The Good: I’ve never been a huge Red Hot Chili Pepper fan. Maybe because when they peaked in the mid-2000s with their double album Stadium Arcadium, I was more a person into lyrics that meant something rather than just the enjoyment of good wordsmithing for the sake of rhyming and alliteration. I felt the band became associated with a certain type of person too, one in the same group of people who tried too hard to be cool but instead were listening to corny metal. People who tried to be macho or do drugs simply to stand out. I was little aware of what would become of indie rockers in the next few years when hipster became a thing. That album, however, has grown on me. Though there are still a lot of tracks, especially on the latter parts of the cds, that feel like fillers. Nevertheless, this album feels a nice turn for the band.
On the one hand, I could say this is the band going mainstream. Sometimes the drumming seems more simple and lighter than something the band is known for. Sometimes Flea seems to be holding off on his bass skills, often almost not being heard as much as usual. When he does play a lead role, on songs like “Dark Necessities”, “Goodbye Angels”, “Go Robot”, the bass lines seem too familiar to be something the world famous musician is known for. Regardless, there is something about this more laid back RHCP that feels right. They are still funky, but perhaps more accessible. A cleaner sound is in fact an interesting turn of events.
There are some nice touches on here I wouldn’t have expected to find on one of their albums. Piano is used far more than ever before. The guitar is more atmospheric, especially on “The Getaway”. Regardless, the sunny Californian band can be still found on here, on songs like “Sick Love” and “Feasting on the Flowers”.
For people who have never really considered themselves fans of RHCP, this album maybe a chance to change minds.Perhaps this album has made me realise more reasons I never appreciated older albums by the group. Their mix of funk, punk, rap, and metal was maybe too inaccessible to jump right in. Now, coming from a softer version of the band’s work, this album could provide a better opening to slowly work a listener into being a bigger fan.
The Bad: The album may be a little lengthy. The finals songs lack the niceties of the rest of the album.
Would I Listen Again: Yes