Stadium Arcadium review by Red Hot Chili Peppers

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  • Released: May 9, 2006
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 6
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 6.3 (2,359 votes)
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Stadium Arcadium
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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.

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Plumb
    it's a ****ing amazing album. i can't say how people say this is a john album, flea has some bloody amazing bass lines aswell as trumpet parts. amazing album. i urge everyone reading this to go out and buy the album.
    shotgunjoe
    chilibassist wrote: shotgunjoe, you are a dike for downloading the album.
    So what? I downloaded the album. I couldnt wait that long for it to come out (OK it was like 2 days, sue me...). I personally wouldn't mind if my music was being downloaded for free. I'd just want people to hear my music.
    Yassine
    shotgunjoe wrote: chilibassist wrote: shotgunjoe, you are a dike for downloading the album. So what? I downloaded the album. I couldnt wait that long for it to come out (OK it was like 2 days, sue me...). I personally wouldn't mind if my music was being downloaded for free. I'd just want people to hear my music.
    i download music for free but i buy the really good albums... like SA
    borrisuk
    Yeah there are quite a few very similar songs. They have tried to do variations of there big hits like Rollercoaster and it just isnt happening. They should do some more funkier shit! But yeah still a pretty dam good album 7/10
    fabgirl99
    i listened to it, and normally if i have a new album i just listen to it through and through a couple of times (i know it's 28 songs) and after that i've worked out the songs that i really like and so the album will grow on me, i love hard to concentrate, it's just catchy.
    EmersedSnow
    This album is lacking something..its just completley missing that certain edge. By a brief look at the reviews and comments posted here most people have only ever listened to BSSM, Californication, BTW and at a push Mothers Milk. So pretty much most of you have never heard the older stuff (i could be wrong) compared to thier older stuff like Up lift mofo party plan and Freaky Styley this album is terrible. A majority of people have only compared this to Californication/BTW (imo the point that they sold out to please the mainstream)so in honesty terrible comparisions. I have listened to all the albums and have made my comparision compared to what they hav previously done and after listening to the first disc it is somewhat of a dissapointment...it will no doubt please the "new" chili fans (fans of BTW and californication) but to me it is lacking the edge they had back in the day..no doubt it will grow on me but at the moment i am quite dissapointed. But this is just my opionion no doubt i will get flamed by so called "real" chili fans but the internet was designed to express opionions.
    Freekshow
    The Album cover art is really ugly. They could have done a better job. Still love the songs though.
    chilibassist
    ok fellas, if you are gonna download the album early, as least give the chilis some credit and buy it. i still dont approve of downloading though, why dont you just listen to your local radio station? im in minnesota and they play 3-4 songs off the album everyday. just give rhcp what they deserve. thank you
    N8theGr8
    Okay you have to listen to the damn album at least several times over and you have to listen to all of it in one sitting to get the whole expirence. You can listen to it a few times and write a review just to write one. Once you have a GOOD listen to the album then tell me what you think cuz your comments mean jack shit if you havent listen to the album several times. You really dont get the chance to "hear" the songs and apreciate what they have done.
    Mister.Y
    Shuvlarse wrote: shite shite
    your posts are... Rhcp rocks I've bought the album, and i think its great.
    m_daly_123
    Bought this album May 8th and have had plenty of time to critque it. In my opinion, this is the best Chili Pepper album. Ever. Period. Everyone comparing it to Californication and BSSM is not only a moron, but very indignant. The Chilis wanted to revisit their older, funk sound on this album (listen to Freaky Styley, RHCP, or Uplift Mofo Party Plan) while continuing to develop their melodic By The Way/Californication sound. This CD is a perfect blend of both sounds and truly captures the spirit of what the Chilis are all about. Don't get me wrong, BSSM is a great album, but for Stadium Arcadium they didn't want to make another BSSM. They wanted something new. The great thing about the Chilis is they always push themselves to explore new areas musically. They are not the type of band that finds a sound that sells and sticks with it to sell records. They try new aspects. I think Stadium Arcadium captures that musical development and is an amazing album in its own right. It is the Chili Peppers' epic, and should not be compared to anything else they've done before, or anything else they will do for that matter.