Sound — 7
During the Japan leg of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' 1992 "BloodSugarSexMagik" tour, lead guitarist John Frusciante abrubtly left the band due to his discomfort with RHCP's skyrocketing popularity. This left the group without an integral piece of the puzzle, and they eventually replaced Frusciante with former Jane's Addiction six-stringer Dave Navarro. Navarro brings a whole new culture of sound to the Chili Peppers, which turns most fans away from the album. His arena rock style doesn't seem to fit well with the funk-on-steroids approach of bassist Michael "Flea" Balzary, although drummer Chad Smith puts forth one of this best efforts on the album. The Peppers obviously seem out of their element with Navarro instead of Frusciante, but despite the natural negative reaction fans will take, this group still puts together some decent sound for "One Hot Minute".
Lyrics — 8
At the time of the writing and recording for "One Hot Minute", frontman Anthony Kiedis was heavily addicted to drugs and slipping into depression, which shows in what is easily his darkest album lyrically. This album took longer to record and produce then any of the Red Hots' other efforts, in part because of the transition to Navarro, but also because Kiedis took extended vacations to his hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan, to ease his depressed state. Although the lyrics in "OHM" are very dark and depressing, some of Kiedis' most quotable lines come from the album, and he still shows great vocal skills, which seem to become better with every new album RHCP puts out. Flea also contributes his writing skills to a couple songs, and even sings on "Pea", a must-listen for any bassist out there.
Overall Impression — 8
"One Hot Minute" has widely been deemed a failure (despite reaching #4 on the U.S. charts), and when compared to the albums RHCP has put out since then it definitely seems like they don't reach their full potential in the follow-up to the critically-acclaimed "BloodSugarSexMagik". However, there are still some very good songs on this album, and if you are a fan of the Chili Peppers, you definitely need to take a listen. Even if you believe this album is a complete train wreck, it taught the band a lot and it gave them a chance to grow into the exceedingly wise and talented group that they are today. I do not think this album deserves to be passed over. It fills the void between "BSSM" and "Californication" with a different type of swagger, but swagger nonetheless. The top song off of this album is the radio gem "My Friends", which was the only "OHM" track to be included on their 2003 Greatest Hits CD. The rest of the songs are generally looked over, but "Aeroplane" sends RHCP back to their uber-funk roots and has very enjoyable sound and lyrics. "Shallow be thy Game" is a single that did not chart, but is the best from the batch of Navarro's arena-rock craziness. "Warped" is another of Navarro's eccentric roller coasters which includes odd echoing vocals from Kiedis. The title track is a fun listen but stretches over 6 minutes. Kiedis' sappy tribute to the late Kurt Cobain, "Tearjerker", is also a decent track. To get a feel for the overall sound and nature of the album, download the final song, "Transcending".