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  • Writer's pictureReece Bithrey

Album Of The Week - Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication

(Picture Credit - AllMusic)

We move to an album that was twenty years old yesterday as a matter of fact - it's the Red Hot Chili Peppers' groundbreaking and downright funky 1999 album Californication.

I've been a fan of the Chili Peppers for a little while now and Californication was the album that got me into the LA rockers, with its quite-frankly perfect basslines from bassist Flea and excellent drumwork from Chad Smith. The album majorly features quick and short tracks, such as I Like Dirt and Right On Time. Whilst these songs may make absolutely no sense, they give the album a sense of quirkiness in character that is found on most of the Chili Peppers' releases, so it's really pleasant to see it here.

Around The World is an absolutely fantastic opening track and acts as a perfect introduction to the Chili Peppers to any new listeners, featuring a myriad of styles all in four minutes, such as a heavier middle section and the skittish verse exemplifies the funkiness of the entire album. Purple Stain is equally, if not a tad more rampant, with Kiedis' frantic vocals exemplifying this perfectly. The title track is perhaps the best on the album, with its slow-building sound leading to a truly brilliant chorus. Its lyrics are the best on the album bar none, taking an in-depth, symbolic look at the alternative Hollywood that has masqueraded itself in the lives of the band, with frequent drug usage and promiscuity. Drumwork from Chad Smith is rather good here, along with Frusciante's guitar work too adding to create a fantastic sound overall.

Emit Remmus is one of the best tracks on here hands-down, with Anthony Kiedis attacking the vocal to great extent and this complements Flea's bassline perfectly. The song talks about a relationship between an American man and an English girl - there are several little references to London, through Leicester Square and Primrose Hill, oddly enough. It's a song with endless grunt and some fantastic attitude. Contrary to this, Scar Tissue is one of the softer tracks in the catalogue, showing a different side to Kiedis, with a song that's more melodic and mellow overall; the guitar notes from John Frusciante are a little reminiscent of Steve Rothery in Marillion by way of the recurring riff and its less harsh sound.

Californication is arguably one of the best albums of the nineties, bringing something a little different to the rock scene, juxtaposing the rising alternative scene at the time with a little more power and attitude. Personally, I see it as the Chili Peppers' best album and for anyone looking to get into their work, this is the perfect starting point.

If you want to pick up a copy, I’ll leave an Amazon link here:

Or, if you’d prefer, here’s a Spotify link:

More musical magnificence to come next week!


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