Sound — 9
This is the Red Hot Chili Peppers third album, following the funky George Clinton produced "Freaky Styley". After Freaky Styley, drummer Cliff Martinez was kicked from the band, and original drummer Jack Irons returned to the band. Now the band was back to its original line up with Anthony singing, Flea on bass, Hillel on guitar and Jack on drums. The Uplift Mofo Party Plan saw them move in a slightly more punk and rock direction, but still not losing the funky edge that made them different from other bands at this time. This album was produced by Michael Beinhorn. The album opener "Fight Like a Brave" is a brisk, moving rock anthem, with its slap bass breakdown and fiery guitar solo. On this album Hillel started to experiment with lead breaks a bit more than on Freaky Styley, and for those of you who believe that the guitar solo is an essential part of a song, this album will be to your liking. Standout songs are "Backwoods", "Me & my friends", "Love Trilogy", "Organic Anti Beat Box Band", and a personal favourite for me would be Anthony's ode to Hillel "Skinny Sweaty Man". Hillel's tone on this album stands out aswell. He is often using a valve type distortion that has just the right amount of gain to make all notes hearable, while still retaining its hard edge. Flea's bass playing is as always immaculate, and his slap pop playing is solid as usual. While Jack Irons did not have the ability to play the experimental avant-garde beats that Cliff played on Freaky Styley, he is more than a competent drummer, holding the band together as solid as a metronome. While Freaky Styley was a promising album, The Uplift Mofo Party Plan shows a band that are comfortable with each other and able to create muscular, driving songs.
Lyrics — 8
Anthony has again progressed with his lyrics on this album. On Fight Like a Brave he explores the idea not to be controlled by those in power. In Backwoods he explores the roots of rock and roll. He wrote No Chump Love Sucker for Hillel, as Hillel's girlfriend had left him for a guy with lots of money, and this song is a warning about the possessive, materialistic type of woman. Some have criticised the lyrics on "Love Trilogy", but personally I think they are great, mixing thoughts and feelings in a stream of wordology. Flea has said of it that if you want to listen to what lyrics should be; listen to "Love Trilogy", as it proves that something does not necessarily have to be perfect in order to be beautiful. Kiedis' voice hasn't really improved since the last album, as he was still a heavy user of drugs at this point.
Overall Impression — 9
I really like this album, and I think it should a promising streak of things to come. This was because the original line up who were comfortable with each other, so there was little tension in the studio or when writing songs. If it were stolen or lost I would definitely buy it again. We get a peek at what would have been if Hillel Slovak was still around today, as I think his guitar playing was about to make the leap from good to extraordinary. Sadly, he died shortly after the tour for this album, from a heroin overdose. It was a sad shame, as many people in the industry (Perry Farrell) respected him both as a guitar player and as a person. My dad was lucky enough to meet him (he works for EMI) and said he was full of life and charisma, and was a beautiful person. It was a sad loss to music.