It has been years since The Red Hot Chili Peppers returned, but we’re still obsessing over their 11th studio album, The Getaway.
After a four-year hiatus since their last album I’m With You, the Chilis are in machismo (but mellow) form yet again. With Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton replacing long-time producer Rick Rubin, the Red Hot Chili Peppers make one of their most fascinating and intricate albums yet since Californication.
Without straying too far away from its roots, the latest album retains its core funk rock demeanor while incorporating a few modern touches. The Getaway establishes its newfound reputation with slight revisions by adding a few synthesizers, violins, pianos, and symphonic melodies into the mix.
The Getaway’s predecessor, I’m With You, struggled in transition due to lack of John Frusciante’s harmonious guitar genius since his departure in 2009.
Thankfully, The Getaway takes note of this by fusing their latest songs with Josh Klinghoffer’s skills at a more noticeable level.
Anthony Kiedis’ trademark functional rap makes its way unsurprisingly, with lyrics describing his “nuclear bomb” relationship (as described by Kiedis himself) and the ever-returning theme of the California dream.
Flea’s bass lines are melodic and hooky as expected, while Josh Klinghoffer’s guitar-playing shines more beautifully compared to their previous album. Chad Smith’s drumming hits hard on most tracks, but feels held back on some.
The band’s latest sound lays out a few old and new tricks up its sleeve; from the Danger Mouse’s synthesizers in the opening track “The Getaway,” followed by Flea’s flamboyant bass line in “Dark Necessities,” and subtle funky riffs by Klinghoffer in “Go Robot.”
The album bravely returns to its confident alternative rock roots while smartly distinguishing itself from the sound of the previous albums.
Of course, a Red Hot album isn’t complete without a few mellow and soft tracks. These include “Sick Love,” which showcases a beautifully played piano by guest star Elton John; a symphony-explored track titled “Encore”; and a melancholic song “The Hunter,” among a few others.
Among the catchy riffs and classic bass lines are a few lackluster flaws. These flaws consist of the weak lyrical atmosphere of some tracks; some lines feel fuzzy while some are strong, but nothing remains grounded on the same level of what Kiedis wants to truly capture.
Still, the Chili Peppers are back with a sound reminiscent of their old style while managing to put some news twists enough to invite new fans old alike. For these veteran funk rockers, consistency seems to be their trademark.