shadows collide with people
Shadows Collide with People
this is an album by my much beloved john frusciante, this album has definately been a soundtrack of my life and has meant a great deal to me from when i got it in late july of 2005 when i was in a turning point of my life, about to move from boca and the life i led there back towards home, freedom and uncertainty. it’s a beautiful album, it’s the 4th i believe in his 6 albums and 6 months cycle and one of the most heavily produced but fantastic.
track 1: this first song carvel is one of my favorites to sing it’s a fantastic song filled with great and dramatic ideas and it all builds up to the last part which took me weeks to be able to kit the notes towards the end. the lyrics are ambiguous yet it touches me so closely on so many levels that i can’t even understand. it’s (in my mind) about loss and uncertainty, and acceptance of yourself and the world and rising to the path in front of you fearlessly. the line “all the good times are on their way” is a message of hope t me that it’s not too late to make good on you r life and live it on you own terms. the first time i heard this song i was blown away, at it’s power and honesty. the first time i sang the big creshendo part ending with the line “and i wouldn’t have it any other way” it felt like my head was turning inside out. i had only been singing about a month and to hit the notes end you have to compltely let go and go for it with all you’ve got. it taught me to be fearless on stage and release everything but the performance. and further reminds me how John’s music made a singer out of me.
Track 2: omission is one of the first songs gregg and i ever performed live. both of us sing it ; gregg taking the higher pitched part and again it was one that forced me to hit notes i never thought i’d be able to. it’s a perfectly crafted song that i love to cover that (again to me ) seems to be a celebration of humility. it was the second song i ever sang live at chocolate moose cafe on that open mic and i i’ll al;ways look back on it fondly.
Track 3 i regret my past: another heartbreaking and beautiful song. it’s honesty and agony strikes a chord with me because in many ways i regret my past as well (at least parts of it) yet like the rest of the album there is an implied hope and redemption in the arrangement. i don’t think that gregg & i have ever covered this one live but we learned it and often play it when we’re hanging out. when in sing it i do get pretty misty.
Track 4: I was afraid to be me: oh god, this one really spoke to me. when i hear this i think of walking back and forth to work when i was living in boca in utter misery, essentially living a life that was the opposite of what i was, i was living lonely, trapped and guilt ridden in an unwinnable situation. but again there is a hope the line ” i’m a flame in the night” reminded me that there was a part of me still pure and honest to myself. it helped me to realize that regardless what people expected of me and regardless how “well” i did in a life the antithesis of my personality i had to be honest withe myself and live accordingly.
Track 5: second walk: this song is 1 minute and 45 seconds of pure joy to me and was the fisrt song i ever sang live. this more than any other song on the album sums up my life when i left boca and started my live over again. to me this is an affirmation of life the entire song is E minor F# and A minor . the song is entirely about starting over with grand results. knowing what i know about john frusiante and his struggles with addiction and other problems i took it as his coming to terms with his past and present and celebrating the now. i cannot express how much i love this song.
Track 6: i don’t know the title of this song, but again it’s a beautiful showcase for john’s voice. it’s a song that elevates and inspires me.
Track 7: this song really sets the stage for the next. it’s at the same time orchestral and simplistic it was performed on a vintage analog synthesizer. i could never write someting this minimalistic, but it fascinates me.
Track 8: wednesday’s song: another great singer songwriter number. i love the drums and the subtlety of the arrangement. it is another one of the songs that really influenced me as a vocalist as well as a songwriter. it is dramatic, and minimalist, broadway yet pop. the kind of song only john can write. every verse section is an exercise in arrangement. withe the various elements drifting in and out of the focus. it also strikes me a s a beautiful love song.
track 9: a great old fashioned rock and roll song. it makes me thin of barreling down the highway on a road trip. it just sounds like freedom to me. i also especially love the bass line on this song as it’s rollicking and free. it is a song that makes me smile and makes me want to run to my bass and notebook and write something new.
Track 10: this instrumental makes me think of the Van Halen solo piece called “cathedral” off of their 3rd album. i like the dreamy effect and again it’s almost like the leibmotif from an imaginary opera.
Track 11: song to sing when i’m lonely: this song just has a sweetness and again a raw honesty to it. it makes me think of the good things about love an friends. like all of the the songs on this album acceptance and hope ring throughout the piece. i so enjoy playing it. it’s simple and perfectly arranged. further reinforcing this album in my mind as one of those textbooks on how to write great songs.
Track 12: just another fantastic song. every song on this album just lays me bare. i especially like the drums and bass on it. the instrumental bridge with it’s arpeggiated chords just sends me drifting. the ambiguity of the lyrics are filled in by the expressive music behind it. it’s a song that makes me think of standing on a pier by the beach in the dead of night during winter. the cold wind in your hair and bracing against your face; hands kept warm in your pockets gazing into the black expanse of ocean interrupted by the shine of sreet lights in the the horizon.
Track 13 another synth heavy instrumental intro that makes me introspective. when the lyrics come in floating naked over an acoustic guitar… it’s is simply beautiful nothing else. as the song progresses it seems to celebrate the agonies of communication and the joy of reaching out to another person and risking embarassment to connect with them..
Track 14: a great uptempo song that starts with john’s falsetto range. it then turns into a great rock song, tough but still very sensitive but without dulling it’s edge. the bass line is great, the dynamics help to shift view from voice to voice. i really need to do this one life some time as it is a load of fun. the dichotomy between compositional control and the bacchanalian freedom of the guitar and keith moon styled drrumm arrangement really sells this song to me.
Track 15: beautiful acoustic and delicate arrangement with a jaw droppingly perfect bass line that helps to drive the mood and melody of the song. i believe that flea plays bass on it but don’t hold me to it. the imperfection of john’s voice only adds to the honesty and drama of the song. without a doubt if it wasn’t for john i would never have had the courage to begin singing… and i am grateful for that gift.
Track 16: i’m not me anymore…. oh boy, this is another song that really sums up my experience before i left boca and the misery there to start my life over… every time i heard the line i’m not me anymore i felt it like a knife. i han’t een my self for years by the time i heard this and it summed up many of my feelings.
Track 17: another atmospheric and instrumental instrumental. especially following i’m not me anymore it would sometimes lesd me to tears.
Track 18: the slaughter; no there is nothing wrong with your cd player. this is a beautiful love song in m mind even though the lyrics are so ambiguous. it’s the sort of song i would put in the soundtrack of a movie if i was editing a scene about missing someone far away (sound farmilliar…laugh…). it just has a sweetness and beauty to it that reawakes the soft sensitive side of me and makes me think of longing, connection and affection.
and so this is what i have to say about shadows coolie with people; one of my favorite albums and one that i listen to very very often. i hope you enjoyed it and i also hope you found my perspective on it interesting.