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Stadium Arcadium (2CD)

4.5 out of 5 stars 774 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 9, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers calls the band's first new album in four years, Stadium Arcadium, the most-anticipated album of the spring, "the best thing that we've ever done....There's this weird kind of sublime, subliminal undercurrent that is suggestive, in a spirited way, of our earliest records." Exuding all the passion, energy, and funked-up rock that have made the Red Hot Chili Peppers one of the most popular bands in history, the 2-CD Stadium Arcadium, simply put, will knock your socks off.


Four-year career hiatuses followed by sprawling double-albums could spell trouble for a band of the Chili Peppers' stature: consider they'd originally recorded enough for three discs. The restless, trouble-plagued outfit that helped break alternative rock into the mainstream with a potent fusion of punk 'n' funk in the '80s finds itself two decades on almost completely devoid of the former's energetic abandon, while the latter's effusive rhythms are considerably subdued over the course of this two-hour, 28-track collection. It's not so much that the Peppers have lost their muscular, often uber-macho edge as they have willfully tamed it in service of mature reinvention here. The mellower, often introspective, if no less potent pop ethos that characterized the crossover hit "Under the Bridge" blossoms fully here on tracks like disc one's "Snow," "Wet Sand," and the jazz-cool of "Hey."

The title track, "Desecration Smile," and "She Looks To Me" finds them venturing further into laid back pop ballad territory, while the tricky rhythms of "Dani California," "Charlie," and "So Much I" eventually kick into familiar top gear on the pop-savvy "Tell Me Baby" and hip-hop seasoned "Storm in a Teacup." It's not that there's a paucity of musical adventure here ("If" and "Animal Bar" finds them wafting into Floydish neo-psychedelia while "Make You Feel Better" seems to channel no less than Joe Jackson) but that it's delivered with a subtlety--and dare we say it?--tasteful musical restraint that's a stark contrast to the band's early, overly overt nature. There's perhaps too much mid-tempo simmering and reflection going on; like most double-albums it could be focused into a much more compelling single disc. But that seems largely beside the Peppers' hooks-over-histrionics point here: an unlikely record to kick back to, and one that both challenges assumptions and eases the band into middle age with an oft languorous, if undeniably savory groove. --Jerry McCulley

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Dani California
  2. Snow (Hey Oh)
  3. Charlie
  4. Stadium Arcadium
  5. Hump de Bump
  6. She's Only 18
  7. Slow Cheetah
  8. Torture Me
  9. Strip My Mind
  10. Especially In Michigan
  11. Warlocks
  12. C'mon Girl
  13. Wet Sand
  14. Hey

Disc: 2

  1. Desecration Smile
  2. Tell Me Baby
  3. Hard To Concentrate
  4. 21st Century
  5. She Looks To Me
  6. Readymade
  7. If
  8. Make You Feel Better
  9. Animal Bar
  10. So Much I
  11. Storm In A Teacup
  12. We Believe
  13. Turn It Again
  14. Death Of A Martian

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 9, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (774 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,650 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Wow. I see a lot of old fans complaining about the direction "their" Peppers have taken here. Well, if you don't like it go form your own band and write your own "perfect" music!

There are a few common fallacies being repeated here:

1) "This album is soft. Too many ballads. Boo hoo." Huh? Maybe you are not playing it loud enough, but I hear plenty of blistering guitar and slammin beats for my tastes. The bass tone is as good as it has been since BSSM and the drums are bright and present. There are quite a few mid-tempo pieces, but they usually resolve to scorching bridges of pure rock power.

2) "The Peppers have abandoned their roots! Boo hoo." Please. Just because they are not retreading their young punk vibe over and over again it does not mean they have lost their integrity. I personally think punk AND metal sound best when a young band has something to prove. If they keep at it, without maturing, it sounds pretty stale. So I appreciate that they have moved on. I still love the old records and they are not going anywhere. Bottom line, if you want a dangerous punk sound look underground, this band has grown up.

