Review ·

In the last twenty-two years, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have only managed to release eight albums -- less than seven hours in total. So let's get this straight: A band that has given us an average of nineteen minutes of new music a year all of a sudden has more than two hours of shit to tell us? Let's hear it.

 

To be sure, interest in a new Chili Peppers album is not what it once was. Maybe that's why early press for the double-disc, twenty-eight-song Stadium Arcadium seemed to focus on the band being back in the same studio (a spooky house in Laurel Canyon) with the same producer (Rick Rubin) as it was when Blood Sugar Sex Magik was recorded in 1991. And according to their current recording engineer, they plan on "bringing back the funk."  As it turns out, the band is having a hard time reclaiming the "magik."

 

As suspected, Anthony Kiedis still has nothing to say. Sure, the Chili Peppers' brand of funk has usually relied less on meaningful lyrical content and more on interesting alliteration and sunny odd-ball imagery. But the lyrics are especially vapid here in the Stadium Arcadium. "I gave you major, you gave me minor/ Don't fade away like an ocean liner" is a couplet from "She Looks to Me." Kiedis described the album as "retardedly painful funk" to MTV News. Thanks, Anthony.

 

Drummer Chad Smith and bassist Flea continue to command their crafts, but they stay firmly in their place as a strong if lackluster rhythm section. For a lesser band, this would not be a distraction, but precedent has been set, and Flea, especially, fails to hold up his end of the bargain.

 

Luckily for the rest of the band and the discerning listener, John Frusciante has become a monster guitar player in the last few years, perhaps partly due to a wildly prolific solo career that produced a slew of releases in 2004, just before recording for Stadium Arcadium began. There is a lot of room to fill in the two hours of cookie-cutter funk presented here, but in Frusciante's able hands there is a new texture, tone or technique at every turn. The guitar is the star on both discs, titled "Jupiter" and "Mars."

 

Although an outer-space theme is hinted at by the cover art (think Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie posters) and the planet-inspired disc monikers, there is no concept or theme that helps explain the gaudy presentation of Stadium Arcadium. It's as if Rubin and the band members slid all of their ideas into a generic template and hoped for the best. The album is no more than a high-volume singles campaign -- an arsenal of potential radio and video hits packaged as a concept and touted as a grand return to form, just in case anyone is still paying attention to these things.

 

Discuss this review at The Prefix Message Board  

Red Hot Chili Peppers Web site

Warner Bros. Records Web site

Streaming audio

  • Dani California
  • Snow (Hey Oh)
  • Charlie
  • Stadium Arcadium
  • Hump De Bump
  • She’s Only 18
  • Slow Cheetah
  • Torture Me
  • Strip My Mind
  • Especially In Michigan
  • Warlocks
  • C’mon Girl
  • Wet Sand
  • Hey
  • Desecration Smile
  • Tell Me Baby
  • Hard to Concentrate
  • 21st Century
  • She Looks To Me
  • Readymade
  • If
  • Make You Feel Better
  • Animal Bar
  • So Much I
  • Storm In A Teacup
  • We Believe
  • Turn It Again
  • Death of a Martian
Centro-Matic - Fort Recovery Various Artists Hugh Masekela Presents: The Chisa Years... 1965-1975 (Rare and Unreleased)

what a poor review...maybe grow some ears and listen to it again you dick

Logan Ramirez

The addition of comments to review pages has opened the door to a whole lot of hilarity.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/prefix/no-user-pic.gif noise redux

i like.

no.

i love.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/mk78/avocado.gif mk78

yes, best site enhancement! i wish we could import the old comments into the new format, i love reading all the vitriol we have incited in the past

/site_media/uploads/images/users/acb/01bigblacktomb.jpg acb

It's Funny IAN, I've never seen or heard any of your work ???

