Sound — 10
As Flea has said, if you don't like this album, you don't like the Red Hot Chili Peppers. That being said, their strength, and the reason for their longevity in my opinion, is their unique, catchy, powerful sound. This album is the essence of the Chili Peppers and showcases the ever evolving genius of John Frusciante. While Flea's unparalleled bass work is the backbone of the band, Frusciante's artful funk/rock licks paint the canvas that Flea provides. Some of the funk tracks, such as "Tell Me Baby" and "Hump De Bump" are just sick. The results leave the listener feeling like they have just witnessed something truly unique, never to be copied.
Lyrics — 7
I have always been torn about Anthony Kiedis. His lyrical work is often unimagninative nonsense, as it has been on other RHCP albums. It seems he often gets stuck and just puts some filler on paper. Sometimes, it really brings a song down, such as "Hump De Bump" which could have been so much more. That being said, his singing has really improved over the years. Plus, I love the harmonizing that really started to take shape when John rejoined the band. Overall, I think Anthony's voice is perfect for the band, but too often he lacks the ability to put meaning into the words.
Overall Impression — 9
Simply put, the Chili Peppers continue to evolve their sound and each time I listen I come away in awe at what I just heard. It is clear that Flea, John, and Chad Smith (he is highly underrated in my opinion) are a magical combination. It is rare to hear a band where it is so obvious its members are meant to play with each other. That is the essence of Stadium Arcadium.