[ Warner Bros / LP ]
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Californication finds The Red Hot Chili Peppers once again in the more straightforward punk-funk mode of Blood Sugar Sex Magik. This return to their original sound also marks the return of prodigal son John Frusciante, who takes over from his replacement, Dave Navarro. The Chili Peppers fill Californication with material shaped by personal and professional turmoil, resulting in a somewhat more sensitive approach than one might expected from a band whose hard-core following are skate-punks and drunken frat-boys. Songs such as "Otherside," "Scar Tissue" and "This Velvet Glove" overflow with background harmonies, while Frusciante's unadorned guitar provides support for Anthony Kiedis' emotive singing and broken-hearted lyrics.
The title track is one of the most impressive songs this quartet has written--It tells a tale of wandering souls who've lost their way searching for the American Dream in California. This sensitive showing does nothing to undermine the Chili Pepper's trademark aggressive musical style. If anything, their playing has gotten tighter--as evidenced by the chicken-scratch funk of "Get On Top" and the scat-sung approach of "I Like Dirt." The most impressive anomaly on Californication is "Savior," an ethereal track that finds Frusciante playing with a tone reminiscent of early Peter Green.
Around The World
Get On Top
I Like Dirt
This Velvet Glove
Right On Time