3) "They mailed it in. It's all about Frusciante now. Boo hoo." Nonsense. They bring it all to the table on this record. Yes, John's layered sounds are a huge part of the post-Californication sound, but I personally think this is Flea's best work. He is master of a ridiculous number of styles and still manages to sound like himself. No imitators possible. He practically invents a new style of bass on "Hard to Concentrate".
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Format: Audio CD
Like anyone at this point, I only got an initial impression of the record, albeit a strong one, since I gave it my full attention and listened on a good sound system, in a silent environment. To sum it up, it's a very well-writen, artistic, and enjoyable album.

It's a surprise. The more you know and have followed the band through its previous records, the more you'll be surprised at the level of songwriting they have reached (think Beatles-level). Originality (or the -successful- pursuing of it) is a constant. Where it isn't completely original, it is a stellar interpretation of existing structures.

It's an achievement. There is no price to be paid for all this creativity: it never sounds idiotic, pretentious, or aggressive - but free and humble. Even the most daring propositions (like Animal Bar) sound pleasing. Rick (the producer) and the recording guys are to be taken credit for this, alongside the band.

It's funky, in more than one defition. 'The funk is back', for whom it makes sense, is a true affirmation. Flea actually sounds fat for the first time since Blood Sugar Sex Magik (the band's reference funk record), due to a different choice of instrument. On the Mars half, Anthony is heard using his voice in ways that inevitably remind us of that record, and earlier ones. Where the music gets obviously funky, the mix also gets propositally old-school and rough, to further bring us memories of things as remote as 'American Ghost Dance'.

It's strange. I began my experience with the album by reading the lyrics and looking at the artwork. They communicate confusion, uncertainty, chaos. Anthony's writing suggests disenchantment with our world, alleviated by cheap pleasures and distractions.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am not a Chili Peppers fan but when I heard these CD's I was bowled over by the beauty and diversity of both CD's. Powerful is the only way I can describe the pure pop and rock essence of this release. I have been touting it as one of the best rock albums ever. Not just recently, ever. I have not been this bowled over since O.K. Computer and Lateralus (Radiohead and Tool). These guys have injected a pop/rock formula into their veins and are kick [...] with every aspect of this album. There is not one weak track out of 28. I listen to a lot of different music (everything) and I cannot help but be effusive about this music. It will stay in my player most of the summer. I refuse to dissect this record because I am enjoying it too much. Sometimes one simply has to surrender to the experience and let the tears flow in the beauty of it all. This one is an instant classic regardless of what others say. Can't wait to see these guys live.
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Format: Audio CD
First off, Nobody, and I mean NOBODY should be reviewing this album if you havent listened to it at least 4 times through. Pick any one of the last 8 albums they've put out and think back to when you first purchased it or started listening to it. I know for me I generally like a few songs on the album at first, then a handful, and sometime later I love the whole thing in its entirety. Furthermore, my favorite songs on a fresh RHCP album when i first start listening to it are the ones I most rarely listen to a year, a month, and even a week down the line. By that point, I have evolved, if you will, with the album.

Those of you who have purchased even their last 3 albums know this feeling. This is what makes this group so f*cking good, and particularly what makes their albums so good, respectively. If you think about it, the songs that you like instantly (regardless of the band) are the songs that don't stand the test of time for you. The songs that you always used to skip over or the ones that took you as many as 50 listens to like are the ones you end up loving the most down the line. This goes for albums too. My point is that, like every other one of their 7 PLATINUM ALBUMS, you evolve with the album. A lot of these negative reviews are speaking in the moment, and lack the proper hinesight needed to see that they too will LOVE this album in as soon as a couple weeks if they continue to listen. Great bands and great albums do not strike you as amazing at first. To me, what makes a great album is one that you can listen to 5, 10, 20 years after you first heard it. IF an album is good enough to keep getting played, then you get to the sentimentality part of it, a point that some of these reviewers have unknowingly hit on and that I'd like to address...
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