Album Review: Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Getaway


The Californian funky monks are back with yet another studio album that is splitting the views of fans down the middle, but still contains some real gems.

As a long time admirer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, I have to say that there have been a few songs of theirs that have always had me wondering if they made them just to fill the extra slots on an almost perfect album. Sometimes they seem to rest on their usual tricks rather than push the boat out like they did with Mother’s Milk (1989) and the awesome Californication (1999).


This time round they have really spent a lot of time expanding their horizons and in the 5 years since their last album release, I’m With You (2011), they have had some changes to the ideals of what makes them unique. Stadium Arcadium (2006) had a much more rock based tempo and the songs reflected that, with singles Snow and Dani California being good examples. This time, the funk is back, as is some impressive progressive concepts wound in for good measure.

After listening to the album front to back and hearing the hauntingly pretty Go Robot as a hi-res file, there is so much more here than just a band churning out another album to pay for their lavish lifestyle (also because as big philanthropists and fairly relaxed guys they live quite normally for rock stars). The main song probably playing down your radio right now will be Dark Necessities, a song where they gave Flea some freedom to show us what his thumb and fingers can do to great effect. They have added more instruments to their studio albums with swells and keyboard synths to enhance the presence that makes RHCP one of the all-time great live bands to go see. Whether they can find someone to help out with those sounds in a live performance is something I’ll have to see for myself, but they build the song up beautifully.

Since I’ve mentioned it already, Go Robot is an upbeat funky tune from Chad Smith’s drums and Flea’s basslines with a melancholic feel that is almost dipping into a Radiohead meets the Bee Gees kind of vibe. Since the last album, RHCP have dropped previous guitarist John Frusciante in favour of Josh Klinghoffer, and his style seems to fit more elegantly into this format than John’s did. There is a very clean feel to the guitars even when effects pedals are being used, and I hope that’s still down to the fact they use Fender Stratocasters and Telecasters as the weapons of choice, as they sound perfect cutting through Flea’s powerful bass precision on what used to be a solid collection of Music Man StingRay basses.

Sick Love is a very swung style tune that echoes the feel of the 60s and 70s with the swirl over the top of the guitar line and Anthony Kiedis’ vocals are still as iconic as ever.

This Ticonderoga is an echo of the previous albums with a much more rock based feel to it but is the album’s weak link in my opinion, as it doesn’t sound as clean or well produced. It’s cluttered with too much going on and not enough of a difference from other tracks in the past.

Whilst this album is not going to secure their spot at the top of the charts, I would like to think that the die hard fans will still let it climb up the ranks and give them one big hoorah before they may go jamming off into the night. Although that said, retirement doesn’t seem to be on their minds – they were accepted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, had the honour of having 3 albums in Rolling Stone magazine’s top 500 albums of all time, and they don’t look like they are going to stop just yet. Maybe there is another album in the pipeline, a swansong shall we say, but for now this album will do me just fine as another great example of a band who changed the norm and continue to pursue their own musical dreams rather than what “pop” dictates.


Author: Andrew, Eton store