Red Hot Chili Peppers
Blood Sugar Sex Magik


4.5
superb

Review

by DesolationRow USER (80 Reviews)
July 11th, 2005 | 32 replies


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist


There are two types of ďclassic" albums in music- The ones that make music more enjoyable to listen to, and the albums that are revelations in their own right. In 1991, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, an LA based funk-rock outlet that made it big with their successive LP, Motherís Milk, were about to make it even bigger with an album that exposed the world to raucous, bubbling funk. The album, entitled Blood Sugar Sex Magik, was an upbeat ode to struggle. The band was no stranger to hardship, having a guitarist overdose on heroin and the immediate departure of a drummer, but it seemed as if the Red Hot Chili Peppers disregarded their loss, and moved on ahead. Motherís Milk saw the neophyte presence of John Frusciante and Chad Smith, the bandís new guitar player and drummer. Continuing into the recording of Blood Sugar Sex Magik, the band took an unorthodox step in the production of the record. Relying on Rick Rubin behind the boards, the band ventured into an old mansion in the heart of Hollywood. The band would become reclusive, seldom venturing outside, and consuming massive amounts of cannabis. Only Chad Smith did not live in the mansion, citing paranormal activity as his main reason. But the presence of ghosts hardly took away from the production of the album. In fact, for such low budget recording, Blood Sugar Sex Magik still remains one of the most well produced albums of alternative rock. Blending deep, funky grooves, hip hop rapping, and different elements of rock, Blood Sugar Sex Magik and its seventeen tracks are what some consider to be the defining moment of a band whose career would be pushed into overdrive.

I want you to carefully analyze the four subject matters that make up the recordís title. Blood is a red bodily fluid that is responsible for life. In musical terms, this means a presence of heavy groove and precise rhythm. Without blood, a living organism would die. As in a song, without a groove, you have no foundation on which to lay more complex and interesting sounds. Sugar is a substance in which energy is derived. The Red Hot Chili Peppers possess an energy that is even superior to most punk bands of their time, and is fed to you in waves within their music. Sex is a physical and mental stimulant that brings overwhelming pleasure to the mind and body. It is a topic that does not go without notice, whether it be through profane lyrics, deep, raunchy grooving, or simple songwriting about love. Magic(k) is essentially a psychological nirvana that seems extraordinary to human. With all these things, you are presented something of great importance to the band- Something magical.

Surely enough, Blood Sugar Sex Magik is made up of all these things and stimulates you in each way. From the explicit cover artwork, to the bare bones grooving between all four members, Blood Sugar is radically a masterwork of a band that accepts no margins. An array of sounds is encompassed throughout the duration of the record, from the pseudo-blues rock on I Couldíve Lied to the all out dirty porn groove on Sir Psycho Sexy, and even the occasional tender balladry on the likes of Breaking the Girl and Under the Bridge. Each member in their own right contributes their own special flavors to the overall sound. John Fruscianteís hard rock-meets-funky blues guitar playing is hypnotic, utilizing whammy, wah, and different effects to put the listener in a guitar laden trance. Anthony Kiedis utilizes his rapping for the most part, but occasionally breaks down into a subtle, pretty boy voice. In my honest opinion, Kiedis is a very talented lyricist, whether or not most of his lyrics can be painfully abstract. The real shining light of Blood Sugar Sex Magik, though, is the rhythmic foundation on which these features are built. The grooving between Flea and Chad Smith is impeccable. On the bandís past albumís, Flea was known to exercise his frantic slap/pop technique, but on Blood Sugar Sex Magik, Flea stays clear of slapping throughout most of the album. Naked In The Rain is the only exception. However, Fleaís basslines are truly head bobbing, while Chad Smith fills the auditory gaps with strange offbeats and open hi-hat rhythms, as well as some amazing drum beats.

