I’ve long been a fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers, both the band and the kind you eat, so needless to say I was pretty excited when I first got wind of a new RHCP studio album. The Getaway is a change of direction of sorts for the Peppers, after Flea himself had gone on record saying the band had been making the exact same music for decades. The funk-rock sound that made RHCP something special has, after all, been present since the 80’s when they first exploded onto the music scene with their self-titled debut album in 1984.
For me, Blood Sugar Sex Magik and Californication are my favorite Chili Peppers albums, and if I tried to run down my list of favorite songs, this review would be pages long. Suffice it to say, I’ve always liked their super funky riffs on tracks like Suck My Kiss, Scar Tissue and Around The World, so the changes on The Getaway are interesting and the album clearly stands out as something different than anything they’ve done before.
This is especially evident from jump street, with the album’s first two tracks, The Getaway and Dark Necessities being a little more mellow than most of their music has been through the early 2000’s. Now, I have to go on record and say that it’s an excellent change and one that surprised a lot of people. The band has historically been a funk rock band with an edgy side, who has done absolutely everything (including performing in the nude) in the music business, and here they come busting out of the gates with two mellow tracks to announce their first album since 2011’s I’m With You.
Make no mistake, however, that the funk is still ever present with RHCP. The sound and feel of their lyrics may have changed over the years, especially on The Getaway, but they are very much still a funk rock band at their core, and Anthony Kiedis is as much a funk rock singer as he’s ever been. He shows on Go Robot, one of the funkier tracks on the album, and one of my favorites, and on Sick Love as well, which is another funkier track that reminds me of late 90’s RCHP, while still being mellow and not as edgy as past work.
While the first half of The Getaway is really solid, the second half is no slouch either. Songs like Detroit and The Hunter really stand out to me as the band trying something new and taking their new direction to a level I wasn’t anticipating following the disappointment of I’m With You. The Hunter even goes so far as to slow the album down almost to a crawl and incorporate a piano of all things, which is the last thing you’d expect from RHCP, and yet it’s still funky enough to know without question, this is a Red Hot Chili Peppers song.
If I had to pick a favorite track, I’d say I’m torn between The Getaway and Dark Necessities, but I think I’d give the edge to Dark Necessities. All told, The Getaway gives us thirteen new and unique RHCP tracks that venture away from the funk rock they were known for in the 80’s and early 90’s, without completely abandoning their classic sound, and the result is a solid 11th studio effort from one of my all-time favorite bands. With The Getaway, Red Hot Chili Peppers announce to the world that while their roots will always be in funk, they can do it all, and have left us with great possibilities for the future.
1. “The Getaway”
2. “Dark Necessities”
3. “We Turn Red”
4. “The Longest Wave”
5. “Goodbye Angels”
6. “Sick Love”
7. “Go Robot”
8. “Feasting on the Flowers”
10. “This Ticonderoga”
12. “The Hunter”
13. “Dreams of a Samurai”