Red Hot Chili Peppers
One Hot Minute



by Drexel USER (10 Reviews)
October 2nd, 2014 | 13 replies

Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Please don't look too close at me, you might not like what you see.

It was a tough time for Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1995. Anthony Kiedis was battling a heavy drug addiction and John Frusciante was no longer in the band. Everything seemed to be going downhill for them four years after their critically acclaimed Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Despite all of these road bumps, the band still managed to put together an album with One Hot Minute, an album with a bit of a darker, more aggressive sound than their previous material. The band replaced Frucsiante with Jane’s Addictions Dave Navarro who brought a little less funk and more metal sound to the band. Changing guitarists was something the Peppers were quite accustomed to at this point as Navarro was their sixth guitarist since the bands formation. In 1995 the Red Hot Chili Peppers were starting to fall behind in the 1990’s alternative rock race as bands like Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden and Radiohead were all following up on their early decade success with even better albums. Their distractions had slowed them down, but the Chili Peppers were frothing at the mouth to get back to playing music. One Hot Minute was their chance to reemerge and catch up with the pack. Unfortunately however, the album wound up being a bit of a letdown.

One Hot Minute opens with one of its better tracks, “Warped,” and energetic up tempo tune with heavy guitar, a rumbling bass riff and some impressive drumming from Chad Smith. “My tendency for dependency/Is offending me, it's upending me/I'm pretending, see, to be strong and free/From my dependency, it's warping me,” sings Kiedis on the tracks into. The song really sums up what the band was going though at the time. They were a band working to keep their head above water and hide their torment. The listener is then brought into maybe the albums finest track, “Aeroplane,” a song with a bit of a brighter sound, but just as dark lyrics. It is the one song on the album where Navarro almost sounded a bit like Frusciante as he brought a more rhythmic guitar to the track than he did on any of the others. The mainly acoustic “My Friends” is basically a duller, more melancholic version of “Breaking the Girl.” Despite having some advanced playing, some of these songs sound a bit forced.

A new element the band brought to this record was with the song “Pea,” mostly because it was the first time we got to hear Flea as a lead vocalist, as he sings over a slow, simple sounding bass riff. He is not shy by any means in his first stint behind the microphone. “*** you, asshole/You homophobic redneck dick/Big and tough and macho/You can kick my ass/So ***ing what? So ***ing what?” Despite the unexpected surprise of Flea singing, the song is very average at best. The Peppers still provided some of their signature funk filled jams to the album with songs like “Walkabout” and “Falling Into Grace,” though neither of them would have made the cut for Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Almost all of One Hot Minute contains good bass riffs from Flea, but it still doesn’t make up for the fact that some of these songs are tough to get through. “Tearjerker” is a slight break from all the madness as the band pays homage to their fallen friend, Kurt Cobain, with a more atmospheric feeling tune as Kiedis recalls his first time meeting Cobain, “First time I saw you/You were sitting Backstage in a dress/A perfect mess/You never knew this/But I wanted/Badly for you to/Requite my love.” The Peppers finish off the record with a tribute to another fallen friend, River Phoenix, on the albums closing track, “Transcending,” which starts off with a smooth rhythmic sound, but turns into a bit if a mess halfway through as it transitions into a choppy, metal-infused musical rant. There are bands out there like Nirvana and Dinosaur Jr. that can thrive with a messy sound, but the Chili Peppers are just meant to rock out with a more clean sound, which is noticeable on this record.

I overall consider the Chili Peppers to be a great band, which is why I say that One Hot Minute was a bump in the road for them. They were a band going through an identity crisis while trying to get clean from substance abuse. They were a band trying to cope with loss, not only from Kurt Cobain and River Phoenix, but really John Frusciante. The addition of Frusciante in the late 80’s was what really catapulted the Chili Peppers into mainstream success. Following up Blood Sugar Sex Magik without him was an impossible task for the band, and filling in for him was an even more impossible task for Navarro, who just seemed more cut out for Jane’s Addiction than RHCP. If you are a diehard fan of the Chili Peppers I would recommend giving One Hot Minute a listen, mostly because it is a notable part of their history, but not much else. The album really is not for the casual fan. One Hot Minute’s release and tour were received less favorably by the music world and two years later in 1997, Navarro was removed from the band in what Flea called “the year of nothing” for Red Hot Chili Peppers, as they were on the verge of breaking up. Thankfully however, this was not the last we would hear from them. Not by any means.

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user ratings (1679)
other reviews of this album
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  • Oddsen (4)
    One Hot Minute is The Red Hot Chili Peppers most unusual album but still as interesting an...

    ImAround (4)
    Overall, while the album is a step in a different direction from the usual Chili Pepper's ...

    BenjoJames (3)
    It's interesting to hear previously unexplored dimensions of the band's sound, yet one str...

    Nagrarok (3.5)
    Frusciante departs and the band starts messing up straight away. 'Oh, wait, you say this i...

  • this space for rent (3.5)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
October 2nd 2014


good review, although it reads a little bit like a track-by-track sometimes. disagree hard tho, this is probably my 2nd fav chili peppers

October 2nd 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

Not a fan of this one

October 2nd 2014


Album Rating: 3.5

meh album. Walkabout is the only track I'll look up, personally.

October 2nd 2014


Great review pos

October 2nd 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

Kiedis still had balls at that time... Last great Peppers album.

October 2nd 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

Well written review though...

October 2nd 2014


A friend of mine made me listen a few tracks out of this album, but already I'm not a huge fan of RHCP in general, so I don't know if I would like this entire thing. Anyway, great review, have a pos

October 2nd 2014


Well said.

October 2nd 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

prob my fav RHCP, but I can't say I'm much of a fan anymore and haven't been for years. I still enjoy this for nostalgic reasons and because of its psychedelic feel.

October 2nd 2014


Album Rating: 3.5

Under-appreciated album

October 2nd 2014


Album Rating: 3.5

This review is too much like a track-by-track for me to pos it and all you're doing is comparing it to other albums, not

once treating it like its own entity (which it is.)

On a less critical note, I love "Falling Into Grace" and this is my 2nd favorite RHCP release after BSSM, so I heavily disagree

with most of this.

Also, RHCP didn't need Frusciante to be amazing and The Uplift Mofo Party Plan is proof. (I'd say this is too, but you seem

to already not care for it sooo.)

October 2nd 2014


The Uplift Mofo Party Plan [2]

October 3rd 2014


Album Rating: 2.5

Thank you guys for the input. I will admit reading it now I do see what you guys mean about it sounding like a track-by-track review. I will keep that in mind in the future. Do you guys ever feel like RHCP's fan base can sometimes seem divided between fans of either John Frusciante or Hillel Slovak?

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