Sound — 10
John Frusciante is undeniably well known as the more quiet yet still flamboyant guitarist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but unknown to many Red Hot Chili Pepper fans, he has an entire catalogue of his own albums, The Will To Death being the focus of this review. At first glance, The Will To Death seems like your typical, indie-pop record with catchy melodies, simple guitar parts, and a tasteful use of electronics. Although given all this criteria, The Will To Death grows on you. These songs are catchy, fun, and overall well-written. Songs like A Doubt and Far Away will be sure to please many, but this album's simple pop sound can become a bit tedious, as heard on drawn-out songs like Loss and The Days Have Turned but are easily made up but the album's fantastic production. This albums sounds like it was released in 1975, with vocals sometimes being on the hard-left or hard-right. John's vocals are impressive, to say the least. His voice has improved drastically since his "Niandra LaDes" days, and this album is proof.
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics on the album are all very deep, with many philosophical meanings that aren't always quite clear to the listener. While John is great instrumentally and vocally, his lyrics get rather stale after many listens. Also, many of his lyrics have a "life and death" sort of theme, with a lot of mention given to both. The Mirror is the most lyrically powerful song on the album, and one of my favorites. These lyrics are deep, emotional and beautiful, all over a simple Piano-arranged song.
Overall Impression — 9
John Frusciante's The Will To Death is the first of the series of "6 albums in 6 months" albums, and are a great start for things to come. The songs on this album are catchy, simple and fun, and are simply amazing songs written by one of today's most favored guitarist. If you're looking for something even remotely related to The Red Hot Chili Peppers, look again. This album is in a completely different realm. This albums is hard to find, but if you find it, I'd recommend picking it up and giving it a listen. In my experience, John Frusciante albums can run a little pricey, but this album is most definitely worth it.