This is seen as the greatest album and commercial breakthrough by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Released at the time that Nirvana were becoming the next big thing in Rock music, it showed that an eclectic mix of styles, musicianship and a funky nature could take the world by storm. Is it, however, any good? Let’s find out. Originally intended to be a double album, the Red Hot Chili Peppers cut it down to one album, so hopefully this shall be a rewarding listen.
We begin this album with The Power Of Equality which has a quiet counted intro, before going into a funky, lively and excellent sounding song that is really energetic. It’s difficult to make sense of this song, and to see if it is indeed a joke or not. It actually sounds very good, despite this, with a load of Pop culture references here. Good music all the same, with a load of Fender sounding guitars and a grooving backbeat that sounds really different. There is some liquid bass in the middle, before going back into the main section of this groovy piece. Excellent music here all the same, there is a weird guitar section and a brief pause here towards the end, which is very surprising. The bass playing by Flea towards the end is different and very well done, segueing straight into the next song.
Next is If You Have To Ask which begins with some clean, funky riffs before launching into a semi-Rapped piece that sounds just different here. A really awesome and interesting piece that is obviously a parody of some of the older Hip Hop styles at the time, and just sounds brilliant. A really quirky and interesting piece that is nicely crafted and delivered here, this is an excellent tune. The chord progression and drumbeats in the second half are really cool, before launching into a loud and powerful guitar solo here. Good job by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and a really cool listen. Towards the end is clapping and some more funky riffs to finish, excellent stuff.
Breaking the Girl is next and begins with some very retro sounding acoustic guitars and bass parts being played nicely. A really different and excellent sounding song that is really different here, and it sounds really grand and interesting here. There is some subtle Hippie style flute here, giving this piece an unusual feel. Still, it is listenable, despite its quirkiness here. Very good melodic and original piece of music that still sounds really great today, and is very much one of the more memorable pieces from this album. Great music here, complete with a drum/percussion solo that sounds very different. A piece that looks back to music of the 1960s and 1970s, and an excellent listen, all the way to the fade out.
Funky Monks begins with some unusual slap bass styled acoustic guitar, before launching into a similarly flavoured Rock guitar piece with the Red Hot Chili Peppers doing a fantastic job here. Really cool music that sounds perfect for blasting in one’s car, this is an unusual, yet brilliantly crafted piece of music. Very good to listen to, and this is one of the lesser tracks on the album. With some references to relationship matters, there is a false ending in the middle, before this piece has some really funky playing, and a loud, powerful guitar solo will raise your eyebrows here. Great music for listening on repeat, with some cool harmonies as well. Just simply very good and underrated, with a key change towards the end, with Flea playing some really great bass guitar lines. Great song, and very undervalued here.
Next along is Suck My Kiss begins with some studio chatter, before Anthony Keidis indicates that it’s show time and this groovy and really awesome listen that is definitely one of the highlights of this album. Likely about tongue kissing and other dirty deeds, this is a punchy and funk based Rock classic that sounds really awesome. There are some tremendous drum rolls by Chad Smith here, as though he is really on top here. A fuzz heavy guitar solo then enters in the second half, sounding very inspired. Great listening, and one of the better songs from this album. Excellent music from start to finish.
Following is I Could Have Lied which sounds like a gorgeous acoustic piece to begin with. It’s very much a nod to Classic Rock here, and Anthony Keidis sings very beautifully here. The piece then gets going with a slow drumbeat and a great groove to it. Sure, this may seem like a lesser track, but to be fair, this is just as good as the other standout pieces on this album. The guitar playing here and guitar solo by John Frusciante here is really soulful, excellent and well played by him, and this album has some of his best and career defining moments. Really awesome and excellent listening about regrets with a lover, this is very good to hear. Nice job, RHCP.
Mellowship Slinky In B Major begins with some unusual descending guitar riffs, and sounds really odd here. The drum are very noticeable here, and drummer Chad Smith here delivers beyond expectations. The groove and melody drives this piece along very nicely. Really awesome and excellent music that is quite underrated. A very fine piece of strange music, the piano here lights up the piece nicely. Some strange riffs are here in the second half, and the piece grooves well all the way to the end. Nice to hear, and good music.
The Righteous & the Wicked comes next, beginning with some basic basslines and drums, cutting out at times, with an awesome distorted slide guitar solo. Eventually, Anthony Keidis gets singing and although this tune is pretty meh, it fits quite nicely on this album. Some excellent playing by John Frusciante is here, and some lyrics about parallels in life are here, which are quite good listening. The Fender based tones here are amazing and excellent, before a multitracked guitar solo set enters. A cool, but fairly naff track here. Different sounding, but rather ordinary. The outro segues into the next track.
The hit song Give It Away is next, with a prominent drum sound, funky bass playing, nice guitar licks and other excellent sounds that are surreal, including a keyboard cartoon styled sound here. This is a very excellent tune, and is deserving to be heard multiple times. Clever, poppy and referencing many Pop culture based things, including Bob Marley. There is a really cool backwards guitars solo sets here, and this whole song is really amazing listening. Great music and very inspired, this piece is one of the most popular Red Hot Chili Peppers songs, and you can hear why. An adapted riff from Black Sabbath’s Sweet Leaf is here towards the end, a nice effort overall.
