By: Derek Jung
Derek: With over twenty-five years under their belts, The Red Hot Chili Peppers don't really have anything else to prove to solidify their place as one of the biggest rock acts in the last half century. The core group members of Anthony Kiedis, Flea, and Chad Smith have been together since 1988, with the former two having been together since 1983, and their sound has been consistent during that time. For me, the only question surrounding this latest installment was the newest member, guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, who became a full member of the band when John Frusciante left to pursue his own creative passions. Klinghoffer's first studio album with the band, 2011's underwhelming I'm With You, left many fans clamoring for Frusciante's return. As it became more and more apparent that Frusciante was not returning, apprehension about the next chapter of the Klinghoffer Era began. What we hear on The Getaway is a big step in the right direction for the band, with Klinghoffer finding his own footing and identity as well as paying tribute to the styling of his predecessor just enough to give the hardcore Frusciante fans a taste of what they remember.
There are only a few super rock jams on this album, but that's ok. What we get instead is a thoughtful, melodic album from a band that has aged and matured very gracefully compared to other bands from the same era. The fact that they're still releasing culturally relevant albums is a testament to not only their music, but also their undying commitment to doing what works for them. Lead single "Dark Necessities" is one such example; it begins slowly before exploding into a slap bass groove with complimentary hand claps. Flea's skiing accident, where he broke his arm and reportedly had to relearn how to play bass, made me wonder just how much slap bass was going to be on this album, but it is chalk full of great bass lines. The bridge on "Goodbye Angels", probably my favorite song on the album, has some great slap bass before Klinghoffer gives his most John-like solo on the album. All in all a fantastic song.
There are a few misses on the album, the biggest being "Detroit", where the combination of Anthony's shrill vocal and poor mixing makes for a difficult listen. But this is by far the worst hiccup on an otherwise solid album. Yes, the standard Chili Peppers lyrics remain - "California" is mentioned on album opener, "The Getaway" - but this has become more an expectation from Anthony Keidis' songwriting than a complaint, and for an album titled The Getaway, Anthony and gang don't sound like they're in a hurry to leave The Golden State.
Who are we?
Derek Jung and Joseph Kathmann -- Just two ordinary guys that love talking about music. You can read more about us here.