The Will to Death (2004)
Jun 22, 2004
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Please, read the entire review on www.pitchfork.com
Will to Death is the third stop on the John Frusciante Proliferation Tour 2004, after February’s Shadows Collide with People, a bruised, seat-of-pants throwback to high-concept, tweaked pineal soul-seeking, and the side project Ataxia, a noisy and exploratory collaboration with Fugazi bassist Joe Lally. In comparison to those projects, Death is a plain dealer. Working quickly, Frusciante and trusty pal Josh Klinghoffer banged out the guitar and drum tracks, coloring them with keys, subtle electronics and rudimentary yet powerful studio twiddles (backmasking is the new Pro Tools), then adding vocal tracks streaked with his usual naked emotion.
Shadows Collide’s alloy of rue and hope is still evident here, both in the arrangements and in lyrics like, “Laughter’s an ugly friend of mine/ We shared the best and worst of times,” which he sings over the skeletal Velvets lilt of “Unchanging”. Frusciante’s solo career will probably always be more about self-therapy than gaining a foothold in the marketplace. But as another impressive portion of his potent ’04 output, Will to Death’s immediacy and quality should quiet the critics– particularly those who pegged his early solo records as the work of a narcotics pain-train washout.[…] [/one_half]