Freaky Styley review by Red Hot Chili Peppers

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  • Released: Jan 1, 1985
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8 (81 votes)
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Freaky Styley

Sound — 10
This is the Red Hot Chili Peppers second album, after the largely poor show of their self titled album. The Chilis did not see eye to eye with producer Andy Gill on the first album, and so recruited legendary member of P Funk George Clinton. In the early days, the chili peppers were primarily a funk band with a punk rock influence. Clinton's influence clearly shows on this record. There are many strong tracks here, I think that Freaky Styley is quite underrated by fans, as it often falls into the shadow of Mothers Milk and Blood Sugar Sex Magik. All the songs on here are original except for the meters "Africa" (changed to "Hollywood") and Sly and the family Stone's "If you want me to stay". Both are incredibly funky pieces of work, with George Clinton guest singing in "Hollywood. For Anthony Kiedis, the job of singing "If you want me to stay" presented a great challenge, as Sly Stone was one of the most complicated vocal arrangers to date. However he pulls it off in style. Other tracks really pull together like "Blackeyed Blonde" where Flea's use of mute notes and slapping really adds a percussive element to the already incredibly tight groove. The Brothers Cup" also is a personal favourite as are "Nevermind" "Catholic School Girls Rule" "Sex Rap" and the two covers I have already mentioned.

Lyrics — 7
In the early days, the Chili's lifestyle was a lot more drug and sex orientated, and consequently this shows in Anthony's lyrics. His lyrics on this record are mainly to do with sex, drugs or gratuitous self promotion as on "Nevermind". His lyrics are more observational than they have been on more recent chili pepper albums when he seems to be more introspective. As yet, Anthony still hadn't properly found his voice and was largely rapping at this point.

Overall Impression — 8
Hillel Slovak was missing on the Chilli Pepper's debut album, and his input was sorely missed. His guitar parts in this are nothing short of extraordinary. Though he normally cuts short on solos and leads, his rhythm work is astounding, melding the slinky grooves of funk guitar with the mayhem of punk rock. Flea does likewise with his bass, changing from smooth funk grooves to hard-core complicated slapping riffs. Anthony's loud rantings fit in well with the band, and Cliff Martinez's solid and occasionally avant-garde rhythms give the band a rock solid foundation.

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Ya know, this may be about the first review I've read on this site where you actually analysed the album and didn't just slap a 10 on each section because you liked it. Great job!
    con job
    i didnt like this.hillels guitar dont sound like a guitar half the time...but then again thats a good thing..specially in the song Freakey Styley.this album is good, but it aint great
    do you know why the albums called freakey styley? coz when they were recording the album all the chilis went around calling things "freakey styley" if they thought they were cool (its like people who say "sweet" when they see something they like) and so someone suggested calling the album "freakey styley" since the album fitted the description thats so freakey styley