Review: The Getaway

Photograph of the Red Hot Chili Peppers performing at Lollapalooza 2014
RHCP performing at Lollapalooza 2014. Photo Credit: conyfera via Compfight cc

I’m pretty sure every punk rock fan likes at least one Red Hot Chili Peppers Song. Whether you’ve actively sought out their music or just heard them on the radio or in a rock club, I would be surprised if you’d gone your entire life without hearing Californication, Can’t Stop, Under The Bridge, By The Way, Dani California or Give It Away.  On Friday, the LA brand broke five years of silence since the release of 2011’s I’m With You with their eleventh studio album, The Getaway.

The album’s release was preceded by single Dark Necessities; you can watch the video for the track here:

The record is opened with the title track: a chilled out, indie sounding number with emphasis on Flea’s bass playing and additional female backing vocals, before leading on to Dark Necessities.  I first heard the single on the radio, and it was obvious from the introduction that this was a Red Hot Chili Peppers song.  The band haven’t departed too far from their sound over the years, but by incorporating new elements such as piano and strings, The Getaway has an edge over their previous albums.

Goodbye Angels is a track with a big impact, and a strong competitor for my favourite song on the album.  The introduction builds gradually: it begins with acoustic guitar before the addition of drums, additional harmonising backing vocals and electric guitars. The resulting track keeps up the powerful pace alongside catchy repetitive vocals until the electric instrumental breakdown at the 3:30 mark, demonstrating the musical talent that the band still has to offer.

Penultimate track The Hunter returns to the album’s initial chilled vibe, with singer Anthony Kiedis’s more melodic vocals and a focus on the accompanying piano creating a more atmospheric sound.  This atmosphere continues into the introduction of the final track, Dreams Of A Samurai.

My main conclusion is that The Getaway is a much more cohesive album than previous efforts.  Every member of the band, including Josh Klinghoffer who only joined RHCP full time in 2009, have used their wealth of experience to create an ego-free album with a polished sound.

The album clocks in at almost 54 minutes long, which means there’s plenty of new tracks to get your teeth into.  The length of the album, plus the sheer amount of hard work and effort that went into The Getaway, makes up for the 5 year wait, in my opinion.

Overall, if you liked RHCPs previous albums you’ll definitely enjoy their latest release. Whilst on the whole it’s got a more chilled vibe than previous releases, The Getaway is just as enjoyable as the rest of their extensive discography.

Highlights: The Getaway, The Longest Wave, Goodbye Angels.

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