John Frusciante - Curtains (Throwback Review)

Though better known as the former famed Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist, John Frusciante has quite a discography behind him that shows his real musicianship. In his 2005 record Curtains shows John Frusciante’s songwriting abilities, as well his mastery of guitar and performance.

Curtains is primarily an acoustic album, moving away from Frusciante’s rockier side. Opening track ‘The Past Recedes‘ introduces the album with a folky start, the dejected ballad somberly trodding along as Frusciante’s weathered vocals show the wear of experience. The folk vibe continues throughout the record, more wholly embraced in tracks including ‘Lever Pulled.’ Melancholy folk tracks aren’t what defines Curtains, though. There are sweeter moments, like the aesthetically pleasant ‘Time Tonight,‘ and then more tame and plotted numbers such as ‘Control,’ where the song’s steady and tight structure pairs wonderfully and mysteriously with Frusciante’s vocals.

Frusciante has many stories to tell, which is what Curtains is all about. The way Frusciante wrote and composed these tracks is evident through the very performance of them, with tracks like ‘The Real‘ feeling almost alive, its rhythm carrying it forward with a nice, warm push. Other times, Frusciante channels a more dramatic and somber vibe, such as in closing track ‘Leap Your Bar,’ which ends the record gently and a bit melodramatically, as well as in ‘Your Warning,’ a heartbreaking but beautiful track, begun by the tragic cry of “You're warning me to get out of the way / Was the safest thing to say.“ There’s a bit of everything in Curtains, which is impressive considering the stripped down nature of it.

John Frusciante’s 2005 record Curtains shows his songwriting and storytelling prowess, offering up personal tracks with engaging tales. Frusciante is much more than just the stunning axeman of the Red Hot Chili Peppers - he’s an artist through and through.

Favorite Track: Your Warning

Least Favorite Track: Anne

Rating: 74 / 100

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