With all the sexually driven funk that adorns this record, it is almost ironic that the stripped down, slower paced songs are the highlights of the album. I Couldíve Lied- Anthonyís ode to his broken relationship to Sinead OíConnor- is among the best. John trades his Stratocaster in for an acoustic, with Anthonyís melodious vocals. The guitar solo, which harmoniously uses the melody to solo around, is beautiful. Breaking the Girl is a folksy tune with random percussion and some gorgeous backing vocals. Under The Bridge, what may be the most famous song on the album, is the operatic tale of heroin addiction in Los Angeles. Fruscianteís mother provides some soaring background vocals in the bridge. Additional highlights include the entendre laden funk opera, Sir Psycho Sexy, the funkiest of all, Funky Monks, and the eclectic jam of Mellowship Slinky in B Major.

Blood Sugar changed the Chiliís career forever, becoming their most successful album, as well as another breaking point for the band, as John Frusciante would leave after the release, spiraling into heroin addiction. Whether or not Blood Sugar is their best album is debatable, but it is undeniably deserving of all the love, fanboyism, and hype.



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user ratings (2698)
Chart.
4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
masada
July 11th 2005


2733 Comments


Great review :thumb: I myself think that this is a 4/5, but this gets my vote. This Message Edited On 07.11.05

Killtacular
July 11th 2005


1314 Comments


Great review. You do good work, keep it up.

:thumb:

DesolationRow
July 11th 2005


833 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thank you. Unfortunately, this will be the last time I review something track-by-track that is over 13 songs. But I appreciate the feedback.

Killtacular
July 11th 2005


1314 Comments


I know how that feels. It took quite a while, did it not?

DesolationRow
July 11th 2005


833 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

An hour and a half is my average. Because of my schedule, this took almost 5 hours. I started at 5 and finished at 10. I hate the dishwasher.

Killtacular
July 11th 2005


1314 Comments


Goodness. My latest review took at least 2.5 hours. I barely got distracted, too. Fourteen tracks it had.. gah. And it's only got one reply. *shameless plug*

masada
July 11th 2005


2733 Comments


Mine take between 30 minutes and an hour, usually.This Message Edited On 07.11.05

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
July 12th 2005


2806 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

As a bass player I have to love this album, just because it's Flea.

RushHourSoul
July 12th 2005


26 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review although I'd say all of the songs are 5/5.. Genious song writing..

Rudd13
July 12th 2005


952 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

GREAT GODAMN REVIEW :thumb:

You have some way with words.....
Keep it up, man. I dont know how youre not on the top 15
yet.

Final Origin
July 12th 2005


408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Excellent review, I totally agree with what you are saying. I've got the guitar tab book of this album and some of the songs are a bitch to learn!!

Anyway, great job!

The Ashtray Girl
July 13th 2005


108 Comments


Good stuff, you captured the essence of the album, I think.

I'm now off to read your other reviews!

Rudd13
August 4th 2005


952 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sir Psycho Sexy has to be the raunchiest song in existence
:lol:This Message Edited On 08.04.05

Priestmetal
August 4th 2005


542 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Im not a huge Chili Pepper fan but I love this album. I would have given Apache Rose Peacock higher and If you Have to Ask lower.
Good review.

sucubusforallofus
September 15th 2005


8 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

by far my favorite chili peppers album. Johns guitar work is so good, crazy lyrics, and the Flea owns the world here. a definant must own

ninjasmurf
September 15th 2005


28 Comments


i cant say this ismy favourite chilis album but its up there in the top 5...

Knoxvillelives
September 16th 2005


342 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great review and without a doubt one of the best albums ever...Every song gets a five from me
John Frusciante was a hero back then

SkodaATOM
September 16th 2005


69 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think the rating is really good. I think there are a few fillers on this album (Hell, its 70-some minutes and 17 songs), but all the other songs are amazing. "Breaking the Girl" and "Suck My Kiss" and Sir Psycho Sexy" and "Blood Sugar Sex Magic" are among my favorites on this album, and let's not forget "Under the Bridge."

SkodaATOM
October 7th 2005


69 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's a great album, I agree. I didn't realize that the dude (sorry I don't have your name at hand) rated "Breaking the Girl" so low. WTF, dude?

tom79
April 16th 2006


3384 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Breaking the girl is good but not one of the best in my opinion. The Power of Equality is a good song as is the album.

Digging: Bent Outta Shape - Bent Outta Shape



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