maggot Brain' - this is John's personal tribute to Eddie Hazel's highly charged and thoughtful guitar work.

The album presses on through 'life' - twisting and turning through different emotions and moods. The track 'Dark/Light' is a fantastic example of the shifts in moods expressed over the course of the album - moving from a melancholic piano tune to a blissful vocal serenade, and further into an equally solemn choir section over Flea's very melodic and dark bassline.

John and his accompanient musicians make expressive use of varied classical and electronic instrumentation. 'Heaven' features a very warm guitar tone with electronic organs and later a strings section building to a soulful climax.

Other tracks follow the format of beginning very softly and building into a powerful departing gesture; 'Enough of Me' begins as soft as a lullaby and builds into a spectacular and driving solo with a very thick fuzz effect. 'Central', as well, follows this same format - building to an exceptionally powerful departure, refraining to a catchy and heartfelt vocal hook.

Following 'Central' are the very appropriate closing tracks 'One More of Me' and 'After The Ending' - both reminiscent of previous track 'Song to the Siren'; an instrumentally sparse yet melodic vocal performance that seems to drift the 'character' in the story effectively into 'heaven or beyond', as it were.

Unlike other concept albums, you can very much get away with listening to any track on the album individually and enjoy them all. However, to truly appreciate the tracklisting I highly recommend listening to the album from start to finish in one run through. For those who appreciate well composed, emotionally charged music this should pull many strings for you. I can safely say that - being one myself - guitarists that appreciate John's subtle playing nuances will take alot away from this album as well.