Being a band of giant caliber means there's a lot riding on every release. If it's not like the classics, the fans won't take easy to it, but at the same time, if it's not different, people will call you a sellout. The balance lies in taking all of what you were before, and progressing forward with new elements to take the sound one step further.
Red Hot Chili Peppers tried their best with this. The Getaway is a funky record, but it lacks something. It had the signature RHCP flair to it, that's undebatable, but it feels so standard for them. It's RHCP, but nothing more and nothing less. The infectious sound just overuses itself throughout the album, giving the album a great start but a less than memorable body.
Beginning with the two singles gives the album some hope. 'The Getaway' introduces the album with beatboxing percussion before a groovy beat and spidery guitar kicks in. Anthony Kiedis's flowing melodies sweetly fly over a light and bright instrumental. Lots of dreamy guitar parts start making their way into the track, providing for lovely tastes of ear candy. Female vocals kick in as little parts during the pre-choruses and the final climax of the track. This song is really just a great build up into the album, levels being progressively added in subtle but brilliant ways. 'Dark Necessities' follows up, starting off big to begin with, quiet bass and muted guitar contrasting each other as piano chords and arpeggios bring the track into a punchy bass line. The song features groovier vocal melodies and nice piano chords that add a lot of aesthetic to it. Closure track 'Dreams Of A Samurai' is a very surprising song, considering its an RHCP song that's actually evocative. It builds brilliantly with lots of noise and powerful guitars bringing it up, a sweet bassline that accentuates the background choir, ending with a dreamy and confident note. A strong closure for an album that has songs that don't live up to the rest of it.
And that's where it all goes down. The rest of the album is just uninteresting and bland. There's a lot of groove and color on the album, but nothing that you haven't heard before, or anything particularly good. After the first two tracks, you'd skip the entire rest of it to find something particularly stand out. The third track 'We Turn Red' is extremely groovy, a big drum beat and powerful verse brought into a strangely sweet verse. The verses and choruses feel like they should be part of different songs, or at least the instrumental vibes of them reversed. 'Sick Love' is pretty solid, though the solos near the end need a lot more punch. It feels way too quiet and subdued to stand out. The solo itself is great - production is its enemy. 'Goodbye Angel' is another track with great solos and a solid instrumental. The lyrics bring this one down, like they're trying way too hard to sound modern. The rest of the track is pretty great - the drum crescendo is epic and the harmonies are sweet. The "Ay yo, ay yo, ay yo" parts really kill it for me, sadly. Thankfully, the rest of the track makes up for it.
While those songs hold some ground, much of the rest of the record is bland. Lots of tracks don't even have good climaxes or hooks that can justify them. 'The Hunter' has lyrics that are just so obvious. There's no thought or depth to them, it's like they've been laid out on a plate for you. 'Detroit' has a strong riff in it, but the rest of really doesn't carry the same punch the riff has. The vocal melody doesn't even feel like it fits in.
Red Hot Chili Peppers' new album isn't the greatest. It has some good bangers on it, but not enough leverage in other tracks to bring it up. It's just boring. That's all that can be said. It's a real shame too, since a lot of their iconic tracks worked so well with the quieter sound they have made good. Perhaps it's the production that made this album its victim, or just a lack of inspiration. Maybe the next record will tell.
Favorite Tracks: Dark Necessities, The Getaway, Goodbye Angels, Dreams Of A Samurai
Least Favorite Tracks: Detroit, The Longest Wave, Go Robot
Rating: 65 / 100