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Author Topic: Kyle's Review of the Red Hot Chili Peppers - 'The Getaway' (2016)  (Read 1125 times)


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I feel I must write a review for this, having read a few unfair reviews from people still expecting them to be 'angry and funky' and dazzling with chops and flashy musicianship. This is not that kind of an album. Rather, it is a measured, mature approach with classic songwriting. Did they achieve this? I'd say, for the most part, yes.

Here is where I am with the Chili Peppers - yep I was an impressionable teen when 'Blood Sugar Sex Magik' came out. It still remains their best album. Before that, I was a huge fan of the stuff off 'Mother's Milk’, with 'Knock Me Down' and 'Higher Ground' etc. Being an admirer of John Frusciante, I was a bit bummed when he left first time ‘round and was replaced by Dave Navarro. But I was definitely back onboard for 'Californication', and also quite liked 'By The Way' for its melodic psychedelic 60s feel (this was around the time when their so-called 'fans' from the Blood Sugar period really started hating them).

‘Stadium Arcadium’, though overlong, is for the most part quite good and features some of their best work ('Desecration Smile' and 'Slow Cheetah' for example) but then John left once again and 'I'm With You' failed to impress. However, all the outtakes and B-Sides that were left off that album, 'I'm Beside You', is BRILLIANT and I totally recommend listening to it on YouTube. To quote Michael Caine, "not many people know about that album", but it shows that they left off some of their best work and Josh had come a long way towards growing comfortable within the band.

So now we come to 'The Getaway’. Here's my track-by-track summation, with a rating out of 10:

1 - The Getaway - a smooth opener; nice melodic hooks, cruisy bassline and Josh delivers a very JF-like minimalistic guitar line. The Danger Mouse element is present right from the outset, getting Chad to lay down very quantized, machinelike drum patterns. 8/10
2 - Dark Necessities - beautiful sumptuous piano opening, launching into an album highlight inspired by 70s soul records. Great bass line as usual from Flea on this. Will go down as one of their best singles. Sparse yet ambitious and expansive. 10/10    
3 - We Turn Red - one of the weaker songs that doesn't quite work. The verse aims to be funky and in the pocket, but it drags somewhat - it for sure is no 'Give It Away'! But the chorus is beautiful and breathtaking with the pedal steel behind it - as if it were meant for another song - the two elements unfortunately do not mesh and could've been worked out a lot better. 6/10    
4 - The Longest Wave - one of the surprises on this album - the Chili Peppers always have been capable of writing songs with achingly timeless melody ('Breaking The Girl', 'Under The Bridge', 'My Friends' for example) but this one could've easily been on ‘Abbey Road’, ‘All Things Must Pass’ or a Badfinger album - superb songwriting. And Josh does some tasty guitar lines on it, Flea brilliantly knows not to overplay it and adopts more of a Paul McCartney style on bass - easily a 10/10.   
5 - Goodbye Angels - another of the great surprises on this album - brilliant melody, builds up beautifully towards the second verse when the entire band comes in full tilt. Excellent work again by Josh, and Flea's bass pops perfectly. One of the best songs on the album. A classic. 10/10       
6 - Sick Love - this song had me flummoxed the first time I heard it. "Hang on, this is BENNY AND THE JETS!!!!" The melody is a complete ripoff of Benny & The Jets!!! But then I checked the writing credit and Elton John got the credit, and also played piano on the song! So yeah, it gets a pass mark from me and it does have its moments that elevate the 'borrowed' elements somewhat. 7/10    
7 - Go Robot - one of the few upbeat 4-to-the-floor tunes on the album. Very new wave-sounding. Nice tasty slap playing by Flea. Another excellent melody. I can never understand why people make the criticism that Anthony Keidis can't sing. He has a knack for not only handling melody but phrasing and delivering it in a potent way. Nice production again from Danger Mouse. 9/10   
8 - Feasting on the Flowers - one of the late-album surprises. Keidis chimes in with another well-crafted melody - out-Beatling all contemporaries with this highly Beatlesque tune. 10/10
9 - Detroit - one of the few harder-rocking songs and the chorus is quite cool - I guess it probably works well live. 7/10       
10 - This Ticonderoga - reminds me kinda of something from the first Foo Fighters album with that firestorm of a guitar whipped up behind it. One of the weaker songs on the album however, and the downtempo changes don't make a lot of sense. Perhaps this is the Chili Peppers attempting mid-70s progressive rock? 6/10         
11 - Encore - one of the blander, quieter songs on the album. It's nice and melodic, but not my bag. 5/10        
12 - The Hunter - this song strangely sounds like it could've been off one of John Frusciante's solo albums! Spacey and atmospheric, lovely melody. Just lacks the je ne sais quoi of a classic. 7/10
13 - Dreams of a Samurai - the most ambitious track on this album. The only thing it lacks is the killer melody to make it a classic. But a good effort - progressive and spacey. 7/10

So yeah, overall, most of the album impressed me very much. I've given it a few months for the songs to sink in before giving my review - been listening to it as I come home from work in the car, on the Bose surround. My overall final mark for the album - 102/130 = 8/10.

Just as an aside, here are my favourite RHCP albums, ranked. As you can see, I put 'The Getaway' right up there.
1 - Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991)
2 - The Getaway (2016)
3 - Californication (1999)
4 - Stadium Arcadium (2006)
5 - By The Way (2002)
6 - I'm Beside You (2013)
7 - One Hot Minute (1995)
8 - Mother's Milk (1989)
9 - The Uplift Mofo Party Plan (1987)
10 - I'm With You (2011)
11 - Freaky Styley (1985)
12 - The Red Hot Chili Peppers (1984)

But yeah, 'The Getaway' is definitely a must-listen as far as new 2016 albums go. Here is 'The Longest Wave' - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLX9M0_YvoI

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Re: Kyle's Review of the Red Hot Chili Peppers - 'The Getaway' (2016)
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2016, 05:00:35 pm »

Hey Kyle, did you see the Pepper's Carpool Karaoke?  ;D



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Re: Kyle's Review of the Red Hot Chili Peppers - 'The Getaway' (2016)
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2016, 05:14:33 am »

I did! Yeah that was so well done! I was surprised James Corden knew the words to so many of those songs - he must be a bit of a closet fan! He even got his shirt off when the rest of 'em did!

I liked James Corden when he played the part of Paul Potts (Britain's Got Talent opera-singing underdog winner) in a film called 'One Chance'. Thoroughly recommend that film if you get the chance to see it. Very heart-warming and it's a true story.

Totally recommend hearing all these new RHCP songs also on YouTube if you come across them. Some of them sound Beatle-inspired - even down to Flea's bass lines. Still can't get 'The Longest Wave' out of my head - was humming it at work today!