Sound — 8
Play.com have just sent me the album today (6th May) and I'd thought I'd let you know what this new one from the chili's is like. The sound of the album comes from everywhere the Chili's have been before, Blood Sugar Sex Magic, Californication and By The Way sounds mixed together. Most of the songs have a sort of slow funk/rock/pop sound to them, which is good, but maybe more faster songs could have been included as the album does seem to slow in places. On the other hand, there are sevral, as Anthony calls it, "Retardly painful funk" tracks, which are so good that you have to pick up a guitar and jam along. John Frusciante has really got his act back together, it's by far his best guitar work since he rejoined the band, his soloing, especially on Readymade, is fantastic. John has also worked tirelesly on adding other layers to the album, without overdoing it. It gives the album a much fuller sound than most. Flea is once more on top form, he seems to be getting better all the time, and is probably the top creative bassist in the world. Chad Smith's relentless work on the drum's keep's this album going, as it is his energy with the sticks that keeps you from dozing off, as you do with double albums from time to time. Overall, the sound is great, but with 28 songs, it can get repetitive.
Lyrics — 8
Anthony's songwriting and singing has obviously improved since the early days of general rapping, although this album lacks some of the clever melody's of other albums. A couple of songs sound like he wrote them one after another, with the same idea in mind. However, he still grasps his tounge around each word with everything he's got, and his storytelling skills have certainly not gone. John's backing vocals really add to the songs, the perfect companion to Kiedis's voice. Personally I like the lyrics more on this album than By the Way, more or less all the songs try and send out some sort of message, rather than the ramblings of songs like "Can't Stop".
Overall Impression — 8
Once more the Chili's have managed to hit a note that no other band can- it's still a unique sound, and I'm glad they haven't tried to change ways. Stadium Arcadium is a far better album than By The Way, but I wouldn't say it excels Blood Sugar Sex Magic. It lies alongside Californication for me, which is no shame. Twenty-eight songs is alot, and It's the length which probably takes off a point from the score. It can get boring in places, where your mind begins to wonder, but then the next song will knock you off your feet. those that do include the aforementioned Readymade, new single Dani California, summer anthem Snow (Hey Oh), Tell Me Baby, 21st Century and Storm in a Teacup, which almost goes back to the Mother's Milk chili's. RHCP are my all time favourite band, I can't wait July when I see them at Reading, and the fact they have the nerve to put out a double album, and name each disc "Mars" and "Jupiter" shows they still are in control of their music. To sum up, this gets an 8 in all. But if they had taken 13 or 14 of the best tracks and dropped some filler, then it would be 10 and the Album would have gone down as legendary. The fact is, the Red Hot Chili Peppers are ambitious, and this album is everything the Chili's are about. As Flea says, "If you don't like this album, you don't like the Red Hot Chili Peppers."