Flashback: Stadium Arcadium Review: Red Hot Chili Peppers Tribute Series Part. III [Final Installment of the Red Hot Chili Peppers Tribute Series]
Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Stadium Arcadium
Released: May 5, 2006
Genre: Alternative Rock
Label: Warner Bros. Records
Executive Producer: Rick Rubin
Stadium Arcadium was the first double album in the Red Hot Chili Peppers long and successful career. The reasoning for the double album release was the band became too emotionally attached to their recorded songs, not wanting to cut many tracks from the album. The original plan for the record, going into the writing process, was a smaller 12-14 song record. But as the writing process progressed, the band came out of the sessions with 38 songs. The subsequent plan at that point was to release three staggered albums six months apart, but that idea was quickly put aside, as the band realized that new material would be created by the time the second and third albums would be released. So the Red Hot Chili Peppers opted to go with the double album idea and reluctantly cut ten songs from the album and released them as b-sides. The 10 tracks later released as b-sides are often referred to as “Venus”, following the trend of the names of the two discs in the album, “Jupiter” and “Mars”. The Stadium Arcadium tour was the band’s biggest tour yet, stretching out over a two-year period of non-stop shows. By the end of the tour, the Red Hot Chili Peppers were mentally and physically exhausted and decided to take a two-year hiatus from music. During the hiatus, the band recieved shocking news that guitarist John Frusciante was leaving the band for the second time, making Stadium Arcadium the last album to that point to feature John. Stadium Arcadium drew rave reviews from critics, saying the album effectively reverted back to the band’s funk style after the last album, By the Way, followed more of a melodic style. The album was a commercial success as well, debuting at #1 on the Billboard 200 charts, making Stadium Arcadium the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ first album to debut at #1. The lead single, “Dani California”, spent 14 weeks at the #1 slot and other singles “Snow ((Hey Oh))” and “Tell Me Baby” also reached #1.
Disc 1: Jupiter
1. Dani California: Dani California soon after release, immediately became a Red Hot Chili Peppers classic and deservidly, the lead single of the album. A standout on the record, Dani California is one of the onlys songs on the record with a pop feel. John put together a great riff and bridge, plus, the replay value here is high. The chorus has a really catchy feel and really completes the song. Lyrically kiedis tells a story about a girl named dani who he has feelings for.
2. Snow ((Hey Oh)): The difficult guitar line here is effortlessly played by John, and Anthony’s soothing vocals complete the ballad-type song.
3. Charlie: The chorus of the song is a definate plus and a highlight of the recording. Although the same cant be said for the verses and really simple guitar line which takes from the average song.
4. Stadium Arcadium: This track is one of the few tracks on the record which has a really dreamy feel. Anthonys vocals shine the fullest in this ballad one of his personal highlights on the album and John’s guitar line is a real gem.
5. Hump de Bump: The overall weak track has groovey guitar line reminscent of their early funk years, combining their early funk work with their new ballad style of writing. The only highlight of the song is the percussion solo in the middle of the track.
6. Shes Only 18: The lyrics alone would make a great poem and a standout on the track. The chorus works really well as well as the fucky bassline and wangy guitar.
7. Slow Cheetah: One of the darker ballads in the record. Guitar riffs are a beauty and chorus provides a good climax for the song which instrumentally builds with every verse. A very undderrated track which deserves a listen from beginning to end.
8. Torture Me: A very fast paced head bumping bass heavy track. Trumpet in track is a nice plus in this song and the regression towards the end of the track is a nice leadup to the solo from John. (6/10)
9. Strip My Mind: Lyrics and instrumentals are rather weak in this track despite the fresh synthisized guitar line and overall great chorus.
10. Especially in Michigan: This song is a highlight of the record. The guitar and bass lines are a perfect match for the excellent vocals from Anthony. The solo from guest guitarist on the track, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez of The Mars Volta, is arguably the best solo on the entire record.
11. Warlocks: Any song that has “tikitickity tic tak toe” to rhyme with “go” isn’t a strong overall lyrical song. Although, the vocals and chorus in the track are a suprise and this fell-good funky track will eventually grow on you.
12. C’mon Girl: A very solid track and a very similar feel to “especially in michigan”. Chorus is a bit weak but Kiedis’ verses along with fleas running basslines are a definate moment.
13. Wet Sand: The most underrated song on the album. Beautiful guitar riffs are euphoric. Chorus at the end is worth waiting for after some nice ballad style verses from Anthony. Guitar solo at the end is simple, but simply perfect and timeless.
14. Hey: Another laidback ballad not as good as “Wet Sand” but a solid end to a solid 1st disc of Stadium Arcadium.
Disc 2: Mars
1. Descecration Smile: The opening acousic guitar line is perfect for this great opening song for the second disc. Very dreamy feel although it can get very monotonous after 4 verses of the same instumentals and vocals.
2. Tell Me Baby: The second single from the album. A very catchy and pop-feel track with vocals that emulate the already simple guitar line which takes away from the track.
3. Hard to Concentrate: Funky bassline from Flea here and eerie guitar lines in the backround. The vocals here are nice but the track doesn’t really go anywhere.
4. 21st Century: Flea’s strong bass line shines throughout this song and Kiedis talks about the change in times of the 21st century but there isn’t much to this track.
5. She Looks To Me: A very slow moving song but the guitar solos are a nice listen. The changes in key provide a well carried out progression to a awaited climax that unfortunatelynever comes.
6. Readymade: A synced bass and guitar lines do plus a syncopated drum make up the song. The vocals to the bridge and the sub par solo at best are the highlights to this song.
7. If: This soft track reminds me of “Porcelain” in Californication, although not as lyrically strong.
8. Make You Feel Better: There is nothing bad about this track but something about it sounds weak but it is a solid feel good track. The chorus is a little cheezy but works.
9. Animal Bar: A very dreamy and sophisticated track and a must listen in the album. The verses are well sung by Anthony and accompanied by well recorded guitar riffs and womps.
10. So Much I: A fast paced track with many synthesized guitar riffs and bass lines. The vocals in this track aren’t Anthony’s best, but aren’t horrible.
11. Storm in a Teacup: This song sounds like a blend of the Peppers and the Beastie Boys. The real highlight of the song is the bridge which is a really nice blend of instrumentals along with a great verse.
12. We Believe: A quiet and soft ballad with a synthesized running guitar line. The group vocals in the chorus makes the song somewhat unlikeable.
13. Turn It Again: A nice track to listen to with fleas running bass line and anthonys nice vocals. The chorus switches the focus to the solid guitar riff accompanied by aks vocals.
14. Death of a Martian: One of my favorite tracks on the album. A perfect blend of soothing, sometimes synthesized, guitar lines and simple bass lines. Chorus is a little weak but solid. The only issue with this song is the weak 1 minute rap of a poetic verse from Kiedis at the end, the rest of the song is a gem and a great end to the album.
Especially in Michigan
Snow ((Hey Oh))
Death of a Martian
Storm in Your Teacup
Hump de Bump
Strip My Mind
So Much I
Final Double LP Rating: 7.5/10
The album was a great overall achievement for the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ sound, as the band blended the album in a very artistic way with pop-sounding singles like “Dani California” and “Snow ((Hey Oh))”, heartfelt ballads like “Wet Sand” and “Slow Cheetah” and funky tracks like “She’s Only 18” and “Torture Me”. Stadium Arcadium was a statement record for the band and proved that the Red Hot Chili Peppers could still make funky songs reminiscent of the old days, great rock headbangers, or soft ballads. Additionally to the commercial and critical success, the album also won the band 5 grammies (including Best Rock Album), the most in the band’s career.