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Red Hot Chili Peppers

  • The Uplift Mofo Party Plan,
  • Californication,
  • By The Way,
  • Stadium Arcadium,
  • I'm With You,

  • Album Reviews |

    Red Hot Chili Peppers

    The Uplift Mofo Party Plan 6 ( 1987 )
    Fight Like a Brave / Funky Crime / Me and My Friends / Backwoods / Skinny Sweaty Man / Behind the Sun / Subterranean Homesick Blues / Special Secret Song Inside / No Chump Love Sucker / Walkin' on Down the Road / Love Trilogy / Organic Anti-Beat Box Band

    I'm not particularly happy sat down listening to this. I guess I could go on ahead and stand up, then? Or maybe try to swing and dance a little? I could try, couldn't I? Okay, then. Lemme stand up here and get a tattoo or something to aid my concentration. Ah, maybe that's the trouble? Maybe get drunk?? You see, i'm struggling here to find much appeal to 'The Uplift Mofo Party Plan' many years after it was first released. The bass guitar is pretty damn accomplished throughout, but nobody manages to write memorable material. The sound is funk/rock/rap and sounds very dated to me listening circa 2003. This certainly isn't the same calibre of material as later records the group put out. This is just fun, party time. Hard hitting guitars, that funky impressive bass combined with vocals and lyrics that serve the purpose for which they were probably intended, but aren't really serious. The sound of the vocals is nothing special, somewhat generic funk/rap/metal - as is much of the music, actually. Could almost be anybody these days, listened to years later. Oh, but what about historical perspective? What about the Red Hot Chili Peppers place in history? Well, it's still there, you know? They moved on, they progressed! Of course they did, because if all they did was release albums like this, we'd have ceased talking about them long ago.

    There's nice driving, impressive guitar parts all through 'Special Secret Song Inside'. There's an inexplicable cover of Bob Dylans 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' that actually sounds just like a Chili Peppers tune as performed here. It also makes me wonder about my claim that relatively weak material is to blame for this particular album failing to float my boat or set my hair on fire, so to speak. But.... the chili peppers version of 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' is so radically different in musical atmosphere, style and feel - even musical structure and managing to completely ignore the songs original melody - that it can be considered a Chili Peppers song rather than a Dylan song. At least, as its been performed here. Other notable things to report? Well, 'Funky Crime' isn't too hot. It wouldn't pass muster these days, you know? When the chorus arrives, all "FUNKY CRIME! AGAINST A STATE OF MIND!", etc - it's really not anything to be happy about. Well, you can laugh at the song being quite so childish and fake angry, but there you go. As I said earlier, getting drunk or jumping up and down is probably the correct way to listen to this album. Still, the playing really is good, you know? I like the bass guitar guy. What's his name? Ah, Flea. Flea? Ha, ha, ha! Well, of course it's Flea. Flea is guardian of all things Red Hot Chili Peppers. I have great respect for the guy as an artist and a musician. No, really!

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    Readers Comments

    Geavy Hlow funky_chilipepper@suomi24.fi
    You definitely haven't sat down and really listen to the songs. The songs on Uplift Mofo are made for serious partying, but if you listen to lyrics or different instruments at the time you can hear how the song is based on different layors, and how they make you feel damn good by just being so funky and so.. good.

    Stewart Godwin godders49@hotmail.com
    You looking at this from totally the wrong angle here. Uplift Mofo is not about writing the best song in history or wanting to last the test of time. It is a punk/funk party album made in the mid 80's, and you say that it could be anyone listen to years later, well i strongly disagree. the chili's have always had their own unique style, fleas bass is instantly recognisable and anyone who knows any old-school kiedis, will know who they are listening to. This is one of my favourite chili albums, not one disapointing song for me 8/10

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    Californication 8 ( 1999 )
    Around The World / Parallel Universe / Scar Tissue / Otherside / Get On Top / Californication / Easily / Porcelain / Emit Remmus / I Like Dirt / This Velvet Glove / Savior / Purple Stain / Right On Time / Road Trippin'

    Guitarist John Frusciante returned for this album. Before I begin however I should say this is the only Red Hot Chili Peppers album Iíve heard ( web-masters note 30/07/02 : no longer true! ). Other than that, Iíve heard the hits. They've had a few, too. It's not the sort of thing I normally listen to so I don't want any ranting and raving that Iíve 'missed the point'. I enjoy listening to this record and take it at face value. After 'Around The World' has served it's purpose in opening the record we have the guitar fury and tight playing of 'Parallel Universe'. The drum roll at the end reminds you this is rock n roll! 'Scar Tissue' is simply a great song. It's the sort of song that will break out of any 'funk/rock' typecasting people have the Chili Peppers down for. Good singing, good lyrics. Nice little harmony parts, which surprised me. 'Otherside' continues this sound. A very mainstream rock sound. From memory I guess they were a little more raw in their earlier days, but then, that's true of a lot of bands as they progress through the years. You can't deny it's a pretty good song. 'Get On Top' reminds me of a lesser 'Faith No More' and 'Californication' is famous for being on MTV and VH1 every five minutes. Yeah, it's a good song and video. But, enough! It does prove exactly how popular this group are I guess.

