Stadium Arcadium review by Red Hot Chili Peppers

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  • Released: May 9, 2006
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.3 (2,359 votes)
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Stadium Arcadium
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Sound — 10
For starters, this is not the chili peppers many older fans loved. Their energy is as powerful as ever, but their mature attitudes towards their music definitely comes out in this album. That being said, I think it is the most sonically beautiful album they have ever recorded. John, Flea, and Chad keep their consistent "tight" rhythm and strong attack as good as ever. Flea's funky bass lines seem to be reduced, but occur more than By The Way, with songs like Warlocks, Readymade, 21st Century, Tell Me Baby. Chad is smacking the drums as hard and tight as ever, complete with subtle tempo changes within songs (for example, the chorus in Dani California is slightly slower than the verse; most listeners would never notice, however). John Frusciante is beginning to prove his musical genius, both by retaining his classic minimalism style and releasing wild Hendrixian solos, particularly Dani California. Although it's purely opinion, I believe he is the next to push the limits that Hendrix was pushing, particularly by using the studio as one giant effect. He has stated that he wants his music to make people feel like they're flying. This album did even more than that, and listening to any of the songs in any order achieves feelings only music could cause and inspire. The guitars sound otherworldly, the bass bursts through as strong, if not stronger than ever, and the drums have never been so insane - just listen to hump de bump. Ah, and Anthony Keidis. Before now, I thought he was a shitty singer. Filled with emotions and charisma, but simply didn't have the voice. Clearly lessons or practice or whatever else Rick Rubin did to him really made him into a singer. Though there are still the smaller raps inside the songs, Anthony has become a good singer, one of my favorites even. Being a double album, many of the songs were over looked by the public. While this album is not for everyone, it will definitely entertain and influence all musicians and any aspiring guitarists. Any real RHCP fan, those who could listen to Freaky Styley and By The Way back to back, will see the real genius in this work. All the band members were united and mature, coming up with their most musically advanced album yet. I don't think anybody in the world could put RHCP into a genre.

Lyrics — 9
The lyrics are exceptionally random; however, when have AK's lyrics ever been understandable on a first take? and that just adds to the elusiveness of his emotions. Of course he has a specific story behind each song, verse, and line, but he's always left it open, so that each listener can connect and decipher its meaning for themselves. The melodies in RHCP are just as good as always, comparable with BTW except that there are simply fewer of John's falsetto vocals; he replaces them with guitars, which sounds amazing. As I already said, AK has developed a true talent as a singer and captivates listeners.

Overall Impression — 10
RHCP has always been in a league of their own. I'm not saying they're better than everyone, but they simply aren't like anyone else. They started by combining punk with funk. Who else has done that? Just be sure you listen to the entire album, especially not-singles. Songs like Stadium Arcadium and Animal Bar sound far away in space. Turn It Again is simply Frusciante at his best. Go ahead, try not to be impressed by his 3 minute solo. The song Wet Sand has been so over looked, but is simply brilliant. same with So Much I. Anyone who says they sold out has looked past their messages; BTW was way more of a sell out, if any, and this album blows the last away. Oh and by the way, the b-sides are amazing. If you're on itunes, you have to check out "Funny Face" and "I'll Be Your Domino" (a true funk classic) from Snow (Hey Oh) EP and Mercy Mercy from tell me baby, and all 3 from dani california are amazing. Anyone looking for frusciante genius, listen to lyons 6.06.06.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Quicksand15
    unfortunately, this is far too commercial and just mainstream music without any of the old elements i loved them for...don't get me wrong, every band should change its sound over the years, but they just went so far away from their roots... for example go listen to freaky styley and of course the amazing project by john, ataxia
    Quicksand15
    ginger-bassist wrote: But its songs like death of a martian, slow cheetah, etc. their just not good at all.
    i think death of a martian is the best song on the whole record.
    cuige
    Quicksand15 wrote: i think death of a martian is the best song on the whole record.
    Agreed!
    crohno
    just want to say two thing after reading some reviews: 1 it's true that some lyrics are quite random(and funny for the sake of it) but the majority of them are quite deep songs, the fact that you don't understand them doesn't mean that they are shallow nonsense 2 For all of you who said that flea didn't do an outstanding job inthis album go and wash your ears, ok, maybe he didn't do al these superfast slapping, but he develop awesome melodies, progression etc. so in fact he show that he's even better than all of us thought
    eoiniscool
    all these reviews surprise me with their positivity, cus i really thought this album was subpar.
    oliver105
    I love this album. It's the greatest rock album of 2006, and they're probably the best musicians of their time, at least that's my opinion. The album is perfect, soothing, rocking, with an incredible sound from a great drummer, one of the world's best bassists of all time, and my favorite guitarist. The only downside worth mentioning, is the couple of boring songs, but still, there's 28 of them, can't Love them all. The ratings from 8-10 are true, though I'm shocked over the couple of 4's up there, clearly they're not into this kind of music. o: As for AK's lyrics, I personally think they don't have to make much sense. They've never had brilliant lyrics anyway, they sing about love, sex and rock'n'roll, and use a lot of metaphores, so... It's still awesome, even if he sings about a sheep. (animal bar sucks, btw >.
    The_Fuzz22
    oliver105 wrote: The only downside worth mentioning, is the couple of boring songs, but still, there's 28 of them, can't Love them all. The ratings from 8-10 are true, though I'm shocked over the couple of 4's up there, clearly they're not into this kind of music. o: As for AK's lyrics, I personally think they don't have to make much sense. They've never had brilliant lyrics anyway, they sing about love, sex and rock'n'roll, and use a lot of metaphores, so... It's still awesome, even if he sings about a sheep. (animal bar sucks, btw >.
    There's 28 of them and it's too little good material stretched too thinly over too many songs. I love the Chilis, I own their entire discography on CD and some on vinyl. I rated this album a 4 and I'm not sure what you mean by "this kind of music"... Presumably "crap". And I'm sorry. They really HAVE had brilliant lyrics. Just not anymore.
    G&L18
    i so agree with that, they have no more heavier stuff! john frusciante needs more distortion and chad needs to hit that snare drum heaps hard again! now theyve gone all funk-pop. bloodsugarsexmagik and some of mothers milk were their best albums!
    Actually AK didn't touch drugs during those albums (according to him) cause Slovak had just died from them. I don't think he relapsed until one hot minute. As for this album, it should have been shorter IMO. Its cool that they tried to return to their funk roots with some songs, but their raw energy from the 80s is nowhere to be seen