Day 28: Red Hot Chili Peppers – Californication

Day 28: Red Hot Chili Peppers – Californication

Tracklist

  1. Around the World
  2. Parallel Universe
  3. Scar Tissue
  4. Otherside
  5. Get On Top
  6. Californication
  7. Easily
  8. Porcelain
  9. Emit Remmus
  10. I Like Dirt
  11. This Velvet Glove
  12. Savior
  13. Purple Stain
  14. Right On Time
  15. Road Trippin’

About the album

Californication, is the seventh studio album by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Released in June of 1999, it is the band’s most commercially successful studio release with over 16 million copies having been sold worldwide.

Thoughts on the tracklist

Californication is arguably RHCP’s best release since Blood Sugar Sex Magik. And the tracks reflect a different approach to their craft when compared to that of their previous releases. Featuring the Grammy award winning “Scar Tissue”, the songs lead through thick and never ending issues that the members of the band faced in their daily lives.

The album explodes onto the scene with the opening track, “Around the World”. Backed with the distorted and rather funky bass of the Flea, “Around the World” opens with a bang. The Flea’s funky bass riffs, drummer Chad Smith’s pounding drums, make way for the hectic guitar of Frusciante before the make funky rapping of Kiedis and harmonic chorus and backing vocals.

“Parallel Universe” continues this. The Fleas fingers work overtime on the bass on this one.  Continuing with the funky, high octane bass line and the medium paced verses which ultimately break into a huge, big rock chorus.

“Scar Tissue”, the album’s first single, is a dramatic change of pace. Instead of hard and heavy, it is more mellowed out, beautiful and calming. In my opinion “Scar Tissue” is a wonderfully melodic rock ballad that is not overdone. It is short, but the vocals are more  softer and understated,… while the beat just sways along.

“Otherside” or the fourth track on Californication is definitely a great radio hit. Containing a massively ear-catching chorus, the beat is incredibly strong and driving. It’s the kind of song you can listen to over and over and not get tired of.

“Californication,” the title track, is definitely an album highlight and a song that one needs to hear live. It is frontman Keidis’ song about life in California, containing very emotive lyrics and a homage to Kurt Cobain who Keidis admired. In my opinion, it is nothing short of a masterpiece. The guitars and drums on this song give it such a visual and atmospheric feel to it. It’s so ethereal and majestic, with soaring vocals giving the song that grand, anthemic feel to it.

Thoughts on the album

Californication, isn’t just one of the best RCHP albums in their repertoire, but one of the best albums of the 1990s. The Peppers grew up with this album, showing their more mellowed out and emotive sides when compared to their earlier more brash, loud, and in your face material. If I were to rank Californication on the list of RHCP albums, it would be  ranked second… right after Blood Sugar Sex Magik and right before Stadium Arcadium. This album has very little filler, the songs that aren’t exactly hits, but are better than bonus and B-side tracks. The return of Frusciante as guitarist leads the way for the Peppers and this album is great because of him. There is natural chemistry on this album between the guitar and bass and drums and vocals, instead of mismatch of sound that was One Hot Minute. 

Conclusion

What more can I say? Californication closed out the 1990s with a bang. Definitely a must own, not just for RHCP fans, but music fans everywhere. The Red Hot Chili Peppers struck gold with this album.

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