Niandra Lades And Usually Just A T-Shirt Review

artist: John Frusciante date: 09/25/2007 category: compact discs
John Frusciante: Niandra Lades And Usually Just A T-Shirt
Released: 1995
Label: American
Genre: Rock
Styles: Alternative Pop/Rock
Number Of Tracks: 25
It concentrated on pleasant psychedelic instrumentals with plenty of backward-guitar effects.
 Sound: 8.8
 Lyrics: 8.3
 Overall Impression: 8.8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (6) 12 comments vote for this album:
overall: 10
Niandra Lades And Usually Just A T-Shirt Reviewed by: unregistered, on october 14, 2005
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Sound: This is probably the greatest album ever made. The guitar playing is so creative, and raw. This is the best showcase of John's guitar playing out of any album he has made. The whole album is littered with perfect leads, and beautiful melodies. There are so many masterful overdubs on most of the songs. It's also interesting to note the progression of John into drug addiction as the album goes on. You can see John's decline. All the songs were recorded chornologically. The last few after John quit the band. Most of the songs though, were written while John was with RHCP, and recording Blood Sugar Sex Magik. And they were also written at a time when John was very happy. However, as the album goes on, you can see the songs get more frantic and unorganized. I think every single song is sheer brilliance, but you can note the difference between Niandra Lades, and Usually Just a T-shirt. The album is recorded with lo-fi equipment, all 4-track, and 8-track. It sounds very raw and stripped down, it's just pure amazingness. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are absolutely magical. There are so many introspective and philsophical lines. It's hard to understand what John means with his lyrics, because he likes to say things that appear non sensical, and things that have opposite meanings, and hidden meanings. His voice works perfectly for the lyrics. He has a very raw voice, very raspy. There are a lot of segments of screaming, and inaudible words, and talking and strange noises. The way the lyrics are, the vocals comply perfectly. I get so inspired when I listen to the some of the lyrics John throws down. // 10

Overall Impression: In my opinion, this is John's best album. It would be most comparable with Smile From The Streets You Hold. It is comparable to Syd Barrett's solo music. It's a very accquired listen. The first time you hear it, you probably won't like it. I didn't. But the more I tried to listen to it, the more it spoke to me, and I saw the beauty and energy that was in the music. So basically, just give it a chance. The whole rawness of the music just makes it so beautiful. All the flaws and mistakes and stripped down feel of the whole thing just made it appeal to me so much. The best songs would be Skin Blues, Untitled #4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, Mascara, and Curtains. Although every song is amazing. If I lost this I would go get it immediately! // 10

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overall: 9.3
Niandra Lades And Usually Just A T-Shirt Reviewed by: UtBDan, on january 13, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 10

Lyrics: 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. // 8

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 10
Niandra Lades And Usually Just A T-Shirt Reviewed by: purple_pilot, on july 31, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: John's first solo album recorded while on tour with the red hot chili peppers and after he left. John Frusciante is in my opinion the greatest living songwriter and this eclectic mix of acoustic punk, trace, pop, acoustic, experimental and just the atmosphere of the album makes for anyone's day to be something you could never expect. from track one, Been Insane, to track twenty-five "Untitled #13" his genious as a writer and muscian shows and flows. The bad quality recordings (a four track) only can add to it's sound and raw attitude. // 10

Lyrics: John is the greatest songwriter I can think of. His lyrics like in "Curtains" "the curtains were made for moving, cause you knwo soemtimes your not always there" speak to me in everyway, spiritually, emotionally and in every sense I have felt and imagined he expresses it in this collection. his voice is extremely unique and is not for the faint of heart. // 10

Overall Impression: God I love this man. // 10

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overall: 9.7
Niandra Lades And Usually Just A T-Shirt Reviewed by: 742627000017, on march 26, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: I have always loved the music of Red Hot Chili Peppers. And my favorite of the band was John Frusciante. When I heard that John has his own solo records I thought maybe sometime and last week when I was watching Off the map DVD I heared this wonderfuly beautiful song Usually Just A T-shirt Untitled 3, and I decided I must hear the whole album. When I was copying the songs to my mp3 player I read about the album and dicovered that half of the record was when John left the band. Niandra LaDes is wonderful, beutiful sometimes sad album, sometimes you want to cry from hapiness that you hear in the album and sometimes you found yourself siting stoned and listening to songs like my smile is a rifle or you're pussys glued to a building on fire. Usually Just A T-shirt is absolute oposite.The whole album is so psichedelic so weird and creepy.Some songs starts with lovely riffs and ends with weird singing and noises. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are weird and creepy and genius. When I heared the line "And I'm sick of the fans that folows me around" you understand that John is puting his emotions to this record. Ofcourse sometimes the lyrics doesnt't even rhyme but it makes the music even weirder and more great. Now John is a great singer. But on this record he is terrible. But I love that. Because his voice is so f--ked (thanks to drugs) and raw it makes it sound very unique. // 9

Overall Impression: I wouldn't compare this album to other albums because it's so unique. The most impresive songs are Untitled 3, 4, 13, 10, 9, and almost all song of Niandra LaDes. I love that weird atmosphere and singing that sound very creepy. I think that this album is a one big ghost. I hate that some songs on Niandra LaDes went a bit more to pop but only some. // 10

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overall: 8.3
Niandra Lades And Usually Just A T-Shirt Reviewed by: numb82, on september 25, 2007
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 9

Lyrics: 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. // 7

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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overall: 4.7
Niandra Lades And Usually Just A T-Shirt Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 10, 2005
0 of 13 people found this review helpful

Sound: The Red Hot Chili Peppers lead guitarist has an attempt at solo music. Frusciante is armed with only his voice and a guitar. Don't expect classic Chili Peppers because you're not going to get it. About this time of his life, John was heavily into drugs and could barely keep a song going. The talent sounds like its ready to burst out, but it never peaks. // 4

Lyrics: 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

Overall Impression: John's better work comes from a prior album, 'To Record Only Water Fo Ten Days.' His attempt at experimentalism is not the best of his ability. To hear Frusciante in his prime, one would be best off buying Red Hot Chili Peppers albums like 'Blood Sugar Sex Magik.' // 4

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