Anyone who expects to hear chewy pop-rock on one of Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante's solo recordings is in for a shock. His music, especially on the recent, self-explanatory The Will to Death
, is dark and tortured, powered by a penchant for melodic hooks you can hear jangling a mile away. The latest, A Sphere in the Heart of Silence
, is an "electronic" collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Josh Klinghoffer and a few guests. Though just as emotionally wrenching as The Will to Death
, it can't compare to the sound of Frusciante alone, exposing his demons. As he proves on "My Life," all he needs is a piano and his own haunting, anguished voice, singing, "My life goes blank."