By Aaron Parsons
Almost in the same way JJ Abrams played homage to the original Star Wars saga, producer Danger Mouse has helped Red Hot Chili Peppers romance with nostalgia on their latest outing ‘The Getaway’. There are nuances of memory lane in this smooth, well-engineered record but that’s not to say it doesn’t flirt with fresh sounds either. There’s a healthy dose of new and old likely to appease diehard fans clinching on to sounds that seemed shelved over a decade ago. Obvious deep-rooted tones appear in ‘We Turn Red’ and ‘Detroit’ that echo the ‘Californication’ era.
Although many appear to still be grieving the not so mortal loss of long time guitarist John Frusciante, relatively new recruit Josh Klinghoffer provides a more delicate approach with his pick and strings. If you can push passed the Frusciante hole you will really appreciate the subtle riffs and licks Klinghoffer boasts throughout. His psychedelic, dreamy approach adds to an already matured sound from the once penis sock wearing funks that wanted to give it to your mama. There’s less of a raw chaotic vibe and more a considered poetic daydream but that’s not to say it doesn’t have that Chili Pepper vibrancy we are all accustomed to.
5 years on from ‘I’m With You’, 11th studio album ‘The Getaway’ certainly bears more resemblance to what we have come to expect from the Californian funk veterans, which suggests there is still juice left in the tank. You have to appreciate that these guys are still delivering solid sounds considering they started their band as a joke in 1983.
It comes as no surprise that the group chose to unveil their latest outing with the single ‘Dark Necessities’. It reeks of Chilis and warms you into the album with the familiar. Songs like ‘Sick Love’ and ‘Go Robot’ soon thrust you from the Chili Pepper womb introducing string arrangements, hypnotic synthesizers, jazzed up piano and even hip-hop hand claps but Flea’s plodding bass keeps you grounded as you funk along. It’s a more lighthearted pop laden take on life than the days of ‘Under The Bridge,’ but when Kiedis and co touch on darkness it certainly gives that bitter taste you desire.
It’s a safe effort but one with plenty of energy, passion and colour that seems to carry these guys through life and album after album. This latest creation, the first away from long time producer Rick Rubin implores a very well thought out approach and gives the listener and fan a good blend of new and old. It might be obvious when they reminisce past sounds but just like having Han and Chewie back in the Falcon, you feel strangely at home and warm inside even if a little spoon-fed at the same time.