Stadium Arcadium (2CD)
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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
Top Customer Reviews
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".Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is rare to find a double album that is solid from start to finish. I've never been a big fan of double albums as they tend to be too bloated with filler. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Oscar Wilde
One of my all time favorite albums. Insert CD into player and let the the RHCP take you on a journey. CD was in mint condition and arrived sooner than expected....very pleased.Published 22 days ago by Yooper borealis
Not their best album. Maybe should have been condensed down to one cd. Last album with John Fuscante. Read morePublished 1 month ago by P. robb
This is one of the best records I've ever heard. While most bands are putting out 10-11 songs per album the chili peppers deliver 28 tracks that are pure gold. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Miles Berkland
Good God, one blistering, ass kicking, stupendous, golden, perfect, incredible, fantastic, and masterpiece of an album!!!!!! Completely floored and speechless. Read morePublished 2 months ago by White Chicken