The Empyrean

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For Dante's description of the abode of God, see The Empyrean (Paradiso).
The Empyrean
Studio album by John Frusciante solo
Released January 20, 2009
Recorded December 2006–March 2008
Genre Experimental rock, psychedelic rock, post-rock
Length 54:02
62:14 (Japanese release)
Label Record Collection
Producer John Frusciante
John Frusciante solo chronology
Curtains
(2005)
The Empyrean
(2009)
Letur-Lefr
(2012)
John Frusciante chronology
AW II
(2007)
The Empyrean
(2009)
Omar Rodriguez Lopez & John Frusciante
(2010)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars [1]
Alternative Press 4/5 stars
Antiquiet 4/5 stars [2]
Now Magazine 4/5 stars [3]
The Observer 4/5 stars [4]
Spin (Positive) [5]
Sputnikmusic 3.5/5 stars [6]
Ultimate Guitar (9/10) [7]

The Empyrean is the tenth solo album by John Frusciante, released worldwide on January 20, 2009 through Record Collection. Frusciante did not plan on a following tour, as he instead wanted to focus on writing and recording. The Empyrean peaked at number 151 on the US Billboard 200 as well as number seven on the Top Heatseekers.[8] On release it made number 105 on the UK Albums Chart.

Frusciante asserts that the record "was recorded on and off between December 2006 and March 2008," and is a concept album that tells "a single story both musically and lyrically."[9] The Empyrean contains a version of Tim Buckley's "Song to the Siren", from his 1970 album Starsailor. The record also features an array of collaborators and guest musicians, including Frusciante's former band mate Flea, and friends Josh Klinghoffer and former The Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr. Due to an error at the duplication plant, the United States CD release date was delayed until January 27.[10] On June 2nd, 2010, a new bonus track, Here, Air, was added to the album, freely available at John's website.

On December 11th, 2012, Record Collection re-issued various John Frusciante albums released from 2004 to 2009, including The Empyrean. These re-issued albums are available on 180 gram limited edition vinyl. Each LP also comes with a download card for your choice of MP3 or WAV file.[11] The Empyrean was one of the most sought after John Frusciante LPs from the 2012 catalog reissue. According to John Frusciante's official website, the pre-order of the limited edition vinyl was sold out as of November 24, 2012; therefore, making it the first from the limited catalog reissue to do so. Additional stock of recording would be available in 2013.[12]

A song which was written during The Empyrean sessions, "Scratch", was released as a free download on February 18, 2014 as an introductory track to the full-length record Enclosure released April 8, 2014.

At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 69, based on 8 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews."[13]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by John Frusciante, unless otherwise noted. 

No. Title Length
1. "Before the Beginning"   9:09
2. "Song to the Siren" (Tim Buckley, Larry Beckett) 3:33
3. "Unreachable"   6:10
4. "God"   3:23
5. "Dark/Light"   8:30
6. "Heaven"   4:03
7. "Enough of Me"   4:14
8. "Central"   7:16
9. "One More of Me"   4:06
10. "After the Ending"   3:38
11. "Today" (Japanese release only) 4:38
12. "Ah Yom" (US iTunes Store and Japanese release only) 3:17
13. "Here, Air" (free download) 3:47

Personnel[edit]

Production
  • Ryan Hewitt – recording engineer
  • Adam Samuels – recording engineer
  • Steve Hoffman – mastering engineer
  • Dave Lee – instrument tech
  • Anthony Zamora – production coordination

Charts[edit]

Charts (2009) Peak position
Dutch Album Chart 61[14]
Swiss Album Chart 57[14]
UK Albums Chart 105[15]
US Billboard 200 151[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Westergaard, Sean. The Empyrean at AllMusic
  2. ^ Johnny Firecloud. "Finding God With John Frusciante". Antiquiet. 
  3. ^ Bryan Borzykowski. "Disc Review". Now Magazine. 
  4. ^ Chris Campion (January 16, 2009). "John Frusciante, The Empyrean Review". London: The Observer. 
  5. ^ Shannon Zimmerman. "The Empyrean Review". Spin Magazine. 
  6. ^ Jared W. Dillon. "John Frusciante The Empyrean". Sputnik Music. 
  7. ^ UGTeam. "The Empyrean Review". Ultimate Guitar. 
  8. ^ "The Empyrean Charting Information". Billboard. Retrieved 2009-01-31. [dead link]
  9. ^ "John Frusciante to release The Empyrean on Record Collection 1.20.2009". RedHotChiliPeppers.com. November 12, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-13. 
  10. ^ "The Empyrean Physical Release Delayed to January 27th". Redhotchilipeppers.com. January 13, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-29. 
  11. ^ "Limited Edition Catalog Reissues". johnfrusciante.com. Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  12. ^ "Limited Edition Catalog Reissues Store". johnfrusciante.com. Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  13. ^ "The Empyrean Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic.com. Retrieved 2011-12-24. 
  14. ^ a b "Johj Frusciante - The Empyrean (Album)". Swiss Charts. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  15. ^ "CHART: CLUK Update 7.02.2009 (wk5)". Zobbel. Retrieved 2009-07-06. 
  16. ^ "Billboard Discography - John Frusciante - The Empyrean chart positions". Billboard.