Manufacturer: Warner Bros.
Brand: Warner Bros
The Red Hot Chili Peppers of the quadruple-platinum smash Blood Sugar Sex Magic are back - revitalized and reunited - with their first album in four years and perhaps their most anticipated album ever. Most importantly, Californication marks the homecoming of guitarist John Frusciante, a key ingredient in the group's most successful albums. His return signals the energized re-emergence of one of rock's premier emotional, powerful and exciting bands. Certified at 4 million units by the RIAA. (2/01) Reunited with producer Rick Rubin and guitarist John Frusciante (both of whom were on board for the 1991's breakthrough Blood Sugar Sex Magik), the Chili Peppers waste no time in burying their last effort, the so-so One Hot Minute. Californication's kickoff cut, "Around the World," swaggers around the room, reacquainting itself with old fans and welcoming new ones. Fuzzy Hendrix vibes and popcorn bass lines still rule the roost, along with a heaping helping of disco magic and some unexpected twists. Ten years ago, Anthony Kiedis and company wouldn't have been comfortable doing revamped new wave ("Parallel Universe") or unpretentious ballads (the acoustic "Road Trippin'"), but such material fits Californication's extra-wide canvas. Except for a few meandering numbers that could have been excised, the Red Hot Chili Peppers succeed and regain their footing on the mountain of adrenalized funk. --Jason Josephes
It s one of the lost classics of the 60s, a psychedelic masterpiece drenched in colour and inspired by life, love, poverty, rebellion, and, of course, jumpers, coke, sweet mary jane . The album is Cold Fact, and what s more intriguing is that its maker a shadowy figure known as Rodriguez was, for many years, lost too. A decade ago, he was rediscovered working on a Detroit building site, unaware that his defining album had become not only a cult classic, but for the people of South Africa, a beacon of revolution. Sixto Diaz Rodriguez was born in 1942 to Mexican immigrant parents in Detroit, Michigan. He recorded Cold Fact his debut album in 1969, and released it in March 1970. It s crushingly good stuff, filled with tales of bad drugs, lost love, and itchy-footed songs about life in late 60s inner-city America. Gun sales are soaring/Housewives find life boring/Divorce the only answer/Smoking causes cancer, says the Dylan-esque Establishment Blues. But the album sank without trace, thanks, in part, to some of Rodriguez s more idiosyncratic behavior, like performing at an industry showcase with his back to the audience throughout. As his music career became a memory, Rodriguez s legend was growing on the other side of the world. In South Africa and, to a lesser extent, Rhodesia, Australia and New Zealand, Cold Fact had become a major word of mouth success, particularly among young people in the South African armed forces, who identified with its counter-cultural bent. But Rodriguez was an enigma not even the label knew where to find him and his demise became the subject of debate and conjecture. Some rumors said he d died of a heroin overdose or burned to death on stage. But the tide began to turn in 1996, when journalist Craig Bartholemew set out to get to the bottom of the mystery. After many dead ends, he found Rodriguez alive, well, free and perfectly sane in Detroit, ending years of speculation. Rodriguez himself had no idea about his fame in South Africa (the album had gone multi-platinum, Rodriguez has r...
Manufacturer: Warner Bros.
Brand: Warner Bros
Following 1999's quadruple platinum smash Californication, the Red Hot Chili Peppers return with By The Way, an album as soulful as ever, yet different from any of their previous releases. By The Way blends new rhythms, sounds and styles into the Red Hot Chili Peppers mix, resulting in one of the major new albums of the summer. When the Red Hot Chili Peppers first appeared smeared in neon body paint with socks dangling precariously from their wieners, even the most faithful funk-metal convert couldn't have conceived they would be around some 20 years later, carrying on in much the same fashion. Despite a long history of tragedies and personnel upheavals, the California quartet's eighth album is mostly business as usual--and business, as usual, is quite good. The title track, "By the Way," is a powerful, bruised piece of slap-bass and intermediary white-boy rapping. "Universally Speaking" pays sweaty, soulful tribute to singer Anthony Kiedis's hometown of Grand Rapids. And "Lemon Trees on Mercury" sounds eerily like it could have been lifted from 1984's Freaky Styley. The band's reliable eclectic side, meanwhile, surfaces on the Latin-flavored "Cabron" and moody "Venice Queen." But the biggest surprise is "Tear," a masterful homage to the Beach Boys that suggests the Chili Peppers' perpetual state of arrested development may someday lift. --Aidin Vaziri
Manufacturer: Warner Bros.
