The Empyrean – John Frusciante

The Empyrean is a good case study for those that have followed the parallel paths of Red Hot Chili Pepper guitarist, John Frusciante. His accessible work with those funky monks has always been countered by the dark and challenging projects he does on his own. In his latest solo effort he strays even farther from the commercial path.

One of the most outstanding qualities of Frusciante’s playing in the Chili Peppers is that even with the amazing facility he has on guitar, he never lets his playing degrade into mere histrionics. He keeps it earthy and real. With his solo stuff he tends to stray into the spacey and ethereal. So for fans with only the Peppers as reference, this isn’t an easy work.

This latest solo project is a concept album of sorts and in John’s own words can be described as such “The Empyrean is a story that has no action in the physical world. It all takes place in one persons mind throughout his life. The only other character is someone who does not live in the physical world but is inside it, in the sense that he exists in peoples minds.”

Spacey descriptions aside, the album has a strange flow and will at times try the listener’s patience as it leaps from moments of elongated instrumental muse to more concise renderings. It even features a cover song in Tim Buckley’s Song To The Siren. Joining John in this journey is among others, RHCP bassist Flea, former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr and Josh Klinghoffer (who has collaborated in the past on other Frusciante projects like the amazing A Sphere In The Heart Of Silence).

Those that have an appetite for art for arts sake will be right at home with the sonic excursions on offer here. For others with a more commercial preference, it will take a bit more effort but for both groups there are many moments of transcendence to be found.

Rob Hudson

Bookmark and Share

also featured

Moraine - Groundswell
For Instrumental music to become popular it has always had that one restriction to overcome, most people relate to music via the human voice and its lyrical intent.

Tohpati - Tribal Dance

As a nod to the universal nature of music, one that transcends both borders and ideologies, Tribal Dance by Indonesian guitarist Tohpati is a great example.

The Sours: The Sours

Stripping back excessive levels of production and instrumentation can place a real emphasis on content and subject matter. New York’s The Sours’ self titled debut album is minimalist in the best possible way. It’s acoustic in nature and very revealing in practice.

Dewa Budjana – Joged Kahyangan

Indonesian guitarist Dewa Budjana follows up last year’s outstanding release Dawai In Paradise with a work even richer in both ideas and execution.

ob Dylan: The 30th Anniversary
Concert Celebration 

Back in the early nineties, music was still a very strong vehicle for raising social awareness and this time frame was awash with benefit concerts, so the gathering of the rock glitterati was not that unusual.

Xavi Reija – Resolution
Music like this lives in a commercial free zone and subsequently follows a logic almost completely divorced from financial considerations. Read more >>

Elvis – Recorded Live On Stage in Memphis (40th Anniversary Edition)
Elvis Presley never made it out of the seventies alive but his influence can still be felt to this day. Read more >>

Pharrell Williams - Girl

Into an increasingly production oriented musical environment comes the latest solo effort by N.E.R.D. alumni Pharrell Williams.

Mass Machine - Inti

The forefathers of modern jazz cast some immense shadows and in stark contrast to their adventurist endeavours, current day listeners can be a very conservative lot.

Broken Bells - After The Disco

Most people are aware that Broken Bells is the collaboration of two distinct musical personalities; Brian Burton (AKA Danger Mouse) and James Mercer better known as the lead singer of The Shins.

Find on Facebook

Stay up to date with modmove news
about modmove
What to know how we got started?
read the modmove blog
Check out all the random stuff that didn't make it to the website!
contact Us
If you have any queries or if you would like more information about modmove,
we would love to hear from you! 
join our mailing list
subscribe to the mailing list and receive the modmove newsletter.
search modmove for previous news and reviews.



Privacy Notice
| Contact Us | Site Map | Copyright © 2009 | Entertainment and Popular Culture in Review at