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.