Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium
By 17 June, 2006 12:23 This article has been read 2073 times.
A lot of people seem to be suggesting that this is the Chilis' best album. I strongly disagree. They're too talented to make an album which isn't pretty amazing, but the song writing here isn't up to the high standards which they have shown on their last three albums (I liked By The Way) and isn't as ground-breaking as their early stuff. Lot's of the songs drift by without you realising or you want to skip them. Musically, they haven't let it slip but there are times when this album smells of pandering to a more commercial sound - a la Foo Fighters' last couple of albums. This is evident in the fact that Kiedis' vocals are more prominent to give songs that radio-friendly sound and there are fewer instrumental breakdowns than might be expected - which is a shame because that's what the Chilis do best and they give this album a lot of its best moments.
Something should be said about the fact that there's 28 songs. That's a lot of pepper for your pound. Still, it would have been a much better idea to scrap half and provide a regular length album of higher quality songs like almost every other band does. The second disc is weaker and I don't think I'll play it much so I'll miss out on its good songs. It also begs the question of what their next album is going to be like because they really need to offer something different now.
Some people have suggested this album is a return to the style of BloodSugarSexMagik. It's actually closer to Mother's Milk or One Hot Minute. Probably, it's more consistent than those albums but lacks their high points too. Certainly, it doesn't capture the raw funk and immense song writing of BloodSugar. In fact, I feel the best songs on the new album are the more down-tempo ones like Slow Cheetah and Strip My Mind. With a couple of exceptions (Animal Bar and Hump de Bump), the heavier songs are starting to sound slightly like generic pop-rock - they're nothing that hasn't been done better on a previous album.
If you like what the Chilis do, buy this album - it's good stuff and, if you don't mind skipping some of the weaker tracks, it's a very good album. Also, for fans, it's worth buying just for Flea's bass fills on Hump de Bump. If you're not sure about the band, this won't persuade you that they're not over-hyped - but please check out Freaky Styley or BloodSugar for evidence of their genius. If you're into chart music, then this will be better than any other similar album released for a while, just don't go around saying it's the best album ever cos it isn't even close.
At the end of the day, the Chili's are an awesome band and this album doesn't suggest otherwise. It might not be their best but there's enough quality to make it worth buying (in my opinion). Just remember an average Chilis beats most bands' best work.