Red Hot Chili Peppers
Stadium Arcadium


2.0
poor

Review

by JohnnyBlack USER (1 Reviews)
June 3rd, 2006 | 70 replies | 6,400 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist


15 of 35 thought this review was well written

Let me begin with an offering to Chilis' front man Anthony Keidis, a verse in his intensely imitable style that I made up in less than five minutes, which might well be longer than he spent on the lyrics for this entire double album :

Dey sit in a mansion and mix-up dey’s ruckus
Their ruse is to choose a cool hot-shot ‘prod-u-sir’,
Cuz once they was pukka but now they just suckas,
Once Lollapalooza now lollipop losers.

But enough of this merriment. I’m here to ruminate on this damned thing, not to parody it. Q magazine says that Stadium Arcadium is the “No1 must-have album for 2006" and Rolling Stone has hailed it as the year’s “most anticipated album".

Me, I’m mystified.

It seemed to me that the Chilis totally lost the plot several years ago, but does it matter what I think? This double album, their ninth overall, shifted 442000 units in its first week of release in the US, where it debuted at No1, as it also did in the UK and Japan. Clearly, if so many people are snapping it up all over the world, it must be a very wonderful artefact indeed.

So why do I not like it?

Well, given that I thought their massive international mega-hit By The Way was possibly the sloppiest, laziest knock-off dollop of self-impersonation I’d ever heard from a band that was once vital, how could I possibly love an album where virtually every track sounds that way?

Let me get down to specifics. Instrumentally, this album is performed very well indeed. John Frusciante remains a quite astonishing guitar player, able to switch styles at the drop of a hat, and it's largely his efforts that make this sorry mess listenable on any level at all. Bassist Flea runs Frusciante a close second in the musical virtuosity stakes, always bubbling away, driving the music along and inserting occasional little licks that 99% of all known bassists wouldn’t dream of even attempting. Drummer Chad Smith also delivers the goods - rattling, thwacking and thumping in all the right places.

Unfortunately, as The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return To Forever, Todd Rundgren’s Utopia and countless others have proved over the years, instrumental virtuosity does not necessarily a great album make - especially if you’re a rock band. (Cue The Ramones singing Blitzkreig Bop).

Some of us rock fans are a curiously pernickity bunch. Sure, we want the music to be great but we also want to hear songs. A good song is a wonderful little thing, a happy marriage of words and melody that sounds good when one person sings it on their own in the bath. It sounds even better when great musicians, producers and engineers contribute their talents to enhance it, but the basic little magical nugget, the song, is just words and melody.

And that’s where Stadium Arcadium is frighteningly lacking. Every set of mind-numbingly vacant lyrics (I’ll spare you the details) emerging from frontman Anthony Keidis’ lips seems to be wafted on the same tune or, let’s be generous, one of maybe three tunes.

So, despite the valiant efforts of the rest of the band, what the 28 tracks of Stadium Arcadium actually amounts to is three songs played in several different ways. And that’s really not enough, is it?


user ratings (2745)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Storm In A Teacup
June 3rd 2006



12688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You didn't justify the rating at all. The spaces are annoying and make the review seem bigger than it is and the detail that is there is a basic, small rant that the Chili Peppers don't have good songs, or good lyrics on this album. The only examples you gave were your own at the beggining. Give more information in the review about the overall sound, but include examples as well to back up your information. It's your first review, so I hope you'll heed this advise and not turn around and flame me.

Two-Headed Boy
June 3rd 2006



4527 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Wow. This review has come straight out of hell.

Not saying it's horrible, but it could use ALOT of work. Kripes has given you some fantastic advice, and I advise you take it to heart.This Message Edited On 06.03.06

Neoteric
June 3rd 2006



3243 Comments


Get rid of the excess lines.

Oddsen
June 3rd 2006



1127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I can see why somone would think this. Needs more support
Not the greatest idea to write somthing the day you joinThis Message Edited On 06.03.06

morrissey
Moderator
June 3rd 2006



1688 Comments


I actually thought the review was pretty good, but as Kripes said you need to provide a lot of corroborating evidence to back up your claim. Otherwise people will accuse you of not having listened to it fully or not having given it enough time to sink in. Prove them wrong by present as solid an argument as possible.

Bron-Yr-Aur
June 3rd 2006



4405 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I didn't like this review. I don't think you stated your case well enough, and the beginning (the "verse") was kinda terrible.This Message Edited On 06.03.06

south_of_heaven 11
June 3rd 2006



5426 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nor did I.
But like you all suggested, if he would've expanded upon his thoughts more, it would've been a well-written review. I'll withhold my vote to see if he edits it in the next few days and makes it more detailed...This Message Edited On 06.03.06

morrissey
Moderator
June 3rd 2006



1688 Comments


Yeah before voting it negative at least give him time to see the criticisms and edit it.

Bron-Yr-Aur
June 3rd 2006



4405 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'm not gonna vote. I usually refrain from voting against a first review unless it's incredibly abysmal. And he at least wrote intelligently. For the most part.

masada
June 3rd 2006



2733 Comments


With a little more effort, this could be a great review.

Zebra
Moderator
June 3rd 2006



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

This wasn't a bad review but a little more detail would help. I somewhat agree with your rating, I find Stadium Arcadium to be a pretty big snoozefest. The first disc is decent but the second disk is almost a complete waist.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
June 3rd 2006



15693 Comments


Agreed, this has a lot of good references and potential, but just seemed to effortless. In a bad way.

Digging: Nmesh - Dream Sequins® [AMDISCS]

STLMiguel
June 3rd 2006



335 Comments


Could be longer, but I love the intro. I love it!

Thor
June 3rd 2006



10158 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

I agree with you in some parts. I'm one of the few people I know of that were bummed out by this album.

Digging: Cult Leader - Nothing For Us Here

JohnXDoesn't
June 3rd 2006



1247 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think you are taking the Chili's a little too seriously. I would really like to know about this time "several years ago" when they didn't suck. Because they're pretty much the same band they have always been. And this album is on par with much of their previous work.

Review is not badly written, but your opinions do not a review make. There is nothing here about music or the songs. Just what you say are bad lyrics and a lack of songwriting skills. Which has never been the primary appleal of this band, anyway. So I really don't know what this album is or isn't by the end of your review. This Message Edited On 06.03.06

Jimmy
June 3rd 2006



717 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I actually really like this review. Short and to the point. Very descriptive without saying much. I haven't listened to this album and I don't plan to. It takes something special for a band to pull of a double disc album and I don't think the chili's have it.

Brain Dead
June 3rd 2006



1150 Comments


It takes some courage to have your first review on this site be a negative one, and you did it very well Johnnyblack. I'm voting for it.

mx
Moderator
June 3rd 2006



733 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Good review. As some people said it needs more support, but I disagree that you shouldn't do this type of review for your first. Clever beginning, especially the verse. Keep up the good work

Kyle
June 3rd 2006



667 Comments


I completely disagree, but it's still a great, and entertaining review. You've got a great writing style, I'd love to see you write about an album that you do like.

Stoner_Rocker
June 3rd 2006



7 Comments


Omg u guys take this shit so seriously
u r so pathetic get a life all of u



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