Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Stadium Arcadium

Man, am I loving this album.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers never come up on my list when friends ask me for my favorite bands. Yet every time an album is released, I fall in love with them all over again.

It started with Blood Sugar Sex Magic (although their cover of 'Higher Ground' is what made me notice them). In 1991, Walker and I were driving upstate and bought two new albums for the trip. I picked up 'Nirvana Nevermind' and he got 'Blood Sugar Sex Magic'. They were both played and replayed the entire trip. Like most fans, I stepped aside for 'One Hot Minute' (Dave Navarro is a great guitarist but the wrong choice) and rejoiced when Frusciante returned for 'Californication'. 'By the Way' brought new layers of texture to their music.

And here we are. It's been a four year wait for this double album of 28 songs. I imagine it will take me another four years to understand it. Chili Peppers albums are like that. You listen to the single ("Dani California" here) but six months the songs you thought were filler are the ones you can't play enough. Because every album is jammed with perfect songs and the human ear is not equipped to recognize that (I didn't love 'Can't Stop' until I heard it on Marc Maron's Air America show).

What really bonds the Chili Peppers to my heart is that they bring something to music I haven't heard in decades; joy. These guys love to play music and you hear it on every track. Even when tracked separately, they sound like their playing together. I can't help but feel a little envious when I think of all the bands I've been in that never clicked this way. Then again, most bands don't connect this well.

For the record, I bought this in Japan and then got tickets to see them in October.

So I am cooler than you.

Here's what other people are saying about Stadium Arcadium.

1 comment:

dave said...

I have to say I'm really impressed with the Chili Peppers staying power. They proved me wrong when I thought that all bands journey down Suck Road when they stop doing copious amounts of drugs. The Chili Peppers are the exception. They're shit gets better with age, and they have the incredible knack of skirting that mainstream/arty line. Sure, its accessible music, but not so much that it just hands you a sugar pop and pats you on the head. They have some great lines, some awesome videos, and they will hopefully keep this trend going.