Brand: Warner Bros
Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers calls the band's first new album in four years, Stadium Arcadium, the most-anticipated album of the spring, "the best thing that we've ever done....There's this weird kind of sublime, subliminal undercurrent that is suggestive, in a spirited way, of our earliest records." Exuding all the passion, energy, and funked-up rock that have made the Red Hot Chili Peppers one of the most popular bands in history, the 2-CD Stadium Arcadium, simply put, will knock your socks off. Four-year career hiatuses followed by sprawling double-albums could spell trouble for a band of the Chili Peppers' stature: consider they'd originally recorded enough for three discs. The restless, trouble-plagued outfit that helped break alternative rock into the mainstream with a potent fusion of punk 'n' funk in the '80s finds itself two decades on almost completely devoid of the former's energetic abandon, while the latter's effusive rhythms are considerably subdued over the course of this two-hour, 28-track collection. It's not so much that the Peppers have lost their muscular, often uber-macho edge as they have willfully tamed it in service of mature reinvention here. The mellower, often introspective, if no less potent pop ethos that characterized the crossover hit "Under the Bridge" blossoms fully here on tracks like disc one's "Snow," "Wet Sand," and the jazz-cool of "Hey." The title track, "Desecration Smile," and "She Looks To Me" finds them venturing further into laid back pop ballad territory, while the tricky rhythms of "Dani California," "Charlie," and "So Much I" eventually kick into familiar top gear on the pop-savvy "Tell Me Baby" and hip-hop seasoned "Storm in a Teacup." It's not that there's a paucity of musical adventure here ("If" and "Animal Bar" finds them wafting into Floydish neo-psychedelia while "Make You Feel Better" seems to channel no less than Joe Jackson) but that it's delivered with a subtlety--and dare we say it?--tasteful musical restraint that's a stark contrast to ...
Incubus ~ Morning View (Limited Edition W Though Morning View follows hot on the heels of Incubus's breakthrough single, "Drive," it doesn't feel rushed. After all, their previous album, Make Yourself, was released nearly two years ago. Like fellow Los Angeles metal pioneers System of a Down, Incubus find themselves lumped in with the nu-metal fraternity merely because they're young(ish), angry, and very loud. That's more than a little unfair, because their sound owes more to the clever and creative funk-metal of Faith No More and the Red Hot Chili Peppers than the faux-rap posturing of Limp Bizkit. In fact, songs like "Nice to Know You," "Circles," and the excellent "Blood on the Ground" display real maturity. But that's not all that sets Incubus apart: on "I Wish You Were Here," "Just a Phase," "11 a.m.," and "Mexico," they show an uncharacteristic willingness to tread softly, using acoustic guitars and touches of strings to make less noise, but more impact. Some could call it selling out, but it sounds more like growing up. Morning View is a leap forward for a band that continues to get better with each release. --Robert Burrow
Incubus Morning View Canadian CD album Though Morning View follows hot on the heels of Incubus's breakthrough single, "Drive," it doesn't feel rushed. After all, their previous album, Make Yourself, was released nearly two years ago. Like fellow Los Angeles metal pioneers System of a Down, Incubus find themselves lumped in with the nu-metal fraternity merely because they're young(ish), angry, and very loud. That's more than a little unfair, because their sound owes more to the clever and creative funk-metal of Faith No More and the Red Hot Chili Peppers than the faux-rap posturing of Limp Bizkit. In fact, songs like "Nice to Know You," "Circles," and the excellent "Blood on the Ground" display real maturity. But that's not all that sets Incubus apart: on "I Wish You Were Here," "Just a Phase," "11 a.m.," and "Mexico," they show an uncharacteristic willingness to tread softly, using acoustic guitars and touches of strings to make less noise, but more impact. Some could call it selling out, but it sounds more like growing up. Morning View is a leap forward for a band that continues to get better with each release. --Robert Burrow
A Crow Left of the Murder Kicking in like a compellingly acrimonious version of Rush ("Megalomaniac") before meandering through what can rather uncomfortably be termed noodly, time-signature lottery jazz-metal terrain A Crow Left of Murder probably identifies Incubus as the average Pearl Jam fan's second-choice for chin-stroking mosh action. Brendon O'Brien (Soundgarden, Pearl Jam) produces and singer Brandon Boyd possibly fancies himself as a bit of a Vedder-esque sage, even blustering "My secret arsenal is an infinite ageless ink well" on the otherwise acceptable metal squawk of "Pistola". Boyd obviously has big issues with the ills of the world but the lyrics to "Talk Show on Mute" (reality TV is bad, especially Big Brother) and "Zee Deveel" (nice cars, nice clothes and other status symbols are bad) say nothing to enhance mankind's understanding of these twin evils. Incubus are probably on firmer ground with "Made for TV Movie" (like "Megalomaniac" it's an anti-War-on-Terror diatribe) and musically they're to be applauded for sidestepping the prescripted expectations of the metal genre they've been saddled with. Ultimately, however, one's enjoyment of this record swings on whether one considers Brandon Boyd's societal musings to be deeply venerable discourse or just soppy waffle. --Kevin Maidment