Niandra Lades And Usually Just A T-Shirt review by John Frusciante

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  • Released: Jan 1, 1994
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.4 (170 votes)
John Frusciante: Niandra Lades And Usually Just A T-Shirt

Sound — 10
John Frusciante's solo sound is a bit ever-changing and is always hard to describe. It always sound like John, but from album to album it changes what John's trying to sound like. Put it this way: John will always sound like John, but some albums will sound like "John on synth" (to record water for 10 days) and some will sound like "John on crack" (this one). This is John on crack. I love it. Now, I care about John's health; but it's not like he's struggling with heroin anymore, and this CD shows what is probably John's creative peak. Backwards guitar solos, 5 guitars ongoing at the same time, the same song played differently creating a completly different feel, instrumentals that feature babies crying. It's sheer genius. Certainly not for everyone, but if you can handle Pink Floyd or the Beatles psychedelic phase you can handle this. And if you like that, you will like this.

Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are overall very kinky. I love them personally, but once again not for everyone. "Your pussy's glued to a building on fire," "I can be one of the dead because my underwear's full of blood without you" and "My smile is like a rifle: won't you give it a shot?" are three notable lines scattered throughout this album. They're strange, f--ked up, but still genius. If you can handle it, it's great. John's singing ability is up and down, sometimes scratchy (or just too high for it to be good), but overall very great and hitting the right notes every time.

Overall Impression — 10
This is my favorite John album; I have 3 or 4. If it got lost I would buy it again. My favorite songs from the album are Mascara, Your Pussy's Glued To A Building On Fire, Falling Away Into You, Usually Just A T-shirts #1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 11, 12, and 13. As you can see, I love this album so much. I can listen to it non-stop or hit shuffle or pick just my favorites. If it was for everyone, it would be on everyone's top 10 list. But since it's not, it's only on those who listen to it. It's certainly one of my favorite albums of the '90s, if not all time. I recommend it to anyone looking to get into John's solo work.

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