Famed for his guitar-hero stints with Jane's Addiction and Red Hot Chili Peppers, Navarro offers a remarkably effective first effort as a solo artist.

Famed for his guitar-hero stints with Jane's Addiction and Red Hot Chili Peppers, Navarro offers a remarkably effective first effort as a solo artist. This is not merely the self-important indulgence of a sideman wanting a little centerstage action. Via Trust No One, Navarro strives to be both relevant and revealing. Musically, he stirs the pot with bits of metal, grunge, pop, and straight-up classic rock. He enhances his melodies with words that startle with candor. The first single, "Rexall," traces the thoughts of a man on the verge of a nervous breakdown, while "Mourning Son" shows the artist purging memories of his mother's murder. Heavy stuff, but Navarro avoids falling too deep down the emotional well. The listener feels the intensity and catharsis of his experience but with a healthy, philosophical distance. Trust No One is more than a fine solo bow, it's among the overall stronger releases of 2001 so far. Navarro should think twice before swinging his axe in someone else's shadow again.—LF