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Helen Burns is a six song EP by Flea, bassist from Red Hot Chili Peppers, which was initially released July 19, 2012 in a very limited run exclusively through the Silverlake Conservatory of Music website. The EP marks the first solo release by Flea who has previously only released solo work on soundtracks. The EP is almost all instrumental except for an appearance by Patti Smith on the title track and a choir on the final track.
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This album is not typical Chili Peppers 'funky monks' stuff. It's a mix of genres... slow piano based serenades, children's choirs, trip-hop, thoughtful, plodding, agressive electronic beats, 'chill' musics... laid back, but engaging at the same time. It's a journey of sounds in a 30 minute session. Packed with melodies and surprises. I wouldn't expect to be able to dance to it, but you can't help but smile along with the compositions he's sharing with us here. It's not all instrumental, and its certainly not just BASS. There are layers of vocals, and lots of experimenting with instrument combinations. Harmonica beside a piano for example. It's not a mess, I don't mean to say he's trying too much, its a well laid out journey.
Beautiful and exciting all in one. Don't miss it.
I read Jane Eyre after Flea released this album. I gotta tell ya- Helen Burns was a real sweet character- but that book is rubbish. It's a tired rags-to-riches story. C'mon man. Flea! I love you and your music.
Suffice to say, don't expect funk or pop or anything remotely RHCP, this totally its own thing, and it's great.