Sound — 9
The sound here is pretty good. That's it, pretty good? Yeah, that's it. Pretty good. It isn't amazingly great like BSSM or Californication, and it isn't just good like Mother's Milk. It's pretty good. Its the poppy side of By the way mixed with the heart of BSSM, only it doesn't always mix well. Disc 2 is much better than disc 1 without any shadow of a doubt, but the songs are pretty strong overall. There are as many as 5 or 6 songs that are merely filler to me, but I guess it's opinion. The title track in particular is just... bad. If you like new peppers, will you like their new sound? yes. If you like old peppers, will you like their new sound? Probably yes. For that, its still pretty good. It's just not the be-all end-all Peppers they made it out to be. Its funky pop, not poppy funk. John's quote unquote new guitar godliness, is the exact same Frusciante he always was. The difference is he now adds a metal guitar harmony at the chorus before every solo. There is no new trick. There is nothing really suprising. It's the peppers you knew, on a double album, with the sound you expected. Good? you damn right. Timeless? I don't know.
Lyrics — 6
Simply put, some of AK's worst lyrics ever. Some of the best melodies, easily the best harmonies (beats out By the way by a landslide), and other than vocals, musically one of the best peppers pieces out there. And Anthony Kiedis' voice has improved greatly, even since By the way, and you can hear it. But lyrically, its a piece of crap. For funky lyrics on Californication, AK wrote Purple stain, some weird, clever, funky stuff. For funky lyrics on this, AK wrote "Hump de bump". Want to hear an excerpt? "Hump... de bump. Hump... de bump." Not satisfying? How about "Move around like a scientist?" The lyrics are the worst part of this album. Few try to be meaningful; the ones that do aren't that touching and the ones that don't aren't funky enough to keep me interested in the vocals all the way. There are a few gems lyrically, but they're just that: few and far between.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, I still give it a 9 out of 10. They have a hard name to live up to and its still a pretty good album. It's about what I expected, just not as amazing as Flea sold it and Froo hasn't changed as much as I was told, and Chad seems to be taking a backseat (although on the solo to Hump de bump, wow man. Cowbell godliness.) Infact, this is basically a John Frusciante solo record with the best backup band ever. There are a few exceptions that sound like real Chili Peppers songs, most of which are one disc 2, but disc 1 is a John Frusciante recorded with AK on vocals, Flea on bass, and Chad on drums. John's new style is his old style. Flea has yet to take back his position as the main man for music in the band. Chad is still Chad. AK has new vocal abilities, but loses his old lyrical ones. Overall, a worthwhile purchase for any chili peppers fan. A timeless classic, signs point to no.