Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication (Throwback Review)

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have been delivering jams and anthems since their inception, yet they continue to find ways to create fun and refreshing music. Few records, however, have the same impact as Californication. The Red Hot Chili Peppers defined the highs and lows of life in their powerful 1999 release Californication, resulting in one of music’s most iconic efforts.

If there’s one thing the Red Hot Chili Peppers have, its energy. Californication is full of it, opening number ‘Around The World‘ kicking the record off with a huge, wild riff that jams from start to finish. ‘Parallel Universe‘ keeps that energy flowing, this time with more noticable melodies and a great drive to go with it. This undying energy is present throughout the album: mid-way through, it’s ‘Emit Remmus‘ bringing the jams, while tracks like ‘Purple Stain‘ bring life to the end of the record. There are even some more aggressive numbers like ‘Get On Top‘ that add a nice new texture to the record, as well. Whether or not you like it, you’ll be jamming with Californication from start to finish.

Californication has much more to offer than just energetic riffs, though. Throughout this record, the Red Hot Chili Peppers face the realities of their lives at the time: personal demons, drug addiction, depression, and more are all the subject matters of Californication. Somber ballads like title track ‘Californication‘ provide a more extrospective view on the world, seeing things change as industry rises as you feel caught in the behind, looking at it all unfold. ‘Scar Tissue‘ tackles addiction, though in a brighter light, Anthony Kiedis singing about overcoming his past struggles atop the pretty track that builds coolly. Darker atmospheres in ‘Otherside‘ add more tenseness to the record, while other tracks like ‘Porcelain‘ show a more fragile side to the band. Closing track ‘Road Trippin’‘ ends the record quietly but beautifully, the song’s subtle but powerful instrumentation bringing the record to an emotional end.

The best way to create anything is to be yourself while doing it, no matter what that entails. The Red Hot Chili Peppers embraced their demons and struggles in their 1999 record Californication, acknowledging a changing world while also trying to change themselves. It’s a classic record for many reasons, from the amount of jamming riffs packed into it to the emotional climaxes, but one thing’s for certain: this record captures something some of us don’t even realize we feel. It changes the way you see life and yourself, all the while keeping your head banging and your feet tapping.

Favorite Tracks: Scar Tissue. Around The World, Road Trippin’, Purple Stain

Least Favorite Track: I Like Dirt

Rating: 88 / 100

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