Before you continue reading, I want to make it very clear that I love the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I always have and I always will, but it is time for the people still clutching to the cliff of the past to let go. Reviews on iTunes for The Getaway are so far from the truth. Reviewers have managed to “get away” from the reality that is The RHCP who now reside in the cracked remains of their old shell. What happened to the energy and punk rock style that lived so vicariously in their bloodstream? Since when did pop take over this alternative rock band? If you can’t complain about the lifelessness, you can complain about the meaningless lyrics. If meaningless lyrics are not enough to deter the most ambitious listener, then the lack of congruency of the emotions to the music should be enough. The Getaway has a couple of decent songs, but the rest of it is just not good enough. It is time we forget their extraordinary reputation of the past and judge for what has choked its way up to the present.
The first aspect of this disappointing album that I would like to discuss are the songs that begin like they are going to soar above the iTunes charts and then come crashing down in a depressing explosion. The opening song in this album is called “The Getaway” and I really want to just get away from the song in general. The introduction to this song sounds so promising and inviting with rhythmic synthesizing and drumming, yet it rapidly transforms into a lifeless and dull message that drags along the span of four minutes. “We Turn Red” is the third song in this album and it also begins with an electric beginning of rhythm and then just dies when the lyrics “Lost my mind ’cause I’m on the plastic/ Who knew it’s so damn drastic/Show me what it is you believe in/ Slowly she sinks all her teeth in”. There just isn’t any feeling or meaning behind these words. As an advocate of this band, I acknowledge that they are not always about exploding lyrics and instrumentals, but come on!
Unfortunately, there are also songs in this album that I resent listening to. “Sick Love” is a song in The Getaway that just should have been left in a notebook untouched. Not only is the message fairly identical to the previous song, but it is flat out boring. It isn’t spunky enough to energize anyone and it isn’t depressing enough to comfort someone. The track is so zombie-like that the walkers on The Walking Dead would lose their jobs. Another song that I fully wish The RHCP would have left out is “Detroit”. I absolutely love the music behind the band in this song, however, it doesn’t quite fit in with the lyrics and vocals. Furthermore, the diction in “Detroit” is horrendous in the chorus. It took me, members of my family, and multiple friends to discern just what they were singing. Then we come to the singing. As harsh as this may sound, the singing sounds soulful which is completely contradicting to the more punk-inspired music behind the vocals. Finally, as much as I love and respect Anthony Kiedis, his voice sounds super tense during this song. His vocal chords appear to be up and some of the notes reflect that he is not breathing low enough to smoothly execute the notes.
Because I admire this band so much (whether it sounds that way or not), I want to amicably discuss the outstanding aspects of The Getaway. “Dark Necessities” is the sophomore song in this album and it’s awesome! The opening chords of the bass guitar played by Flea and the lead guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, as well as the terrific drums banged by Chad Smith set the building blocks for one hell of a structured song. As it progresses, everything comes to life with lively clapping and the classic RHCP signature sound dating back to “California R.I.P.” Lyrics “Yeah, you don’t know my mind/ You don’t know my kind/ Dark necessities are part of my design/ Tell the world that I’m falling from the sky/ Dark necessities are part of my design” depict a youthful vibe that was sparsely distributed throughout The Getaway.
“Goodbye Angels”, “Go Robot”, and “Encore” were three other songs that I would finally like to mention because their tunes and themes are relatively true to this band’s background and their aspects of music, meaning, and vocals are all congruent.
Overall though, this probably has been my least favorite album that The Red Hot Chili Peppers have produced. The Getaway distanced the band from their signature elements and sounds, and has turned them into an unbalanced group of musicians. I have been a major fan of this band since I first heard their songs in a 2005 Tony Hawk skating game, but this album was just disheartening. Thus, I sadly award this album a 4 because they needs to condense their “filler songs” and incorporate more melodies and masterpieces that stay true to themselves.
Alternative Rock I Warner Bros. Records Inc.