After that is the title track Blood Sugar Sex Magik which begins with some eerie sounds, before going into a slow, weird funky Rock jam. Still, this piece sounds different, but it is clearly not a great piece of music, even by RHCP’s standards. It does kick up a notch in the chorus, but still seems like a pointless musical exercise here. Interesting listening, but neither relevant nor decent as a song here. Good to hear, but definitely not great music here. Worth skipping for the most part, which is a bit of let down. There is a very good guitar solo here at the end, which is powerful and uplifting, but otherwise, nothing special here.
Under the Bridge begins with some gorgeous Fender guitar parts by John Frusciante which sound beautiful and emotionally uplifting. Anthony Keidis begins singing with a very good delivery here, and this piece gets underway. A strange piece of modern poetry, Red Hot Chili Peppers have made some great songs over their career, such as this one, which is outstanding. It’s a song about loneliness and despair, but is in no real way depressing. Nonetheless, a great song for listening that is very good mood setting and listening on some occasions. Some choir like vocals are added towards the end here, and this is a fine piece of music. Good job boys, a nice, fresh effort here. It ends quietly.
Naked In The Rain begins with some crazy drum fills, before launching into a good song that is not the most original Red Hot Chili Peppers piece. Still, it sounds really good and energetic listening, but sounds like a routine piece of music. The guitar work here saves this piece, although this comes across as a rather silly track. Good to hear all the same, although could have been bettered. In any case, a good listen with some neat bass guitar playing by Flea. It just sounds different here, and is a really cool listen if you dig Funk Rock styled music, but perhaps not to the average listener. An ordinary sounding guitar solo finishes this piece off.
Following is Apache Rose Peacock comes across as another fairly routine song for the RHCP. Some weird lyrics are here, which are quite surreal, but this seems less like a genuine effort and more like a piece made as album filler. These songs could have been edited and rethought here, which is disappointing when hearing this album. Still, a good piece of music, just not really great at all. Some weird lyrics directly about male lust really do not help this piece, either, and it gets worse as it goes on. Mediocre for Classic Rock, the RHCP could have bettered this piece here. It’s fairly ordinary all the same, a bit like the worst of Kid Rock here. The try-hard humour does not serve this piece, either, sadly.
After that is The Greeting Song begins with some Fender Tele sounding guitar parts, leading into an upbeat and cool piece of music. There is a guitar riff progression here reminiscent of The Beatles Taxman here, which is different. This is only three minutes long, but once again, this piece comes across as filler. One thinks that this piece would have been bettered in retrospect, but still, it is sub par. In any case, good but barely good and definitely not great. The descending chord piece towards the end is interesting, but aside from that, forgettable.
My Lovely Man begins with some guitar parts that are very much Metal sounding, although this is not Metal. Another interesting piece that is okay, but not at all spectacular. There are some cool Funk guitar parts, bongos, excellent drumming and good singing here. Still, this music is rather flawed and is a bit of a challenge to get through. This isn’t even the best album by the Red Hot Chili Peppers in retrospect, it falls flat in many areas. The guitar solo here is redeeming, but aside from that, a very disappointing listen. Good drumming is here, mind you, which keeps this album alive. A piece focused on John Frusciante’s guitar playing, but nothing spectacular here. Disappointing. It ends with some good bass guitar, however.
Sir Psycho Sexy is eight minutes long. It has some good bass guitar, funky wah-wah guitar and some really awful musicianship here. This is obviously noticeable from the beginning. Some of the lyrics here are interesting, but aside from the Biblical lyrics here that are twisted, this is rather an ordinary piece of music that disappoints. The try-hard humour returns, which is prevalent over much of this album, is super prominent here. The overly male sexual references here are a bit much at times as well. Some xylophones (honestly, why?) enter here to go along with the band, before going into some Jimi Hendrix inspired wah-wah guitar. This piece is more textural than song based. It does have a few moments, but if you are a serious listener, this song is quite forgettable and awful, really. Nothing hugely inspired or captivating about this track, it just falls apart as a credible piece of music. There is an instrumental jam session towards the end, with some Mellotron. Avoid if you can, fortunately this is at the end of the album. It has a very long fadeout at the end, with some weird recorded sounds. Off-putting.
Next along is They’re Red Hot is a short piece that is a lame parody of Country music here. Weird and not really necessary here, it’s best to avoid, once again. This is the last main album track and ends with more weird recorded sounds.
Following is Little Miss Lover which is a Jimi Hendrix cover. It is a good cover that is decent to hear at this point, after quite an underwhelming album listen. Funky, wah-wah guitar infects this piece and just sounds extraordinary. Great music here, and the cover suits these guys. John Frusciante does a decent Hendrix impression on guitar here, showing a decent skill set on his guitars here. Great music all the same, better than most of the album here.
Castles Made Of Sand is very last here, and is another Jimi Hendrix cover here. It comes across as a nice, gentle and relaxing listen here. Clever, nicely played and just a decent cover here, it’s always good to hear some Jimi Hendrix, even if it is covered by RHCP. Great fuzz guitar solo is here, and a very nice listen for fans of both artists. Great guitar playing is here, and this is a really great listen, too.
To be fair, this may be considered a classic album, but it is not really so. There are way too many filler tracks, bad musical parts and this isn’t even the best album by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Overall, it is disappointing and not serious enough to be considered worthwhile. Fortunately, they released better albums after this one and dropped the lame humour from their music then. Still, rather disappointing to hear today.
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