Do you remember where were you when you first heard Red Hot Chili Peppers? Do you remember what song was playing? I do. It was the late 80’s and I was around the age of 8 or 9. I was riding shotgun with my Mom as she drove her 1984 Black Ford Bronco down the street to the store. She told me that I could control the radio. I was filled with so much excitement that I kept turning the dial back and forth, classic rock to new rock. It took my Mom yelling at me for the fifth time to stop. And what did I hear playing over the Bronco’s speakers? A funky wah-wah bass line. A snapping snare and thumping floor tom. A slightly fuzzed out yet crisp guitar and a chorus of voices signing “Till I reach the highest ground!” The Red Hot Chili Peppers cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground” was my introduction to the Funky Monks and I’ve never stopped loving them. So of course when I heard that they were releasing their eleventh studio album I placed my pre-order.
It’s been one week to the day since The Getaway was released on June 17, 2016 by Warner Bros. Records Inc. The Red Hot Chili Peppers stepped out of their comfort zone; so to speak, as they decided to reach out to Danger Mouse and have him produce their newest album. This breaks the cycle of having Rick Rubin as Producer since 1991’s Blood Sugar Sex Magik. As soon as you press play on The Getaway you can hear the difference and influence Danger Mouse had on The Red Hot Chili Peppers, yet RHCP make whatever Danger Mouse threw at them sound very much like themselves. The first single released off of The Getaway is a song called Dark Necessities. Dark Necessities was then followed by two other releases; the songs The Getaway and We Turn Red.
- The Getaway
- Dark Necessities
- We Turn Red
- The Longest Wave
- Goodbye Angels
- Sick Love
- Go Robot
- Feasting On The Flowers
- This Ticonderoga
- The Hunter
- Dreams Of A Samurai
The Longest Wave: is astral and layered. Warm and welcoming yet sad and filled with longing like a hot cup of coffee on a cool Summer morning. (Yes, I’m sipping coffee as I type and listen to this song.)
Goodbye Angels: This song could easily fit in with songs from By The Way, Stadium Arcadium or I’m With You. The subtle and delicate guitar flourishes weave in and out of Kiedis’s words and voicing. The Outro gets you pumped and leaves you wanting more.
Sick Love: Josh’s 70’s fuzzed out funky Disco solo is a 27 second highlight.
Go Robot: This song makes me want to put on roller skates and head over the local skating rink. The Bass is funky. The synthesizers are perfect and punctuated by crisp clean guitar chords and phrasing. Elton John plays piano on this song as well. I couldn’t ask for a more perfect song.
This Ticonderoga: Thank you for making me have to look up the meaning of Ticonderoga. For those of you wondering its a place in New York, it’s also a double-decker clipper ship from 1849. But I digress, let’s move on to the song. This song is fierce. Punked out chords hammered with distortion delicately interrupted by light piano. The vocal phrasing is great and the chorus with Kiedis, Flea and Josh singing together makes you want to sing along. I did.
Dreams Of A Samurai: psychedelic and funky. An amalgamation of everything the Red Hot Chili Peppers are, what they want to be and who you want them to be. A solid way to close out the album.
THE TAKE AWAY:
The Getaway is an album that slowly grows on you. This isn’t the funky in your face Chili’s from days past. Sure there are those moments but this is something else. It’s more soul and R&B textures and flavors. It’s softer yet still maintains that bite and high energy. It’s an album that shows the band having one foot firmly planted in their roots and inspirations and the other foot taking a step or two into the future. This is an album that doesn’t immediately make you think of the Red Hot Chili Peppers but at the same time is sounds like the band we’ve all come to love and appreciate. It’s every bit past, present and future. Flea and Chad are such a tight cohesive rhythm section. Josh is subtle and fierce yet delicate. Anthony is such a joy as the wordsmith that he is. I found myself dancing to the funky parts, clapping along with the hand claps and singing through the chorus’. I’ve been listening to this album for a week straight and it continues to grow on me. I can’t wait to discover the next little note, flourish, vocal harmony or that little something that carries you away in the weeks to come.