    Highlights of the second half of the record include the soft ballad 'Porcelain'. Yeah, a highlight. Maybe not a rock number but again, a good song. It breaks up the mood of the album and provides a little light relief. 'Emit Remmus' features a good bass backdrop which the whole song hangs on. The wonderfully titled 'I Like Dirt' follows this and is the sound of this album all over. An invigorated, re-united band coming straight back in at close to top form. It's a very consistent album. No real stinkers - maybe no 'under the bridge' either, but a good effort. To close with have the funk of 'Right On Time' and possibly the best song on the whole record with 'Road Trippin'. Good singing! You know, I'd never noticed before how good this groups little vocal parts are. I'm impressed. Considering the album as a whole, as I said in the opening paragraph - this isn't really my bag. Having said that, I do enjoy listening to it. It transcends the groups origins and shows just how important a band they've been and become.

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    Readers Comments

    Pat D pd6941@albany.edu
    Dont have much to add, but yes, Scar Tissue is a great song. I havent heard such a relaxing, atmospheric pop rock song in years.

    Jason Motell JMOTELL@stny.rr.com
    I know you said this isn't your scene and all, and it is not mine either, but this is a very good album, I'd give it a strong 8. Lyrically, it is nothing really amazing, but it does have plenty of creativity and imagery. Musically, this is undeniably great. Flea is the best rock bassists of the past 20 years (Although I admit to not knowing enough from Les Claypool), and the harmonies are top notch. It is as diverse as any album I've heard with ballads, funk, pop and classic rock and absolutely no filler!

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    By The Way( 2002 )
    By The Way / Universally Speaking / This Is The Place / Dosed / Don't Forget Me / The Zephyr Song / Can't Stop / I Could Die For You / Midnight / Throw Away Your Television / Cabron / Tear / On Mercury / Minor Thing / Warm Tape / Venice Queen

    I was in the middle of listening to this album for the first time, and I kept drifting off in places, cursing the length of the album - but then suddenly something like 'Tear' would come on, and i'd spring right up, wide awake, slightly in awe of the harmonies, the intelligence, craft and structure. This is certainly a vocally rich album, harmonies enriching songs all over the place. Yes, it IS too long, but let's forget about that for a second. Lead single 'By The Way' isn't as startling as any of the singles from 'Californication' but that doesn't mean this isn't a good song. We do get some quite frankly scary funk riffing, a semi-rap vocal, and computerised effects that disappear for the chorus. The chorus itself is actually quite nice. 'Universally Speaking' is a 'mature' Red Hot Chili Peppers song, but, don't be put off. This song is so well written, and the harmonies which are a feature of this album make their first appearance, and very nice they are too. 'This Is The Place' opens with deep bass notes, little funky drums - usual Chili Peppers stuff, in fact. The song is fine, nothing more than that. Very pretty guitar and great lead vocals are a feature of 'Dosed', 'Don't Forget Me' is inappropriately titled, because this is a very forgettable song, if still well put together. 'The Zephyr Song' is very much the sound of 'Californication' but with the harmony vocals as well. It's a lovely song, a soft song, which may not please some fans, but what the hey! Those looking for the rap/funk Chili Peppers actually get it with the following song, 'Can't Stop'. They still include a few harmonies, and a strong chorus. A fantastic song actually, it's got a bit of everything. 'I Could Die For You' closes the first half of the record, a rather unmemorable ballad, but still worthy for the vocal performances.

    'Midnight' is a mid-tempo, semi-ballad too many, not particularly a highlight - still nice enough, just not anything the album hasn't already given us. 'Throw Away Your Television' is better with funky bass grooves and 'Cabron' enjoyable for it's Latin flavoured guitars. The highlight of the entire album arrives next. 'Tear' is absolutely stunning, truly beautiful. Piano opens the song, drums and a nice emotional vocal full of feeling. Then, the harmonies kick in and sound totally beautiful. Have these guys been listening to The Beach Boys or something?? I mean, really - the harmonies are impeccable. The lyrics are intelligent and although this isn't a ROCK song, that doesn't mean it isn't a truly GREAT song. Believe. Believe? I can hardly believe it myself! But, let's carry on. 'On Mercury' is just daft enough, bouncy and silly enough to successfully follow 'Tears' on the album. 'Minor Thing' is a more up-tempo song and very enjoyable too. 'Warm Tape' has a space / sci-fi type sound running through it, which is interesting. Good song, too. The six minute long 'Venice Queen' closes the album, a song of two halfs. The second half seems to bear little relation to the first half, but it doesn't matter too much, both parts are enjoyable. The entire album is enjoyable! Well, correction. It's TOO LONG! It's not always easy to sit through this record from beginning to end. I know with CD technology you can program out tracks, whatever. It's a shame, because if they'd chopped off, say, four songs - we'd have a classic on our hands. Really.

