For the first time in their illustrious career, Red Hot Chili Peppers have truly repeated themselves. Some songs on Stadium Arcadium feel like sequels to tracks on their last two releases, By the Way and Californication, while others feel like leftovers from those albums. Creative ruts stall most bands that are lucky enough to maintain a multi-decade career, so this letdown isn’t surprising. Until now they were growing old in a shockingly graceful manner by somehow maintaining their passion and energy while getting increasingly more melodic and introspective. Some of that magic had to run out.
Red Hot Chili Peppers still sound like top-notch performers on this daunting, 28-track double disc. Mid-tempo to mellow rock with delicate melodies and gorgeous falsetto harmonies frequent the album, and they leave more room for funk punk romps and smoking guitar solos than they did on By the Way. Unfortunately, several of the stronger musical ideas are undermined by silly, lazy or ho-hum choruses. After a few of these disappointments, it becomes easier to appreciate this bloated effort as expertly crafted background music than focus in for an active listen.
Heavy Rotation tracks: “Especially In Michigan,” “Dani California”
Medium Rotation tracks: “Charlie,” “Warlocks,” “Storm In a Teacup”
Grade: B- (Disc 1 = B; Disc 2 = C+)
(As posted 5/22/06 on davepowersmusic.com)
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