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REVIEW: John Frusciante - Letur-Lefr

REVIEW: John Frusciante - Letur-Lefr

By: Jeff Daily
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July 24, 2012

"I consider my music to be Progressive Synth Pop," ex-RHCP guitarist said of his recent musical explorations and his new EP Letur-Lefr. Released July 17th on Record Collection, the EP is a collection of music written and recorded in, Frusciante said, "...2010 and PBX [PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone Frusciante's forthcoming {eleventh!} full length] was made in 2011. Letur is a compilation, a selected portion of music I made that year while PBX was conceived as an album, the songs having been recorded in succession. The records are very different from each other." I guess we have to wait until September to hear this EP's companion, but for now we have five songs of funky, loose (vaguely hip-hop even), synth-pop from a musician as eclectic as they come these days.

Best known as a former Chili Pepper, Frusciante has also had an active musical career outside his funky mega famous ex-band, but this EP isn't exactly what I was expecting. I'm not a follower of JF's activities exactly, but I enjoyed his earliest bizarre one man in druggy head space lo-fi albums. He's a brilliant guitar player and talented songwriter, but this EP plays like a soundtrack album to a bad PBS doc about electronica. It isn't cohesive and features many guest artists like RZA, Masia One, Rugged Monk, and Kinetic 9 that cause me to lose focus as the songs play. The different voices and all over the place electronic pastiche is well-performed and produced sure, but it all comes across more like an exercise than a coherent thought.

Phil Collins meets Wu-Tang Clan is how I would describe this set to friends. Frusciante is so prolific and obviously talented that I would hope his full length hangs together better than this whirly gig of collage music. That being said, "In My Light," the album's last cut, is freaking wonderful until the hip-hop elements take us out of the euphoria-pop vibe. I don't think too many fans of Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik or Californication will be interested in Letur-Lefr which is fine because I'm fairly certain Frusciante is (and has always been) making music HE enjoys rather than trying to fill stadiums with frat dudes. Unfortunately this EP isn't good enough to defend. A for effort, D- for listening pleasure.

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