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Chili Peppers' Getaway doesn't get too far

SoCal funk-rock act stays in its safe zone but gets high marks for revitalized production

The production duo of Danger Mouse and Nigel Godrich have breathed new life into the Chili Peppers' old formula.
The production duo of Danger Mouse and Nigel Godrich have breathed new life into the Chili Peppers' old formula.

Following the commercial high-water mark of Red Hot Chili Peppers' By the Way, it's been a decade plus of funk-rock mediocrity from an aging band with a formulaic sound. The average listener's impression of the Chili Peppers has long been defined by the significance of John Frusciante's guitar, the tolerability of Anthony Kiedis's lyrics, and whether or not one grew up listening to them. On their new album, The Getaway, not a lot has changed, but it's their strongest release since By the Way.

Video:

"Dark Necessities"

...off of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' latest, <em>The Getaway</em>

...off of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' latest, The Getaway

Diehard fans bemoaned the departure of Frusciante following Stadium Arcadium, as he had long been viewed as the most adventurous and gifted artist in a band that has seen many lineups over its 33-year history. His replacement, Josh Klinghoffer, was largely relegated to a background textural role on his first album with the Chili Peppers, 2011's I'm With You, so much so that a YouTube user took the liberty of uploading the album with all of Klinghoffer's parts turned up. On The Getaway, Klinghoffer's been given the chance to let his hair down on tracks like "This Ticonderoga" and the explosive crescendo of "Goodbye Angels." While he's no Frusciante in terms of virtuosity or creativity, he's a talented arena-rock guitarist.

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The Achilles heel of the Chili Peppers remains the lazy, often pointless lyrics of Anthony Kiedis. His lamentable, California-centric writing spawned a 2014 Jon Daly parody, "Abracadabralifornia," an absurdist song about SoCal and sex that sounded enough like Kiedis to fool some people. Many of Kiedis's lyrics on The Getaway read as if they were taken from the "Abracadabralifornia" cutting-room floor. Lines about driving down the Calexico highway and boning robots abound. His delivery of these terrible lines, however, remains impressive. And he still knows his way around an emotive, catchy hook.

Where The Getaway deserves most credit is in the production and mixing departments. The duo of Danger Mouse (producer for the Black Keys, U2, Beck) and Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Atoms for Peace) have breathed life and nuance into the dull, underwhelming mixes that Rick Rubin was responsible for on the last couple Chili Peppers records. There's a nice flow to The Getaway, and Danger Mouse does a great job of accentuating Chad Smith's dynamic drums. Godrich's delicate mixing touch is evident throughout, and pays dividends on album highlights "Feasting on the Flowers" and "Dark Necessities." Familiar complaints remain on The Getaway, but Danger Mouse and Godrich have extracted the best possible sound out of a band that had grown complacent in its old age.

  • Record: The Getaway
  • Artist: Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Label: Warner Brothers
  • Songs: (1) The Getaway (2) Dark Necessities (3) We Turn Red (4) The Longest Wave (5) Goodbye Angels (6) Sick Love (7) Go Robot (8) Feasting on the Flowers (9) Detroit (10) This Ticonderoga (11) Encore (12) The Hunter (13) Dreams of a Samurai
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The production duo of Danger Mouse and Nigel Godrich have breathed new life into the Chili Peppers' old formula.
The production duo of Danger Mouse and Nigel Godrich have breathed new life into the Chili Peppers' old formula.

Following the commercial high-water mark of Red Hot Chili Peppers' By the Way, it's been a decade plus of funk-rock mediocrity from an aging band with a formulaic sound. The average listener's impression of the Chili Peppers has long been defined by the significance of John Frusciante's guitar, the tolerability of Anthony Kiedis's lyrics, and whether or not one grew up listening to them. On their new album, The Getaway, not a lot has changed, but it's their strongest release since By the Way.

Video:

"Dark Necessities"

...off of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' latest, <em>The Getaway</em>

...off of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' latest, The Getaway

Diehard fans bemoaned the departure of Frusciante following Stadium Arcadium, as he had long been viewed as the most adventurous and gifted artist in a band that has seen many lineups over its 33-year history. His replacement, Josh Klinghoffer, was largely relegated to a background textural role on his first album with the Chili Peppers, 2011's I'm With You, so much so that a YouTube user took the liberty of uploading the album with all of Klinghoffer's parts turned up. On The Getaway, Klinghoffer's been given the chance to let his hair down on tracks like "This Ticonderoga" and the explosive crescendo of "Goodbye Angels." While he's no Frusciante in terms of virtuosity or creativity, he's a talented arena-rock guitarist.

Sponsored
Sponsored

The Achilles heel of the Chili Peppers remains the lazy, often pointless lyrics of Anthony Kiedis. His lamentable, California-centric writing spawned a 2014 Jon Daly parody, "Abracadabralifornia," an absurdist song about SoCal and sex that sounded enough like Kiedis to fool some people. Many of Kiedis's lyrics on The Getaway read as if they were taken from the "Abracadabralifornia" cutting-room floor. Lines about driving down the Calexico highway and boning robots abound. His delivery of these terrible lines, however, remains impressive. And he still knows his way around an emotive, catchy hook.

Where The Getaway deserves most credit is in the production and mixing departments. The duo of Danger Mouse (producer for the Black Keys, U2, Beck) and Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Atoms for Peace) have breathed life and nuance into the dull, underwhelming mixes that Rick Rubin was responsible for on the last couple Chili Peppers records. There's a nice flow to The Getaway, and Danger Mouse does a great job of accentuating Chad Smith's dynamic drums. Godrich's delicate mixing touch is evident throughout, and pays dividends on album highlights "Feasting on the Flowers" and "Dark Necessities." Familiar complaints remain on The Getaway, but Danger Mouse and Godrich have extracted the best possible sound out of a band that had grown complacent in its old age.

  • Record: The Getaway
  • Artist: Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Label: Warner Brothers
  • Songs: (1) The Getaway (2) Dark Necessities (3) We Turn Red (4) The Longest Wave (5) Goodbye Angels (6) Sick Love (7) Go Robot (8) Feasting on the Flowers (9) Detroit (10) This Ticonderoga (11) Encore (12) The Hunter (13) Dreams of a Samurai
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Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Marni von Wilpert gets Falck and Zoo to cough up for gay rights

Times of San Diego sells to Arizona State offshoot
Next Article

Western azalea blooms in the higher mountains, elderberry decorates Tecolote Canyon

Earliest sunrise occurs on June 11
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