Smile From The Streets You Hold review by John Frusciante

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  • Released: Aug 26, 1997
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8.5 (27 votes)
John Frusciante: Smile From The Streets You Hold

Sound — 10
Well basically the sound on this CD is pretty poor quality, but that's not without rhyme or reason. This recording was released in 1997 and later taken off the shelves because John felt uncomfortable with its presence on the shelves. When this was recorded he was addicted to hard drugs, notably heroine. At the time of recording, he had stubs for teeth and was as thin as physically possible. He recorded this in his motel room, which was in atrocious condition (check out VH1's Behind the Music: RHCP for confirmation) He recorded it on a 4 track system and it goes without saying that the sound quality isnt the greatest. But that said it adds to his feelings. It still gets a 5 but only because he deserves the greatest praise going for producing this record.

Lyrics — 10
Well where to start? The lyrics on this album are so heartfelt that it brings a tear to the eye. his expresses all of his emotions into this disc. His joy, sorrow and pain compiled into one. John's voice is off key, but his out of tune wails only add to the sentiment. You really have to listen to the album a few times to really get the full extent of this CD. Its the most emotional music I have ever heard, and most definately a CD that should gain more recognition, maybe not commercially because I doubt its radio friendly but people need to hear this album.

Overall Impression — 10
This album is currently out of print. So is extremely rare to find. I bought my copy off Ebay for 45 which I thought was a bargain, seeing as Amazon were selling it for 70! I love this album, it's one of my favorite of all time and is worth every penny! If you're new to John Frusciante, then I recommend listening to his more recent stuff, then moving onto this material. But if you like dark, drug ladened, emotional music. This is the Cd for you!

11 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i have to disagree with the people above. what you are hearing, while in terms of standard is quite poor, is john frusciante. this is an incredibly talented guitarist at his lowest. you are hearing pure emotion and the most crudest and unrefined talent/musical expression. i think it should be listened in conjunction with his other stuff and in this context is a very interesting and complex record. on this record you are hearing a talented musician who's as good as dead and is just giving it his all, syd barrett-esque. you're not going to hear that on a razorlight album. it's a consequently incredible listen albeit if it is uncomfortable (you are hearing the music of a tortured soul).
    You people are a bunch of *****s johns first two solo records are a milestone in music history, its not just another cookie cutter album for the record companies to make money off of. And on the thought of me just liking his music just because it was him, the first time I heard any of his work was on a random video on youtube. The song was running away into you and I searched for hours to find out who it was.
    "enter a uh" is simply the most disturbing/heart-breaking thing ever. youtube "john frusciante VPRO 1994" to see john's mental/physical condition in this era.
    I always loved this album. Sure not an easy listen, especially for fans of the most poppy RHCP era (from "Californication" onwards), but I always found it so disturbingly beautiful. Bought this way back in '97 and while not as good as the previous one, the magnificent "Niandra LaDes and Usually Just a T-Shirt" (his total masterpiece, period), it was instant love. Kudos.
    I'd love to hear this album. Not sure I'd pay 45 big ones for it though. I might. In fact, I probably will.
    are you people serious? frusciante is fantastic, his guitar, his idea of music, his lyrics. but this music is the closest thing to roadkill being eaten by a homeless man ive ever heard. sure there a couple of riffs which have the frusciante touch, but the rest is pretty much garbage. i dont know why you put a rating of 10, look at this music objectively, rather than justifying your very, very, and not worth it purchase. there. i said it.
    100% agree with sideperu. I feel the review for this album is completely bias on the fact that it's simply created by John in perhaps his darkest days. If you put in this CD without knowing who played it, and believe me you won't recognize who's singing, I wouldn't be surprised if you tossed it out the window. For me, it's not worth listening to no matter what mood i may be in. This would be the wrong album to buy if you are just getting interested in John's work.
    yea sideperu thank you so much for saying that. i just downloaded this cd to see what his solo work sounds like, im a big pepper fan... but honestly this cd is just plain garbage. sure he has some cool guitar riffs every once in a while, but every time he sings it completely ruins the song. his screaming voice sounds like a coyote that is slowly and painfully getting its limbs cut off one at a time while getting constantly drowned in battery acid. this cd isnt even worth the few minutes it took to download it or the hard drive space its now wasting. this is probably the single most biased untrue review ive ever read.
    I love john, he's probably my favourite guitarist and musician in general. But seriously, this album is pretty disturbing, especially the ones where his coughing and taking a bong hit stand out. I'm so grateful that Johns turned away from all that now :/