The last time the Red Hot Chili Peppers released an album they were in a time of transition after John Frusciante once again left the band, this time being replaced by Josh Klinghoffer.
‘I’m With You’ was the first studio album with Josh Klinghoffer and whilst it is a solid album, I personally feel that it was only ever meant to be a transitional album. A learning curve. A solid foundation to figure out what Klinghoffer can bring and what the Chili Peppers can bring to Klinghoffer.
With an album and world tour with Josh Klinghoffer in the books, the Chili Peppers needed to step-up with their next effort. They opted to turn to a different producer in Danger Mouse, the first time since Mother’s Milk in 1989 that they haven’t worked with Rick Rubin on an album, and take a different style musically.
The Getaway works like a much more confident album.
A new producer at the helm and a different song structure is what to expect from this album, which is an album driven on melody.
The Getaway deals with remembering and acceptance of your fellow man, particularly in relationships. ‘Dark Necessities’ is a soothing plea to accept Anthony and other creative types for who they are, both as a person and as an artist.
A further song about remembering, and a highlight of this theme is Encore, which anyone who saw them on the ‘I’m With You’ will easily recognise as it uses the instrumental jam that the band used to end their concerts with.
Anthony remembers the simple things that make him happy, such as driving down a highway in California listening to the radio but also laments the fact that not everything in life goes smoothly: “Hold my hand / I want to share it all with Mary / Results are gonna vary now”.
Given that the majority of people would remember it as the encore jam, I think it would have been more appropriate to end the album with song but it’s still my highlight of the album regardless.
‘Goodbye Angels’ is a fine example of Chad’s metronomic drumming and Kiedis’ ability to combine pure singing with his classic fast paced flow. It starts slow and then builds up into an in-your-face instrumental all in the space of 4:30, ending with a blistering Klinghoffer solo.
The Getaway doesn’t completely abandon what makes the Chili Peppers distinct. Songs like ‘Go Robot’ and ‘Detroit’ show that the Chili Peppers are still not afraid to get funky. ‘Go Robot’ is electro-inspired and ‘Detroit’, for me, has echoes of ‘Ethiopia’ from I’m With You.
‘This Ticonderoga’ showcases Kiedis’ ability to write a fun song that builds a connection, but his lyrics feel drowned out by the instrumental. Josh takes the cake with ‘Ticonderoga’ as he switches between raw and melodic at the drop of a hat. It wouldn’t surprise me if it became a staple of their concerts.
‘Sick Love’ is the prime example of the Chili Peppers taking a chance on this record and it working. It’s an Elton John collaboration that still carries the funk quirk that the Chili Peppers have made their own. Instrumentally, as is the case with most of The Getaway, it feels so smooth.
The open-minded approach to their music is prevalent throughout the album.
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