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    Readers Comments

    i recently bought By the Way, and have to agree with u that though it could do without some of the tracks (i don't like i could die for you), overall this album has a really cool, interesting, soft-yet-edgy, listenable sound to it, with songs that are different and inventive. Tear, the title track, warm tape, dosed, this is the place and on mercury (its catchy!) are my favourites. Even if ure not a fan of red hot chili peppers, u'll probly find something to enjoy here. that's all.

    george molina www.natalee.888@netzero.net
    I agree with you 100%.Take away four to five songs and I put this album up there with anything done by my favorite bands:u2,the beach boys,the beatles,r.e.m.,and the smiths.Please review the doves.They are my current fave band.

    Steve Van Etten Bittlecocker1@Hotmail.com
    The R.H.C.P are easily my favorite mainstream band of the '90's and for me "By the Way" secured their status as one of those rare bands (i.e The Beatles & U2) that seem to get better with age. I like how they explore numerous different genres on this album while staying true to their funk roots with songs like "Can't Stop". I love the retro feel of "Tear" and "Universally Speaking" and I think "Don't Forget Me" is one of Kiedes's best vocal performances ever. I consider this the best Chili Peppers album since Blood Sugar Sex Magic.

    ben Fishes_Inc@hotmail.com
    This is the Chilipeppers' Sgt. Pepper's. I am really anxious to see what they do next.

    Michael Jones mj456@aol.com
    The R.H.C.P. are easily one of my favorite bands. I have really only listened fully to the 'Californication' and 'By the Way' albums. 'By the way is definetely on my top-5 list of favorite albums. I enjoy the variety of genres in the songs. It never really gets boring. I have to disagree with the opinion that it is too long though. I like almost every song on the album, with about 5 or 6 favorites. I do agree that the vocals and harmonies are exceptional.

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    Stadium Arcadium( 2006 )
    Dani California / How (Hey Oh) / Charlie / Stadium Arcadium / Hump De Bump / She`s Only 18 / Slow Cheetah / Torture Me / Strip My Mind / Especially In Michigan / Warlocks / C`mon Girl / Wet Stand / Hey / Desecration Smile / Tell Me Baby / Hard To Concentrate / 21st Century / She Looks To Me / Readymade / If / Make You Feel Better / Animal Bar / So Much I / Storm In A Teacup / We Believe / Turn It Again / Death Of A Martian

    I've been writing music reviews for my own amusement for nearly five years now. This Red Hot Chili Peppers page was one of the very first I started, so I apologise if the reviews on this page are rather inconsistent in tone and style. I could re-write them all, but i've had several fans/readers of the site pestering me to do a write-up of this new effort from our favourite Californian sons. I must admit ( in fully conversational style ) I didn't pay much attention to Red Hot Chili Peppers prior to 'Californication'. I'm not the biggest funk/rock/rap/metal crossover fan in the world, but they've grown hugely from their relatively humble beginnings. They do great videos! I was watching a compilation of their video hits just last night. Top singles band. Anyway, where shall I start? A double CD album. There was me complaining their albums are too long and they make an even longer one! Splendid ( there's a word ) playing from all involved, very muscular playing as we would expect from these guys. The first CD is the one that sounds like a continuation of Red Hot Chili Peppers 'Greatest Hits' CD. Now, that can be considered a good thing for newer fans, a bad thing for older fans who may express dismay that the band have seemingly found a safe place to laze around in, in contrast to wearing socks on their cocks and being 'dangerous'. Wonderful harmonies, the lead guitar player absolutely cooking - wonderful invention and soloing.

