Since guitarist John Frusciante first joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers in the late 1980s, the band’s albums have been successful in direct proportion to his involvement. Ironically enough, Frusciante, for all his pop gifts, has largely forgone anything resembling pop for his own impressive solo catalog.
His 11th effort, Enclosure, is the best evidence yet that these two sides of Frusciante’s musical personality can coexist, though perhaps not as comfortably as one would hope. Enclosure quickly proves to be frustratingly fidgety, as on the cluttered “Fanfare,” where he’s barely able to hold on to an idea for a few seconds before shifting the tempo or punching in a new synth track.
Generally, the lack of focus proves discouraging, with one wishing Frusciante would more deeply explore even one of the roughly two million rhythmic and melodic ideas loaded into Enclosure, rather than throw them all in the pot at once.