Red Hot Chili Peppers
Stadium Arcadium


3.5
great

Review

by Matthijs van der Lee USER (219 Reviews)
January 27th, 2010 | 83 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It's status quo for RHCP.

Once upon a time in Los Angeles, there were the Red Hot Chili Peppers. They created a few decent albums, really got the vibe going with The Uplift Mofo Party Plan, and then their beloved guitarist Hillel Slovak died. Drummer Jack Irons can’t take the loss and calls it quits. Luckily, bassist Flea and vocalist Anthony Kiedis push on, getting acquainted with a 19-year-old guitar prodigy John Frusciante and skilled drummer Chad Smith. Their formation is stronger than ever before, and soon, they go on to create their two finest crafts yet, Mother's Milk and Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Frusciante, however, is riddled by addiction and can’t take the toll of fame acquired with said albums. He departs, leaving Flea, Kiedis and Smith in search of a replacement, which they eventually find in Dave Navarro. The new group records a disappointing follow-up, One Hot Minute, and it isn’t long before Navarro makes a getaway. 4 years later, Frusciante has faced his addiction and gained a new outlook on life, and the band reunites, recording one of their best albums, Californication, with a more accessible sound. That was at the end of the 90’s. In the following decade, the band records an even more poppy album, By The Way, nevertheless of great quality. But after that, would they continue living happily ever after?

The answer is both yes and no. Red Hot Chili Peppers embark on their most ambitious project yet: a double album. It is their ninth work, entitled Stadium Arcadium, and contains an amount of 28 songs. It is widely praised, winning a Grammy, cited as mixing all the band’s styles to a good extent, and sells well to top all that. Despite success, the band members enter a hiatus after touring, tired from their non-stop work since the late 90’s. On the verge of starting up the engine yet again, however, something unexpected happens. For the second time, Frusciante quits, in order to focus more on his solo career. It leaves the Peppers in a difficult position regarding their tenth album, although the words of Smith have told us not to worry. A tenth album will come, but one without John.

For now, it is time to look back on the most recent Stadium Arcadium. Is it a great record? Yes, in fact it is. Are all the positive claims made about it true? No, they aren’t. The ninth Peppers album finds the foursome moving into some sort of comfort zone. They have mastered their newer sound, and with it, they have created a great, although long listen of two hours. Stadium Arcadium is however not barred by its length at all. Never does in venture into real aggression, á la Nobody Weird Like Me or Parallel Universe. Popular single Dani Californica (of which most have probably seen the fantastic music video), for example, carries one of the heaviest choruses on the album, and was an excellent choice for a lead single. Looking back, however, the track is actually quite mellow compared to the band’s older material. Stadium Arcadium hasn’t necessarily got even poppier from By The Way, but it is certainly equally mellow. Even obvious attempts to make energetic tracks, such as Hump de Bump (nicely accentuated by Flea's trumpet playing), are less effective than the mellow material. For a great deal, this is due to the rather flat production, which actually does a very acceptable job for the majority of the album, but not for the tracks that try to put in some vigour. The only exception is perhaps Storm in a Teacup, the only track that really revisits the good old times, and is therefore powerful enough to punch through.

Apart from that, the only thing about this album that drags it down a bit a bit is that it doesn’t really carry any real classics for the boys. Almost all previous records had at least one very outstanding noteworthy track. But perhaps, it suits Stadium Arcadium. You put it on, sit back, and you’re in for a very relaxing, and certainly rewarding listen. There is enough material on here to be enjoyed, but don’t expect yourself thinking about all the awesome classics on this. They shan’t be found. Nevertheless, for all the criticism you might be able to give Stadium Arcadium, it also makes itself another unique entry in this band’s rewarding discograpy, and possibly the last with Frusciante. Treasure it even if it is for that fact alone.

Stadium Arcadium’s Red Hot Chili Peppers were:

- Anthony Kiedis ~ Lead Vocals
- Michael Peter ‘Flea’ Balzary ~ Bass Guitar, Trumpet, Keyboards
- John Anthony Frusciante ~ Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
- Chad Gaylord Smith ~ Drums, Percussion


THE END



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user ratings (2835)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Nagrarok
January 27th 2010


8315 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album is too long too extensively go through, plus it would bore you all. That wraps things up for the Peppers.

Thor
January 27th 2010


10202 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

album sucksucksucks and no one ever listens to me

Digging: Black Crown Initiate - The Wreckage of Stars

BigHans
January 27th 2010


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Great job on the discog, I don't exactly love this album. Snow is possibly the worst single they ever released.

Nagrarok
January 27th 2010


8315 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, Snow got bad real quick.

I can understand where you're coming from Thor, but I find this a nice listen in the end.

BigHans
January 27th 2010


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Looking forward to your 100th, hopefully its something facemelting.

Nagrarok
January 27th 2010


8315 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Facemelting in what sense exactly?

KILL
January 27th 2010


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

symbolic for your 100th! never rly liked this album, nicere view

Digging: Throwing Muses - Throwing Muses

Nagrarok
January 27th 2010


8315 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sorry KILL, I've already chosen something none will expect. If I did one of my 5's, the review would probably get too pretentious for its own good.

BigHans
January 27th 2010


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

for me, Facemelting = awesome.

Nagrarok
January 27th 2010


8315 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'll just say the album choice will be... surprising.

thatguy84
January 27th 2010


214 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really love Wet Sand and Turn It Again, but yeah most of the album really lacks passion. They lyrics in most of the songs also bring it down I think just cause none of the songs really seem to have any meaning.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
January 27th 2010


8391 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

just caught up with your discoq. All were great reviews and I shall be looking forward to your 100th

LepreCon
January 27th 2010


4156 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Review is good
Album is meh
Can't wait for the 100th

Nagrarok
January 27th 2010


8315 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks guys. The opinions on this album seem to differ very much.

kitsch
January 27th 2010


5107 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

thinking about lowering this to a 1

kitsch
January 27th 2010


5107 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

all your reviews are incredibly lame. the first paragraph is cringe worthy

Nagrarok
January 27th 2010


8315 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I can understand you don't like the first paragraph, that was just me trying something more playful. I can even understand you negging this. But since I haven't seen any of your comments in my other reviews, and all of them have been approved, I don't see why you should be making that sort of comment.

In any case, I probably should change the first paragraph. If so, would you be so kind to remove the neg?

Emim
January 27th 2010


26675 Comments


all your reviews are incredibly lame. the first paragraph is cringe worthy


What is you smoking?

Greggers
January 27th 2010


2375 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

it down a bit a bit - last paragraph

Interesting concept for the review, excellent job on the discog.

BrandNewBoognish
January 27th 2010


1021 Comments


Why do you even care about getting negged? This album is a piece of shit, and Kitsch is an uptight faggot. I think that clears everything up.



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