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

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  • Released: Jan 1, 1994
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.4 (171 votes)
John Frusciante: Niandra Lades And Usually Just A T-Shirt

Sound — 9
The albums sound would be a shock to many hardcore Chili Peppers fans in which the man who contributed so much to songs such as Californication or Under the Bridge, would have found himself lost and this album truly shows that, this release conveys a Experimental music Jeffery Dahmer with a lo-Fi Bob dylan Mentallity. The album could also act as a Diary in John Frusciante's heroin addiction, through the album the sound Becomes more Cosmic and Harder to listen to with john's out of tune of tune guitar playing, Sparse piano and Broken voice which gives an eerie but weirdly beautiful feeling. Each Song Has it's voice or view on life such as 'Been insane' or 'Head (Beach Arab)' or even the second Disc of the Album which is known as "Usually Just a T-Shirt" with every song being Untitled.

Lyrics — 7
The lyrics of the albums are hard to de-cypher due to john mumbling, crying or screaming the lyrics, but in some case his beautiful voice comes out and conveys the artistry he is now known telling stories mainly of his time with the chili peppers, talking about sex, drugs, life, love and Insanity, but like the Sound, the Lyrics tend to fall apart in obscurity this is evident on the 3 minute acoustic psycho tune 'Your Pussy's Glued to a Building on Fire' which very painful and hard to listen to but most of the album songs such as'Untitled #3' and 'Been Insane' give you a sense of beauty in John's music even through that Drug laden sound.

Overall Impression — 9
The overall album is very sparse, If you want to look at it in a positive manner you could call it a musical form of 'dadaism' which is covered in chaos and give you tortured artist on CD or you could see it a druggie's pathetic attempt to Get Drug money, but either way the Art of Fruscainte is Quite evident and Ideas used in music today are seen in this album and it could be one of the greatest Lo-Fi releases of all time, definitely this album is must have because of it's emotion.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Lyrics and Singing: As a singer on this album, John is terrible. As a lyricist, he is much better. The lyrics of his songs project the pain he is going through ar this time in his life, but unfortunately his voice struggles to project this satisfactorially. // 6 yeah, ok, so his singing doesn't portray his pain? but when I listened to this, I heard a very pained man. Singing it well would've destroyed this. Douche. But I agree that it's not necessarily a good album> It's good to listen to when high or under the influence of something, anything
    There is a lot of mistakes in that last one. The reviewer has no idea what he is talking about.
    strong_wizard wrote: Dont like this album. June 10 2005 is right, perfectly. Saying "dont compare it" is just game for biasm, the album's a mess, and solo work needs to be cleaned up before releasing- rather than using sloppyness as a gimick.
    he had no intentions of ever releasing the album. it was made purely for his own enjoyment. he was convinced by friends over a year after it was recorded to release it. the songs dont exactly lend themselves to just go back and fix up. its not a gimmick. john has always been a firm believer of doing one take for things so as not to lose the original feeling and emotion that lead to the creation of the music in the first place. this album is an ever lasting snapshot of john at that particular point and time, and because of his recording technique, the raw emotions are captured in a way that never would have been possible otherwise.
    '93 wrote: cpnsidering that this was just home recordings which were later released for drug money offer an explaination why its isnt of highest quality but i quite like it anyway
    get your facts straight. smile from the streets you hold was released for drug money and he withdrew it for that same reason.john didnt start doing hard drugs until he left rhcp and almost all of this album was written and recorded before that.
    One of my favorite albums of the 90s. And to me, this is John's magnum opus. So beautiful and disturbing.
    cpnsidering that this was just home recordings which were later released for drug money offer an explaination why its isnt of highest quality but i quite like it anyway
    it was released for drug money though...not recorded i know. it was recorded before he startewd drugs. but he released it to get money.