The Californian rockers just about get away with this one.
It’s been five years since the Chili Peppers released I’m With You and now the boys are back with brand new material. As a big Chili Peppers’ fan myself, I was disappointed with I’m With You – it lacked the energy and excitement that classic Chili Peppers albums such Blood Sugar Sex Magic or By The Way had. Perhaps this was due to John Frusciante’s departure and the fact that Josh Klinghoffer wasn’t given too much time to remould his Warpaint style to appease Chili Peppers fans. Now, five years on, Klinghoffer has had more than enough time to acclimatise to the red hot vibes that are so integral to the band’s signature sound.
Thankfully, Klinghoffer has certainly adjusted to the band’s style. Indeed, many tracks on The Getaway are unmistakably Chili Peppers’ tracks, showcasing their signature funk rock sound. ‘The Getaway’, ‘Dark Necessities’ and ‘We Turn Red’ are funky and groovy, with Flea’s heavy bass slapping throwing listeners back to early Chili Peppers days. ‘We Turn Red’ may as well have been called ‘Give It Away Pt.2’.
It’s refreshing to hear the band return to their elements as, reminding us why we fell in love with Chili Peppers in the first place.
Their slower tracks are tinged with melancholy vibes. ‘The Longest Wave’ is almost dreamy at times. ‘The Hunter’ is deeply moving – “strawberries left to decay” is somehow vividly sorrowful. There are mournful vibes on the record too. Whilst ‘Feasting On The Flowers’ may sound upbeat, its lyrics paint a different picture of the death of a dear friend.
This record therefore serves up a wide array of emotions and is somewhat deceitfully dark at times. However, whilst its ambitious in emotion, its not adventurous enough to be heralded as a Chili Peppers classic. All of the tracks are good, but even the stand-out tracks seem weak in comparison to the tracks which are synonymous with the mention of the band’s name. Whilst the album offers a throwback to early Chili Peppers days, it doesn’t really do these days justice, but then again, that would be a hard fete to accomplish.
The Getaway is a good record on its own, but listeners will listen to it a couple of times at the most before returning to the band’s earlier work. The album is a refreshing reminder of how incredible this band is, but will be a largely forgettable record in the future when it sits amongst the greats that made the band a household name.