Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Californication

Warner Brothers

The return of John Frusciante, the guitarist who helped the Chili Peppers reach multi-platinum status and then abruptly quit, has breathed new life into what many people believed to be a band near extinction. The Chili Peppers have resurrected the sound that made them famous. Their new release, Californication , is classic Blood Sugar Sex Magik -era Peppers — sometimes funky, clever, and ringing with beautiful melodies, and other times, just plain silly.

The slower-tempo tracks, such as “Other Side,” “Scar Tissue,” and the title track, show that the Peppers have learned a thing or two from the success of “Under the Bridge.” These three songs have the “Magik” combination — a catchy melody, a sharp hook, and the exposure of an endearing vulnerability. I found myself singing along with each almost instantly. They are destined to get airplay and will likely be huge hits.

Most of the remaining tracks are also quite good. However, Californication does not have as many quality up-tempo funk-rock tracks as Blood Sugar Sex Magik . Indeed, some of the songs sound as if the band was trying too hard to sound like the Peppers of old, attempting in vain to retain that distinctive funk sound and punk attitude.

Overall, however, Californication is highly recommended. Of the fifteen tracks on the disc, I liked five immediately. Four more have begun to grow on me. A total of nine enjoyable songs on Californication puts it well ahead of other popular new releases on the priority of purchase list.

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