That's why I'm excited to give their latest album a listen through. Their music is always fun and got something insanely wonderful going on. This is album number ten - congrats on hitting the double digits, boys. It debuted at number one in eighteen different countries (not the US - it started at number two here).
This is also the first time around the Josh Klinghoffer makes his RHCP debut, following John Frusciante's 2009's departure. The last RHCP album actually came out in 2006, so we've been apart for quite some time. Overall? Even the guys described this as a brand new band that you know and love.
I can't wait. Let's dive in!
"Monarchy of Roses" is first up. We start with a flourish of horns and drums warming quickly, then launch into the sound that sounds like it's through a megaphone. This was the second single to come off the album, and once that megaphone sound is gone, the music is fantastic. The beat has just enough dance to it to stay out of normal clubs but in a great concert hall. Everything's steady and the story is just sort of fun about life-like. Sure, there's depth surrounding it, but sometimes you don't need to realize that right off the bat of the first track. Let's just enjoy being back in the moment here, especially with the instrumental break.
The bass is brought in for an awesome funky beat in "Factory of Faith." That familiar voice is there, almost rapping, but keeping his towns so oddly wrapped around the words in the way only he can. For about the 20th time in the history of my listening to these guys, I have no idea what some of the words he's letting out actually are, and I don't care. The instrumentals between chorus and verse are sort of weird - they almost fall off, realizing the voice isn't going anymore, at least the first time around. The second time they're left to their own devices, they carry on strong. This is just freaking awesome and dancey and yay.
"Brendan's Death Song" has an obvious sadness embedded into the title alone. I get that it's not bound to be a happy song, but musically this is wonderful. The whole band is solemn but keeps building up and up in energy, without losing the intensity. This will be the quieter, reflective point of the show, but one where everyone can still nod their heads to the beat throughout in appreciation for such a piece of music.
Hell yeah on the opening bass line for "Ethiopia." There's sort of an interesting island-ish sound to the lead, but that's also sort of typical. His treatments for words as he goes through a song are just so weird and different, but the band has had such success that they can literally do and say just about anything they please and do so however they wish stylistically. The song itself is a little tough to get through, as the slow-downs and speed-ups are tough to swallow - they make it hard to completely be in the moment with the music.
A little darker of a tone off the bat with "Annie Wants A Baby." Still the same sound, but we're going deeper and deeper as the track roll on. The song of this girl who wasted her youth and fortune could make for a good PSA, but it's hard for a music listening experience. Eh, don't mind me. It's just got a damper feeling to it. The song's lacking a little something overall, but I can't place what.
"Look Around" started up while I was mid-Facebook-conversation with a friend, and I missed the first half, only realizing it was on when Anthony Kiedis started his unique little RHCP scat thing that he does. You totally know what I'm talking about. This song is damn good in every single element. It's fun but kind of also has some insight going on. The musicality is top-notch for this band. We're given a good time overall with catchy hooks and melodies to add into our person RHCP memories.
The title of the first single from the album was "The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie." I think they were able to portray themselves as this "new" band with the same familiar sound really well. The song still has Anthony's familiar sing-song voice, and Flea's classic bass lines that we can't help but feel in our feet as their music plays. The guitar is really a cool backing instrument, taking little-to-none of the foreground. And of course, the drumming is just its own element that never relies on the same beat for every song - thank you.
"Goodbye Hooray" has a definite more rock sound to it, letting the drums take over a lot of the main sound and drive the song forward. In concert, this is probably one of the ones where the energy will be so high that the words won't matter because we'll all be far too into the beats driving the dancing. It also feels like a really good emotional letting go song too, which can only do good things to drive the physical freedom!
Whhhaaatttt? Piano?? That's new. "Happiness Loves Company" is a freaking adorable title. The beat is very happy; very 1960's pop, mixed with a little bit of a marching time. Those are the two major elements. I think you could put just about any lyrics over it and the music would have the same pleasant effect. I'm not even sure that the lyrics here are all that truly happy - I'm too busy bopping my head around.
"Even You Brutus?" kicks in with this dark, scratchy recording of a piano, almost like something the Phantom would play. It then breaks into a song with almost a rap-beat (think Biz Markie), while our lead vocal yells about clear frustrations with some crap in this world. He eventually sings again, but I don't know. It's an okay song, but very messy. That doesn't mean it's bad, it just means that it's probably better to enjoy live than while trying to decipher meanings of words used. All I can say from an initial listen is that there's some kind anger and resentment oozing through the biting words and bitter piano line.
"Meet Me At The Corner" has shades of old RHCP in the guitar line alone - they only peak their way in, so don't spend too much time looking. I just happened to catch a few. It's a nice, calm song on falling in love and figuring the whole mess out. There's not necessarily a happy ending, but this one's truly about the journey. I loved it up until a very odd vocal bridge that slows things way down with these odd little choral-sounding voices. Then the song itself comes back. It's honestly just jarring and knocks the track as a whole back a few pegs.
Added To My Playlist:
- "Factory of Faith"
- "Brendan's Death Song"
- "Look Around"
- "The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie"
- "Goodbye Hooray"
- "Dance, Dance, Dance"