Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication
Decade - 1990's
The Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication (1999)
Californication is the Chilli Peppers' seventh album and the second I have listened to (I already owned and enjoyed By The Way). I suppose my review of this is unfair in a way - I have little recollection of their previous albums (other than BSSM) and so can't really comment on how they have changed or grown. In fact I have the opposite problem - some of these singles have been so over-played that they already felt old and so "typical" of the RHCP that I found it hard to get excited about it.
Still, it's a solid album, with quite a few gems and no real duds. I loved Parallel Universe and it's already making its way up my itunes playlist! I had to hold myself back from giving the album an inflated score just on the strength of that track. The singles, like Around the World, Californication and Scar Tissue are all very well known and so a bit too familiar but they are still classic tracks.
Most of the tracks are strong lyrically too, which was a surprise. They don't lend themselves to line by line analysis, but the imagery is quite evocative and they certainly have not sacrificed lyrical competence for kick-ass rock tunes. Also surprising is that Anthony Kiedis actually sounds pretty good vocally in the traditional sense.
I still think their compositions are a bit too similar throughout, especially having heard By the Way before this. Funk-rap - > great hook/melody becomes a bit blurgh after a while. I think the album would have worked better if the track list was tighter, 15 tracks just doesn't have enough punch. An album should leave you wanting more, but still feel like an air-tight canon of goodness.
All in all, it's a keeper I will add to my collection.
Score - 7.5/10
Genre: Funk Rock/Alt Rock/Funk-Rap
Best Tracks: Parallel Universe, Otherside, This Velvet, Californication, Scar Tissue