Sunday, August 7, 2016

Taking a Getaway to a better kind of pepper.

When discussing the music of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, change-via-era is often a heavy part of the discussion.  Was 1 Hot Minute an overlooked gem or a disaster with Dave Navarro replacing the eccentric, mercurial, but undoubtedly talented John Frusciante?  And what of the Peppers after Frusciante left a second time?  It's the kind of thing that is appropriate, but can be too much of a running tangent.

With their 2016 release "The Getaway" which is album number 2 featuring Josh Klinghoffer replacing Frusciante after his second departure, they've found their groove again.  Their first with Klinghoffer, 2011's "I'm With You" showed that their new choice clearly could do the job well, and while not Frusciante, had a style all his own to bring to the Peppers' music.  On The Getaway, they make the wise choice of changing producers, bringing in Danger Mouse to man the boards.  Some long time fans mourn the loss of the raw, dirty, hyper-kinetic sound of the band in their pre-Blood Sugar Sex Magick days.  Whether it is the production cojones of Danger Mouse or just the Peppers finding a new stride late career to credit to this change, the transformation is real, and it paints a fine way forward.  The Getaway recaptures some of the raw fury of their early days, and blends that with a lived-in, easygoing sense of calm and peace.  2 of the 3 principal members are in their 50's, and it wouldn't make sense to be trying to re-hash the randy anthems of their younger days.  The shift in mood suits them, but at the same time lets them flex their talents.  Danger Mouse' production lets this shine through much better as well - from Flea's bass licks opening up lead single "Dark Necessities" and looping along to neatly tie up later track "Feasting on the flowers" - on this album, all 4 of the band members get to shine equally.  Not to knock on Rubin, he is a worthy producer, but Danger Mouse seems to get where the band is in the current day and tailors the soundscape to match with much more precision.  Kiedis' lyrics are as inscrutable as ever in places, but when the rich, luscious music layered around them sounds as good as it does on "The Getaway" - most listeners would be hard pressed to worry about that.  Definitely recommended.

Click here and check out lead single "Dark Necessities"

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