Red Hot Chili Peppers – Californication

Red Hot Chili Peppers - CalifornicationDespite generally favorable reception to their 1995 album One Hot Minute, the Red Hot Chili Peppers dropped out of sight for a while and came back strong – partly because of the return of original member John Frusciante, back from a long and torturous battle with drug addiction. Despite the addition of Dave Navarro as a replacement for Frusciante on that previous album, the vibe somehow wasn’t the same (even though it yielded the minor hit “Aeroplane”). Now the Chilis are back in force.

The album kicks off with a funky quasi-rap, “Around The World”, which begs comparisons with the earlier hit “Give It Away Now”, but it’s in the second track that the Chilis find their new groove – driving, well-harmonized rock, combining the hard edge of their earlier material with a feel not unlike that of the early ’90s ballad “Under The Bridge”. The first single from Californication, “Scar Tissue”, is a perfect example of the new happy medium the band has struck (and the fact that it stayed on the charts for a while demonstrates that the instincts of Anthony Kiedis and his bandmates are still sharp). Other good examples include “Otherside” and the title track. And there are other tracks which delve surprisingly into ballad 4 out of 4territory, such as the excellent “Porcelain”. That may not be the kind of music that won the Chilis their large fan base, but damned if they can’t do it well.

Other tracks will satisfy the hardcore fans’ demand for harder-edged material, and though that’s not always my taste, it sounds crisp and there’s a little more production work going into it.

Order this CD

  1. Around The World (3:59)
  2. Parallel Universe (4:30)
  3. Scar Tissue (3:38)
  4. Otherside (4:16)
  5. Get On Top (3:18)
  6. Californication (5:21)
  7. Easily (3:51)
  8. Porcelain (2:43)
  9. Emit Remmus (4:00)
  10. I Like Dirt (2:38)
  11. This Velvet Glove (3:45)
  12. Savior (4:53)
  13. Purple Stain (4:13)
  14. Right On Time (1:53)
  15. Road Trippin’ (3:25)

Released by: Warner Bros.
Release date: 1999
Total running time: 56:26

Red Hot Chili Peppers – One Hot Minute

Red Hot Chili Peppers - One Hot MinuteThis is one of those rare albums of which I like approximately half, and can’t stand the other half. Like a lot of people who don’t delve too deep into the hard rock scene, my first exposure to the Chilis was the atypical ballad “Under The Bridge” in 1991, but I warmed to some of their other songs, even the oddball pseudo-rap “Take It Away”. Which brings us to this album. Why did I get it? Because I love “Aeroplane” – what a wild song! But that’s not the only good song on this album. Also check 3 out of 4out “Walkabout” and my new favorite Chilis tune, “My Friends”. It seems like every other track on this album appeals to me, but the alternating ones are surefire skip material. Which sums up my approach to the Red Hot Chili Peppers in general.

Order this CD

  1. Warped (5:04)
  2. Aeroplane (4:45)
  3. Deep Kick (6:34)
  4. My Friend (4:03)
  5. Coffee Shop (3:09)
  6. Pea (1:47)
  7. One Big Mob (6:03)
  8. Walkabout (5:07)
  9. Tearjerker (4:19)
  10. One Hot Minute (6:24)
  11. Falling Into Grace (3:48)
  12. Shallow Be Thy Game (4:34)
  13. Transcending (5:47)

Released by: Warner Bros.
Release date: 1995
Total running time: 69:24