Review Summary: The Chili Peppers travel a growing man’s journey throughout the entire album, one filled with unrestrained passion, and it’s evident that this is the monument they were meant to construct.
Music can undeniably have a profound impact on the life of its listeners. Through the heartache of Weezer
’s Pinkerton many were reassured by Rivers Cuomo’s tales of heartbreak, and left thinking that they weren't actually alone at all. Likewise, the insatiable fury of Converge
’s Jane Doe struck a chord with many a bitter ex-lover, reminding us that it’s wise to channel anger into something tangible, and that it could even potentially assist others in similar positions. True music, songs created by the heartbroken and the emotionally weary, has this ineffable quality of impacting others to the extent where it can change their lives. The brutal honesty, yet beautiful sincerity found on the Red Hot Chili Peppers
’ masterpiece Blood Sugar Sex Magik had an incredible impact on me, as well as many other teenagers trying to find a place in the ever-shifting world of the teenage years. Through funky jams, seductive lyrics and even the occasional contemplative ballad, all while having a blast, Anthony Kiedis and company turn the uncertainties and growing pains of America into a glistening energy, shimmering with passion at every turn.
In terms of instrumentation, the Chili Peppers find themselves in quite the advantageous position, having the capacities of musicians like John Frusciante, Flea and Chad Smith at their disposal. This album is the band at their finest, with the funk-tinged sensibilities of their earlier days with a more distinct edge. Instead of taking the more punk-infused route expressed on Mother’s Milk that certainly felt a little more forced than it should have been, Blood Sugar Sex Magik seamlessly combines the soul of their influences with a casual, relaxed nature that truly makes the album. It never feels over-the-top; never does the band tread into uncomfortable terrain. This is the pinnacle of the Chili Peppers’ career, and rightfully so, for the impact that this album has enjoyed throughout the years is astounding and has yet to be matched, even slightly, by any of the band’s other releases.
Of course, it’s a bit unfair to compare their works; the members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers
have had such eventful lives that they find themselves at a rebirth with each new release. In this case, what comes to mind for their transformation with Blood Sugar Sex Magik is the flower blossoming in the album artwork. Immaturity has become a different beast, into more of a mature stance on sex and pleasure. There are sexual boasts aplenty, as usual; however, with each moment spent strutting and aiming to woo the females, Anthony also finds himself a new stance on love, well-displayed in “Sir Psycho Sexy”. The 8+ minute song is similar to a sexual experience itself, with Anthony spitting out alarmingly kinky lines along a seductive musical backdrop, Flea being the primary contributor. The song eventually calms down after five or so minutes, where Anthony considers the meaning of such experiences itself. “Descending waves of graceful pleasure; for your love there is no measure.” Eventually the song transforms into one of the most gorgeous, phenomenally emotional pieces of music.
This moment encapsulates the experiences of the band members, and how much each one means to them. They’ve been taking a growing man’s journey throughout the entire album, one filled with unrestrained passion, and once this moment occurs it’s evident that this is the monument they were meant to construct. The rambling promiscuity of the scene in L.A., from where these fellows hail, was recreated through this record dutifully, and Blood Sugar Sex Magik will endure the trials of history because of this crowning achievement.