Stadium Arcadium review by Red Hot Chili Peppers

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: May 9, 2006
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 5
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.3 (2,359 votes)
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Stadium Arcadium

Sound — 10
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are undoubtedly the biggest band in the world right now. Having already released two greatest-hits albums containing countless hits, I wasn't sure they'd be able to create a gem like this. Their new album is entitled "Stadium Arcadium," and it's utterly brilliant. The sound of the album is great. John Frusciante's guitar playing is heavenly; Frusciante is easily the Clapton of the 21st century. His solos in "readymade," "Dani California," and "21st Century" are simply dazzling and incredible. Chad Smith's drumming only continues to improve. Smith's percussion is amazing on this album, especially in songs like "Hump de Bump" and "Warlocks." And then there was Flea. Don't even get me started on Flea. This man is AMAZING. Hell, amazing is a major understatement. Flea's bass playing is, has been, and always will be the most recognized and popular foundation to the Chili Peppers music since day one. Flea's virtuous bass playing shows a few different styles in this album. Slower songs like "She's Only 18" and "Charlie" show that he can play a mean bass riff without having to go crazy. However, there are several other songs on the album where Flea really gets to let loose and let his bass to the talking. Songs such as "Warlocks," "Tell Me Baby," and the incredible bassline in "Hump de Bump" remind people just how incredible Flea really is. I honestly think that Flea could possibly be the best bass player in the world right now.

Lyrics — 5
Honestly, I find some lyrics good, and some stupid. Lyrics in songs such as "Dani California" and "Stadium Arcadium" are well-written, though it does kind of seem like they struggled to write them. Other songs like "Desecration Smile" and "Tell Me Baby," however, show that their lyrics can be good and make sense. Several other songs, though, have lyrics that should altogether be changed. Songs like "Hump De Bump" and definitely "Especially in Michigan" contain nonsensical lyrics (ex. "Double chins and bowling pins and holy Presbyterians... especially in Michigan). If the lyrics were changed in some of these songs, especially "Hump de Bump" (which, with a little lyrical improvement, could easily be the album's best song), the album would be even better than it already is.

Overall Impression — 10
This album is the "Revolver" of the 21st century. It's completely unique, and this aformentioned uniquity to the Chili Peppers' music has failed to become mainstream until the release of "Stadium Arcadium." The band's musical ability was simply sensational in this album, and the Peppers went all out for this one. Not only was Frusciante's guitar incredible in songs like "Snow (Hey Oh)," but he also played blistering solos in "Dani California" and "Readymade" to name a couple. The rhythm section of the Chili Peppers is the reason I keep coming back, however. THe combination of Chad Smith's incredible drumming and Flea's godlike bass playing is what holds the music together every single track. Chad's drumming in "Stadium Arcadium" and "Hump de Bump" are highlights. Flea's bass playing... wow. His basslines in "Tell Me Baby," "She's Only 18," and "Warlocks" are memorable gemstones of the album. However, I must say Flea's most magnificent work to date is "Hump de Bump." Yes, I said it... best work to date. This song was by far the highlight of the album for me. "Hump de Bump" has an easy yet catchy guitar riff, sweet drum beat, and Flea's bass thumbing during the verse is simple but excellent. Once the chorus comes through, Flea goes wild with an absolutely orgasmic bass line that shows what the Chili Peppers are truly about and makes the song the highlight of the disc for many people, not just myself. All in all, the highlights of the album are "Stadium Arcadium," "Tell Me Baby," "She's Only 18," "Readymade," and, of course, the funk smash "Hump de Bump."

11 comments sorted by best / new / date

    ok, ya, at first you listen to the lyrics on the album, and say they dont make any sense, well, the peppers didnt write the songs for the purpose of u too just understand them, thats the way they have always been, keidis is just writing songs, and i think he did a damn fine job, i give this album a 10/10, and whats with everyone puttin down by the way, it was a damn great album, one of their best imo, it was just different. leave it alone
    mikeymandinga : For me, lyrics matter more than anything else. What a band has to say is indicative of their spiritual growth and worthwhile passion. The Peppers have offered some prolific, inspiring, and thought-provoking lyrics in the past. On this album, the muse has switched from some sort of interstellar cosmic traveller to an 18 year-old girl. I was hoping for better, much better in fact. The sound is still great, but in terms of lyrics, it seems the band is retrogressing. Lyrics in 21st Century are impressive, but that is the exception to the rule. Most bands progress in terms of their sound and lyrics. Pearl Jam is a good example of this, and Green Day as well. Stadium Arcadium is a let down for me, and I wonder where the Peppers went that used to show brilliant videos at their concerts and say something meaningful.
    um...personally, i think 90% of 21st century music lyrics SUCK. i really think, if you ppl werent so quick to judge, and maybe LISTEN to the song instead of saying its pointless rambling. maybe you would understand that green day and PEARL anyway. they arent even worthy of being mentioned on the same field as rhcp. greenday is totally mainstream crap lyrics that have no meaning, they just wrote to make money, and pearl jam...i just cant stand pearl jam, i wish eddie vedder would die, sorry for the 2 in a row, just speakin my mind.
    I believe Kiedis' lyrics have always been powerful, and if you don't think that, you obviously don't understand what he's saying, havn't payed attention, or just...have something against Kiedis. That's my opinion. Also, if you have ever listened to John Frusciante's solo work, his lyrics are also very powerful. I think STADIUM ARCADIUM is a great album, and obviously I won't say something like "It has funk and slow songs in it", because too many people have already said that, we get it. But every song in the album tells a story. Every musician in Red Hot Chili Peppers does their best in this album. I was 0% dissapointed. Great album.
    scottishbass123 wrote: Flea rocks and if any1 dissagrees then just try to proove it!!!!!
    No one can prove it, because Flea ****ing rocks.
    Some people say that Kiedis' lyrics have meaning. Maybe to him, but to me they sound like gibberish. I have nothing against Kiedis' and I do like the way he sings them. It's catchy. But I just don't understand them.
    NiK-117 wrote: does any1 else hear purple haze in the dani california solo? im not dissin, jus sayin. all time fav: under the bridge, it shows what John was supposed to play guitar 4, so other people would enjoy playin his stuff. GOD its fun playin thats song. ok im done now, carry on.
    Yes, there is some Purple Haze in that solo. I read an interview where John said he wanted to pay tribute to Hendrix.
    Kinda dissapointing album. If you're expecting really catchy songs, like from Californication, you won't really find them. As for the guitar work, it's definitely great. A lot of the songs are loaded with solos, and showcase frusciante's guitar playing abilities. That's my little mini-review.
    Skater Punk Guy
    i think this albums cool, i saw them at derby a couple of weeks ago but the setlist pissed me off a bit, they didnt even play the zephyr song and they didnt play too much of this album either, i wanted them to play wet sand which i think is the best on the album or make you feel better, pissed me right off!
    Great album in my mind. There were some doubts on the first few times through both discs, but all the songs really grow on you, especially "Tell Me Baby" and "Warlocks". And once again Flea combines a bit of flash but holds it down perfectly Awesome Album