Saturday, 25 June 2016
REVIEW: RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS-THE GETAWAY
By the way, the Red Hot Chili Peppers will never make another 'Californication'. But back then in the classic Los Angeles Times of 1999 the band would never make another album like 'Mothers Milk'. So it's about time to 'Getaway'. Time to get to somewhere fresh and new. Over the decades worth of 11 albums the Chili Peppers have been keeping it Red Hot, but rarely has their funky flavour been the same. From their late eighties pysho punk days it was Showtime as these snot nosed kids named tracks after their favourite Los Angeles Lakers basketball players ('Magic Johnson') and perfomed salutes to Kareem. But after all the blood, tube sock sweat and tears, the musical marriage of R.H.C.P. and legendary guitarist John Frusciante produced some real 'Blood, Sugar, Sex and Magic'. Dear John abruptly left mid-golden era only to be replaced by Janes Addicton guitarist Dave Navarro leaving on an Aeroplane and joining for 'One Hot Minute'. By the time Frusciante rejoined the fold before the new millenia, drug addiction had wreaked hell on his arms forcing him to play slower in the beautiful guitar work vain of 'Scar Tissue', 'Otherside' and 'Californication' that brought us that California classic and the formidable follow-up 'By The Way'. Before the Chili's began to play an arcadium of stadiums, capacity confirming themselves as the greatest band in the world, bar the Biggie to their Tupac, Foo Fighters. What more could they do? It seemed like nothing as Frusciante left for a frustratingly final(?) time to mine more of his stirring solo work (you want an album recommendation for your Spotify playlist? Every damn one of them). Only to be replaced by his former sessions guitarist Josh Klinghoffer who after his debut album with the Red Peppers is still here...just like the band after all these years. Reminding and telling their fans, 'I'm With You'.
And so are we on this new album 'The Getaway' that really is a trip. Even if it is more of a sidewalk step than a place where the oceans run red and the sky is Hollywood swimming pool blue. But just look at whose joining you on this walk via the album artwork. Foxes, racoons and bears oh my! Yet the real animal here is a Danger Mouse as the Gnarls Barkley collaborator who turned Jay-Z's 'Black Album' and 'The White Album' by The Beatles grey replaces Red Hot royalty Rick Rubin, who has rocked and mastered all the Peppers masterpieces on production detail . You can't really replace a legend like Rubin. Just ask the Beastie Boys. From Jay-Z's '99 Problems' to the late, great Johnny Cash's countless American Recordings it's black and white...this guys the best. But still when it comes to the modern day, there is nobody as innovative as this new danger. And with the mouse in the house the Chili Peppers come up with a fresh and cool sound that's easy like summer afternoons. This is your album for the season. Whether the top is down on your convertible or your staring up at the sky somewhere in a park, riding shotgun to your nearest and dearest. Sure it's not a record of epic proportions but it just feels right. From the outstanding opening title track where Kiedis raps, "Complete repeat/Sitting in your car and on your street/Lost in California/Let’s steal this wheel/Take a spin to find out how we feel/Just around the corner/Slow down for sound/Turn it up and no we can’t be found". To their catchiest best single in years 'Dark Necessites' with its instant vintage video directed by 'Tron: Legacy' and 'Cowboys and Aliens' movie star Olivia Wilde, who gives this treatment testament to late nights in L.A neon shades of both the timeless art of 'Can't Stop' and her own independent pictures riding the downtown streets to the storm drains.
Open the doors on the rest of the album and you'll see how much the best frontman and band out of Los Angeles since Jim Morrison's men have grown. 'We Turn Red' is old school, hallmark Hot Chili Peppers with a modern mouse snapping twist on this anthem. Whilst our generations greats and rock God's reach beautiful new depths in their California soul on tracks like 'The Longest Wave' and 'Goodbye Angels'. The latters Sayanora to the city of fallen angels praises the palm tress in harmony with the skyscrapers singing, "Babe I know love is a funny thing/Born to die in the eternal spring" amongst a track full of lavishing and lashing lyrics. What more would you expect from a 'Dani California', Hollywood tragedy that starts with the gut check, "Suicide a month before I met you/Deep regrets I never could forget you". There are even more standouts. From 'Sick Love' featuring Great British National Treasure Elton John behind the notes. To the android age 'Go Robot' that's creativity is nowhere near clunky. This is the future of the Red Hot Chilis and 'Feasting On The Flowers' continues this beautiful bloom before 'Detroit' rocks for the motor city that made Motown. 'This Tinconderoga' and the arrow on point 'The Hunter' close out this album nicely, but this albums final curtain bows to two of the best tracks on the whole E.P. One being the epic, evocative 'Encore' (play it again Flea!). The other being the haunting 'Dreams Of A Samurai'. A story that stays with you long after this song bids you goodnight, fading out! As Kiedis sings, "Paint your face cause I'm a black foot/I thought I counted up the fireflies/Close enough to get a good look/Time to mobilize" it's clear his couplets that have as much cortex space as a Jeff Goldblum movie monolouge are becoming even more focussed and direct, all whilst still rewriting the script. "You and I both know/Everything must go away" the Red Hot Chili Peppers sing on their lead single...but it doesn't have to be a necessity right now. Sadly Aerosmith may be another almost half century legendary rock act calling it a day, but if Springsteen can still play gigs off E Street then so can these California kings. Dear John or John Doe. They've still got it. It's not time for them to get away...by the way! TIM DAVID HARVEY.