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Letur-Lefr ()

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Former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitar virtuoso John Frusciante's solo recordings have always been incredibly stylistically divergent from the arena-filling alternative frat rock that he built his fame on. Often difficult to the point of incoherence, Frusciante's prolific output has ranged from muffled lo-fi meandering to cathartic screaming. Letur-Lefr continues this often bewildering weirdness, branching out into scattershot hip-hop beats augmented by occasional bluesy soloing and cameo appearances from a host of established emcees. The five songs on this EP were recorded in 2010 and didn't see initial release until 2012. "In Your Eyes" opens the set with a fairly straightforward rock approach, interrupted midway with glitchy drum machine breakdowns, endless structural turns, and menacing electronics eventually obscuring most of the recognizable trademarks of radio-ready alternative rock. Frusciante's deep and melodramatic vocals and backing vocals from his wife Nicole Turley are edited haphazardly, soaring over the weirdness at times and being folded under waves of jammy guitars at others. Second track "909 Day" really opens up the strange perspective of Letur-Lefr, beginning with fragments of various rap routines collaged together over broken drum programming. "FM" and "In My Light" both see cameos by Wu Tang's RZA (trading full verses with Rugged Monk and Kinetic 9 on the former and more chopped-up fragments on the latter), delivered over soggy synthesizer stabs and eerily processed guitar lines. The cold electronics and jumbled beats recall the more adventurous side of early-2000s art-rap collective Anti-Pop Consortium, but it's never too long before Frusciante pulls the rug out from under his own songs with an abrupt shift. If these incredibly obtuse concoctions were the work of someone other than the guy who helped write "Under the Bridge," they might actually make sense as post-Dilla aspiring beats. As they stand, with Frusciante intermittently dropping falsetto R&B vocals, movie dialogue samples, and Hendrix-inspired guitar at every turn, these songs just represent more in the occasionally enjoyable, often puzzling, and always unexpected legacy of his solo catalog. ~ Fred Thomas, Rovi Hide synopsis

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