Sound — 9
The sound is great. They've taken enough time trying to find themselves since guitarist John Frusciante's departure, and time has certainly paid off. After all of the uncertainty of the band since 2006's "Stadium Arcadium", it is quite a blessing to hear a new rebirth of the band sounding so assured. Reportedly, Flea listened to the albums "Exile On Main St." and "Tattoo You" by The Rolling Stones (arguably their best), and boy, does it show! They've made an album that presents their solidity as equally as it shows off the bands experimentation.
Lyrics — 7
The overall impression of the lyrics does come off as basic Anthony Kiedis. Honestly, this perhaps is the biggest setback of the album. Not in a bad way but, the lyrics do represent sort of a "Stadium Arcadium/Californication"-esque style. The lyrics DO provide great insight to the music, especially on songs like: "Brendan's Death Song", "Ethiopia", "Did I Let You Know" and "Police Station". The closer song of the album "Dance, Dance, Dance" leaves the listener with an uplifting happy feeling, which for a band like this, is always nice!
Overall Impression — 8
The album holds up strongly against classics like "Californication", "By The Way" & "Stadium Arcadium". Still, it may alienate the hardcore fans from the "Blood Sugar Sex Magik" era. Since the first split of John Frusciante, when the band had recruited Dave Navarro for "One Hot Minute", they hadn't sounded confident making a very experimental album. Although "One Hot Minute" remains one of my favorite albums of all time, it is for personal reasons and not technical and musically specific ones. John Frusciante, as before, is strongly missed, but Klinghoffer fulfills the bands promise not to disappoint and proves to be a more than stable member of the band for years to come! My favorite songs on the album are "Brendan's Death Song", "Ethiopia", "Did I Let You Know" and "Police Station". As a hardcore Chili Peppers fan, I love almost everything about the album. What I hate about the album is the lack of standout guitar-work from Josh Klinghoffer, not to say that he is a bad guitarist by any means. Rather, since hearing the first single, I noticed that he sounded almost scared to branch out or experiment with his fellow bandmates, and more follow suit. If this album were stolen or lost, I would immediately purchase another copy!