What is the sound of a lone Pepper?
Not as hot, not as funky…but more distinctive than you might expect.
While all three of the tunes on this Shadows Collide With People sampler share bits of Chili Pepper-ness, there are definitely a few non-Pepper moments.
First of all, the electric guitar does not play a big role here. No, a strummed acoustic is used to build the bed of sound supporting the vocals. This isn’t really out of left field with respect to the Peppers: acoustic guitars are used there, just not to this degree.
Another new texture is the blurpy synth. “Song To Sing When I’m Lonely” starts off with a synth figure that’s right out of 1980′s new wave. A lone electric guitar joins in unison with the synth before settling into the first verse.
The most interesting track is “Carvel”. The introduction is a California-style channeling of King Crimson’s “In The Court Of The Crimson King”. Yep, there are strings, ominous synths lurking and dirgy vocals. Way cool.
What is very Pepper-like is the overall tempo. All three tunes settle into that familiar mid-tempo “Californication”/”Scar Tissue” area. It’s also quite amazing to hear Frusciante’s vocals: because they’re so much like Anthony Kiedis. Not quite as distinctive maybe but they sure do sound like they could be brothers.
It’s hard to draw conclusions about the whole album based on three selections, but my interest has been peaked.
Shadows Collide With People will be released on February 24, 2004.
(First posted on Mark Is Cranky)