    One favourite tune of the entire twenty eight arrives with 'Torture Me'. It's fast, it's slow. It contains great harmonies and a proper, twiddly rock guitar solo. It does enough for me. The title track is likely a future single. What else? Well, listening to the album from beginning to end is almost impossible. One train of thought could be to state Disc 1 is better than Disc 2. As if the band just stuck all the excess on Disc 2 and released the album this way, to give better value to the modern day listener. Another train is merely Disc 1 is the more immediate of the two. I do get bored with the lack of surprises sometimes, though. Why am I getting bored listening to this? Why do I have the desire to listen to the new Pearl Jam instead? It's a strange one, considering there really isn't anything terribly wrong with any of the individual songs. <

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    sunny k drunkenmonkey229@hotmail.com
    i recently got stadium arcadium and yes it is too long and yes the first cd is better then the second, but their are some awesome songs on both charlie, slow cheetah, tell me babay, torture me, especially in michigan

    Stefan, steffroud@hotmail.com
    I still can't work out which disc I prefer of the two! Tell me Baby I think is one of the songs that only keeps this disc being of the same standard as the first. After a week of owning this album I liked it but thought by the way and californication were slightly better. A few months later I have to disagree and would say its one of the best if not there best album to date! With a predicted 5 or 6 singles going to be released and 5 million albums already sold in the first 3 months Its easily going to sell more than By The Way. Keep rocking chilis, only a couple more years till that magic 25!

    g-dogg gciganer@aol.com
    there is much better songs on 'jupiter' then 'mars' but dont get me wrong they are ONE of the best albums by them ive heard. some of the best on 'jupiter' are slow cheetah, hey yo [snow], and charlie. it is a must get!

    Jim Johnston georgejohnston@aol.com
    Yes, sometimes it is a bit too long to listen to. But there is not one bad song, my highlights are Charlie, Stadium Arcadium, Hump de Bump, Descreation Smile, Make You Feel Better, Shes Only 18, and the 3 absolute classics, the brilliantly quirky Death Of A Martian which is a brilliant way to end the album, Torture Me, I completely agree with you, this blow me away, when the horn kicks in, you get chills, and, unbelievably even better, the tremendous Especially In Michigan. 2 hours a bit long for an album, but if you're in the right mood, listen to one disc right through, you won't regret it! 9/10

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    I'm With You( 2011 )
    Monarchy of Roses / Factory of Faith / Brendanís Death Song / Ethiopia / Annie Wants a Baby / Look Around / The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie / Did I Let You Know / Goodbye Hooray / Happiness Loves Company / Police Station / Even You Brutus? / Meet Me at the Corner / Dance, Dance, Dance

    Their 10th album has been produced by Rick Rubin and is their first with new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer who replaced John Frusciante who seems to have left the group for the second and final time. Josh Klinghoffer almost doesn't seem to be here either however, lending textural touches rather than soloing and showing off. Clearly he's a talented player and he was after all the former understudy for Frusciante yet he has his own style. So, to make up for this change if the change even needs 'making up' for arrives Flea who musically dominates this record. For long-term fans traumatised by the Dave Navarro of Janes Addiction helmed 'One Hot Minute' I can reassure you Klinghoffer replacing Frusciante and affected the sound of the band and the overall quality of their product far less drastically. Sure, you can tell there is a different style of guitar playing here as indicated above yet the songs are rooted in the same kind of stadium pleasing arena funk rock they've been peddling since their 'Californication' artistic re-birth.

    'I'm With You' comes in at a relatively concise 59 minutes which helps. 'Goodbye Hooray' helps in that it sounds like a Red Hot Chili Peppers single in the making. The actual single at the time of writing 'The Adventures Of Rain Dance Maggie' failed to chart inside the top 40 in the UK, a rare recent flop for the group. Attributing this to the change in lineup would be disingenous as the average man in the street probably doesn't even know about the change and wouldn't necessarily guess by listening to the single, which has received a fair amount of radio-play, sales or no sales. 'I'm With You' debuted at number one in the album charts here in the UK before swiftly falling out of the charts. Sales of course are no natural barometer of quality yet these facts are worth mentioning as I believe 'I'm With You' is the sound of 'Red Hot Chili Peppers' playing it far too safe. Flea irritates rather than impresses because his bass is just so omnipresent, taking the lead on virtually every track on the album. Rick Rubin doesn't help matters by using an obvious modern rock production trick of turning everything up to eleven then compressing the hell out of the end result.

    I enjoy 'Monarchy Of Roses', it would settle nicely on any 'best of' Chili Peppers compilation. 'Factory Of Faith' I really enjoy, the chorus is strong even if Flea threatens to sleep with your wife unless he's allowed to turn his bass guitar up even more loudly. I like the guitar on this track actually, it doesn't really lead the song, rather add noises and draws on much needed light and shade. Inventive drumming is a feature of the closing 'Dance Dance Dance' and herein lies a problem. 'I'm With You' often sounds like the Flea and Anthony Kiedis show and all they show are tried and tested techniques. Something a little more daring next time around would be welcome as they surely can't continue to peddle the same old style forever and a day and expect the public to be as interested as before.

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    this page last updated 8/01/12

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