Red Hot Chili Peppers return for new era

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TAYLOR WOLFF
staff writer
Since their formation in 1983, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have had quite the career.
For over 30 years, the Chili Peppers have blessed us with many hits including “Dani California,” “Under the Bridge,” “Can’t Stop” and many more.
LA’s golden boys could have easily lived off the royalties and toured playing fan favorites, but that isn’t the case.
Peaking around the ‘90s and early 2000s, one had to wonder how the Chili Peppers could stay relevant in today’s music scene.
In mid-June of this year, an answer to this question arrived in the form of a new album, “The Getaway.”
The Chili Peppers teased fans before the initial release with “Dark Necessities.”
This bass-heavy track was an excellent transition into the new album.
The extensive use of funky bass lines was reminiscent of the beginnings of the band. It was almost as if this single was tying the past with the present.
The trifecta of Anthony Kiedis’ vocals, Flea’s bass and Chad Smith’s steady rhythm on the drums made this song a winner.
About a month later, the full album was released.
Although “Dark Necessities” hinted at a familiar, but somewhat new, sound for the Chili Peppers, listening to the album completely was a shock.
While all of the songs were good, it wasn’t anything like what the band produced in the past.
Yes, bands do grow with time, but it was somewhat weird at first.
After working with Rick Rubin from 1991 to 2011, the Chili Peppers worked with a different producer, Danger Mouse.
Clearly the first album without Rubin would sound different, but there’s more to the style change.
The band’s style just hasn’t been the same since former guitarist John Frusciante left the group in July of 2009.
Frusciante’s departure has left a massive hole in the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
While Josh Klinghoffer is doing a decent job as the new guitarist/backup singer, he just can’t fill the void.
It was obvious with the first album without Frusciante, “I’m With You,” that with a new chemistry to the band’s core, the style would never be the same.
Once the initial shock of the style change passed, it was evident that this album was a solid reinvention of the Chili Peppers.
Hands down, this album is phenomenal. While all 13 tracks are unique and excellent in their own right, certain songs stood out.
The title track, “The Getaway,” immediately grabs your attention with an almost cicada-like rhythm on the hi-hat, which slowly builds as each member of the band makes his own individual entrance.
This track also has the funky, yet modern style, that was observed in “Dark Necessities.”
Within four minutes, “The Getaway” seems to paint the picture of two people dating who are vastly different ages, potentially Kiedis and an ex.
The light delivery of lyrics delicately hides the fact that the track hints at an accidental pregnancy and abortion.
The artistry of the lyrics and storytelling sets one up for the remainder of the album.
“Go Robot” once again demonstrates the new “modern funk” style. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say that this track is one of the top funk tracks on the entire album.
Flea’s bass is highlighted heavily in this song, along with Kiedis’ staccato delivery of the lyrics, making this a top track.
“Sick Love” is a calming track that stands out not only for its catchy chorus, but also because Elton John helped write and record it.
The few bursts of piano were recorded by Elton John himself.
If the tone of the entire album didn’t make you realize the band has grown and changed with time, this collaboration should.
The Chili Peppers are currently touring to promote this album, providing a digital or physical copy of “The Getaway” with each ticket purchased.
With shows in Buffalo in February and Pittsburgh in May, seeing this artfully funky album in person is very feasible.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers have without a doubt changed quite a bit from their raunchy, drug-induced, sex-driven beginnings.
“The Getaway” has ties in both the modern music scene while keeping true to the underlying funky style the Chili Peppers have been known for.
It’s impossible to find a bad track on this album, proving that even after all this time, the Red Hot Chili Peppers are still relevant.

By TAYLOR WOLFF
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