MRP

This review is as poorly written and thought out as he claims this album is. There is some daft lyrics on this album but they are used in their right place usually. For example Tell Me Baby is just a plain crazy song and the lyrics fit in with its whole feel. But listen to Hey and there is no doubting that this album has some of the greatest songs ever copied onto disc. Turn It Again and Charlie are two stonking tunes also and are as good as RHCP's best work. The Album is too long. There is no exceptionally bad tracks on here just that some are clearly not as strong as others

Scot

3/10? What the hell is the reviewer thinking? What a piss poor review. I found almost every song on this album decent. RHCP know what they are doing! There are many great instrumental sounds in these songs and the lyrics do have substance. Of course, this album isn't perfect but its above average! You got to use your ears to hear it, not your mind!

HAM

This is one of their best albums to date,and the idea that flea and chad take a back seat in this album is absurd.Any peppers fan will tell you that AK has always been sporatic at best and that is just fine by us.

SLURVE

What a stupid review... no substance whatsoever

REN

While I would agree that this is not their best album, this guy reviewing it is clearly a hack and reviewed it way too harshly. Share your opinion when you have one worth considering, Ian!

Joe

The peppers have a distinct sound, unlike other generic bands. Simply put, their music is brilliant. Just listen to the conservative style of scar tissue and slow cheetah. Look, if the peppers don't cut it, what band will Ian?

Ian is dumb

This review had plenty of substance. All of you are just to busy worshiping the chili peppers like Gods to realize how mediocre Stadium Arcadium is, especially compared to their 80's and 90's material.

Piss tanker

Although I would agree that some of their other albums are better, they have changed their style somewhat, as most bands do after 22 years. I think that what ian has to say about chad and flea is bull. They have always been on the same page as the rest of the band, although there has been some disagreement between flea and john from time to time, as is in most good bands. I can imagine that IAN is the type of person who would like nickelback, some of the most generic rock out there. The chili peppers are a type of band that cross genres with many different styles and textures of music.

Ickbus

All I can say to Ian, the expert, is: "who the duck is this clown?" (and by duck I mean...)

Jon

Where did you learn to write, your review is biased and mis informing. True it may not be to everyones tastes but the lyrics do have meaning if not at first glance.

To be honnest i have listened to the chillis for there entire carreer and this isnt their greatest work, but i hope for your sake my poorley mis-informed retard of a reporter, maybe if you could write a review that makes sense and is actually acurate to the subject that you are reviewing one day you might get a job where they trust you with a shiney biro for writing stuff rather then on some second rate website.

any way i ended up on this page by accident

go to hell :)

Anders Edy

BEST ALBUM OF THE 21ST CENTURY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JOHNS GUITAR IS LIFTING AND MEMORIZING

CHADS DRUMS SMASH HARDER AND MORE EXOTIC AS EVER

FLEAS BASS TAKES THE OLD FUNK TO A NEW AGE, AND NEW SOUND.

screw the a-holes who think every album must have a concept and theme and all that bs.

This album is a first of its kind!!! heres how,

REDICULOUS AMOUNTS OF TALENTS SHED ALL OVER AN ALBUM THAT WAS MADE JUST FOR MUSIC! EVERY SONG HAS ITS OWN DEAL AND THEY ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL!

not a bunch of singles on 2 cds. this guy is a fool.

all 28 tracks are amazing in there own ways...

BRAD

LAME!!! enough said

mitchell

Ian you're an ass. Look at lyrics closer and try and open your mind. Just because you can't see the meaning doesn't mean it doesn't have one, try and open up to things instead of living in a box...

WillRHCP

Ian...why are you so pissed off???

jim

are you friggen retarted? chad and flea take a back seat? seriously, were you born with a mental disfunction? go listen to charlie, great bass line and bass fills and amazing drumming, how about 21st century, awesome bassline and nice tom work from chad. Seriously dude, you need to go learn how to write a non-biased review, you suck my friend, stop listening to nickleback and creed or w/e and learn what real music is.

mike

hey maybe if you had any intelligence you could find meaning in the lyrics. they spend so much time on their albums because they want to get it right and it shows...how many grammy awards have you won? thats what i thought

caleb

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