Red Hot Chilli Peppers…one of the biggest bands in the world. They’ve sold millions of albums, toured the world & are still able to headline countless festivals on the strength of their back catalogue alone. When people think of RHCP they think of a global band on par with the likes of Metallica, AC/DC, Oasis etc.
The thing is…I’ll never understand why.
Growing up I never saw what others saw when they were going nuts for Give It Away. One of their most famous songs, Anthony Kiedis grated on me. I just couldn’t see what was so good about them beyond the wackiness which was prevalent all across the rock and metal scene so hardly unique.
Over the years they’ve hardly endeared themselves further to me by releasing half-arsed album after half-arsed album. It bugs me no-end that no-one speaks about RHCP in terms of anything but their past glories. It bugs me that every year they are put down as a possible headliner for the UK festivals even though they’re about as important & relevant as ABBA.
Their sound has always been rock but lately they’ve lightened that to such a level that it’s getting scarcely close to the pop genre. Harsh? Have you listened to The Getaway!?
So you might wonder why I’m even bothering to review an album from a band I dislike so much? It’s simple really…every band deserves another chance, every new album should be judged on its own merits & shit, I thought it would be fun!
Oh & so we’re clear, I fucking hate Californication.
One thing I can praise RHCP for is that they have a uniqueness about them & they’ve never been scared of taking risks. I can recognise this which is why I can recognise that The Getaway is the most bland, boring & uninspired album I’ve heard this year.
Opening with the title track, it’s off to the worst start possible with a boring tune that has Anthony Kiedis sounding as if he’s about to fall asleep. The lack of energy is embarrassing & it can’t even claim to be catchy.
The intro to Dark Necessities had me hoping for more, light bass strumming followed by the tip-tap of drums and the guitar building up before an excellent piano piece picks up the pace. It builds & fizzles into nothing & I mean nothing.
It’s got a nice base hook & I love the use of the piano (I’m a piano mark) but that’s about it. Shockingly this is the best song on the album…The theme of The Getaway is ‘that’s about it’. Everything fizzles out, drones on, doesn’t end quick enough & it’s a chore getting through all 13 tracks.
There is no energy, no inspiration found anywhere in this album. The band sound bored which makes it hell for the listener. Every time a song ends it will fill you with relief & the brief hope that maybe the next one surely has to be better, yet it never is.
My ears momentarily pricked up for Goodbye Angels which suddenly picks up the pace right at end. It’s a welcome change but is very brief before normal, slow and monotone service resumes. Sick Love is mind-numblingy bad with so little to enjoy outside of a groovy sounding guitar solo but played at a pace that wouldn’t energise a room full of caffeine addicts.
At the halfway point the worst song on the album is dropped, Go Robot is an embarrassment with rubbish lyrics and the same bored-tone that has been dominant throughout. The chorus has this irratating effect that fails to enhance the song in anyway.
The rest of the album does little to improve, the funk stylings of Feasting on the Flowers is initially exciting but doesn’t go anywhere. It’s a chore & several times I wondered why I was even bothering. Here I was wasting near 52 minutes when there is so much great rock and metal out there. This year alone has been an incredible year for both new and old bands.
Which sums up The Getaway…this level of half-arsedness is just not going to fly this year. Another year maybe RHCP would get away with it, barely. With so many young, hungry and exciting rock bands kicking ass now, this album is just going to speed up RHCP decline in obscurity.
I couldn’t bring myself to listen to this more than twice.
Overall Track List:
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
Red Hot Chili Peppers - The Getaway (Warner Bros. Records)